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Meredith Rizzo's Victorious Mile Bolsters Yale's Successful Second Day at ECACs

Meredith Rizzo. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Meredith Rizzo. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

BOSTON – The Yale women's track and field team wrapped up its second day of competition at the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Championship this afternoon. This meet brought together over 50 teams competing from all across the eastern region, featuring some of the best talent this year. Though the Bulldogs entered this afternoon with just seven athletes competing, they definitely held their own well, finishing an impressive 11th place with 23 points, tying with Elon and Harvard Colleges. The women finished with the same ranking at last year's ECACs. UConn won the meet with a total of 62 points. 

The best result of the afternoon came in the mile where junior Meredith Rizzo blew away the competition to secure a win in the mile run. After finishing second in the preliminary yesterday, Rizzo ran a spectacular time today, crossing the finish line in 4:44.11. She improved by an unprecedented eight seconds today, punching her name as the fourth-best mile time in Yale history. Though this improvement comes at the end of the indoor season, this becomes immediately relevant for the outdoor season, where the Bulldogs will now have two of the top milers in the league, both of whom are only juniors. Senior Grace Brittan also ran well today, finishing sixth with a time of 4:55.15. Brittan and Rizzo gave the Bulldogs a total of 13 points with their combined finishes. 

Freshman Emma Lower fared well today in the 800-meter run, finishing sixth with a time of 2:12.18. Though only a freshman, Lower contributed four points for the Bulldogs. She caps off a phenomenal debut track season with yet another fine race this afternoon. 

After winning the 800-meter run at Heps last week, senior Shannon McDonnell capped off her indoor career on a high note with a new personal best in the 1000-meter run. She crossed the finish line in 2:49.56, good for a fifth-place finish and four more points for the team. And with her finish, she has earned a spot as the third-best time in Yale history for the 1000-meter run. McDonnell has had a fine season in the middle-distance categories, picking up a couple of big wins for the Bulldogs along the way. 

Finally, the Bulldogs scored two points in the 3000-meter run thanks to senior Elizabeth McDonald's seventh place finish. She had her best race of the season this past afternoon in what was her final indoor performance. McDonald finishes her indoor career with outstanding times in the 3000- and 5000-meter run. She has the opportunity to further improve upon her times in what will be her last season of her career in the spring. Freshman Andrea Masterson also had a fine performance in this race, finishing in 9:46.42, while junior Emily Barnes capped off her season with a new personal best of 9:57.00. 

With the conclusion of the ECACs, the Bulldogs will use Spring Break as a welcomed break from their rigorous training this season. They will resume competition in early April with the Mark Young Invitational here at Yale. However, fans should be aware that next week, junior Frances Schmiede will represent the Bulldogs at the NCAA Indoor Championship. 

Report by Ariel A. Sánchez '19, Yale Sports Publicity