Charlottesville, Va. – The Yale women's track and field team wrapped up its second day of competition at the Virginia Challenge hosted by the University of Virginia. The second day of competition brought some amazing times for the team, giving the team a lot of things to look forward to entering championship season. With next week being Penn Relays, things really start ramping up for the Bulldogs. This event is just proof of the exciting things awaiting the Bulldogs in May.
Junior Frances Schmiede steals today's headline once again with yet another record, this time in the 1,500-meter run. Facing a tough field of over 80 competitors, Schmiede came in sixth place overall with a fantastic time of 4:17.70. With her incredible performance this evening, Schmiede easily destroyed the old record of 4:20.77 set back in 2011 by Yale legend Kate Grace '11. Grace still owns the record in the 800-meter run, which at least for the time being seems out of reach for Schmiede.
But everything seems possible for this phenomenal athlete. She has been on a brutal tear all year, improving race after race regardless of the conditions. Somehow through all of the improvements she makes, Schmiede still continues to improve every aspect of her performance. With her time, Schmiede will likely qualify for the NCAA East Pre-Championship Meet next month. The top 48 performers in each event qualify for this meet and she currently sits at fifth as of now. Schmiede now owns two Yale records and is nearing a few others with still a full year left on the team. The future cross-country captain also still has basically the rest of the season to improve on an early season performance. It's an exciting time for the team's fans.
Yet Schmiede wasn't the only athlete with a monstrous performance. Junior Emily Waligurski also had a fine performance in the same event, finishing with a new personal-best time of 4:22.11. Though of course there is still a lot of time left this season, Waligurski's performance also puts her in a position to possibly qualify for the East Pre-Champ meet. Waligurski now owns the fourth-fastest time in the history of the team. Though she might not be breaking records, Waligurski is putting together a fantastic season with solid improvements in both the 800- and 1,500-meter runs. Junior Meredith Rizzo also had a career-best performance in this event, finishing today with a time of 4:28 4:28.39. Senior Grace Brittan and sophomore Katherine Raphael also had fine performances today.
Meanwhile, sophomore Kelli Reagan put together a fine performance in the 5,000-meter run. She improved by over half a minute on her outdoor personal best in this event, finishing with a time of 16:52.99. She finished a commendable 36th place out of a total of over 80 competitiors. Reagan has put together quite a sophomore season thus far, making huge improvements in both the 1,500- and 5,000-meter runs. Freshman Andrea Masterson also had a solid performance in her debut in the 5,000-meter run, finishing with a time of 17:01.66
Junior Rachel Jones had a solid performance in the 3000-meter steeplechase this past afternoon. Her time of 11:07.60 represents an improvement of over 15 seconds, which is phenomenal considering that she had just ran a personal-best time last week. With this performance, Jones has improved by over 45 seconds in this treacherous event just this season.
Finally, in the hurdling events, freshman Bridget Tobias had a fantastic performance in the 400-meter hurdles, improving her time to a 1:02.95. Though she finished 20th out of a field of 36 runners, it is important to note the caliber of this meet. The top two hurdlers who competed today broke the course record and meet record easily while many of the competitors were upperclassman. Among freshman, Tobias finished second, just a few hundredths of a second behind the fastest freshman. Meanwhile, senior Mackenzie Mathews finished with a time of 14.73s in the 100-meter hurdles. Though a few tenths of a second off her best time, Mathews is still slowly reaching peak form as the season progresses. Freshman Alexandra Lee had a personal-best performance in this event, finishing with a time of 16.06s.
Next up for the Bulldogs is the prestigious Penn Relays next weekend, along with the Yale Springtime Invitational this coming Sunday.
Report by Ariel A. Sánchez '19, Yale Sports Publicity