April 25, 2008

Day One, Penn Relays: Calle and Donaldson Qualify for NCAA Regionals

April 25, 2008

Results

PHILADELPHIA - The Bulldogs made their mark in the distance events on the first day of competition at the Penn Relays, hosted by UPenn at Franklin Field. Their effort was spearheaded by strong performances from seniors Elizabeth Calle and Lindsay Donaldson. Calle, this year's track captain, was second in her section of the collegiate 3,000-meter steeplechase with a time of 10:42.70, well under the NCAA regional-qualifying standard of 10:50.25. Just half an hour later, Donaldson placed second in the 5,000-meter run championship in 16:24.01, just barely being edged out by Princeton's Ashley Higginson, who finished less than two seconds ahead in 16:22.56. Donaldson's time is under the regional standard by over 25 seconds and good enough to rank her among the top 20 women in the nation. Last year, Donaldson placed fifth at the regional meet, earning an automatic berth to the NCAA National Championships.

The Distance Medley Relay was another highlight of the day, as the women placed fourth in their section with an impressive time of 11:30.34, one of the fastest times in Yale history. The team of freshman Kate Grace (3:30 for 1200m), senior Mary Kuder (56.0 400m), sophomore Stephany Reaves (2:13 800m) and senior Meredith Leenhouts (4:50 1600m) also beat out all three Ivies in their heat: Cornell, Columbia and Dartmouth. Other Bulldogs competing on Thursday were junior Jennifer Lin (1:03.86 in the 400-meter hurdles), the 4x100-meter relay of senior Catherine Bader, sophomore Courtney Miller, Grace and Kuder (which finished in a time of 48.82) and the 4x400-meter relay of Kuder, Lin, freshman Erika Mansson and freshman Jennifer Parker (3:50.18).

The only remaining event for the women at Penn is the 4x800-meter relay, which will take place on Saturday.

Report by Bevin Peters '09, Yale Sports Publicity