April 3, 2008
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The Yale women's track team is dividing itself this weekend in order to participate in two meets: the Sam Howell Invitational, hosted by Princeton in Princeton, N.J., and the Colonial Relays, hosted by William and Mary, in Willamsburg, Va.
The decision of which athlete goes to which meet is a decision made between athlete and coach, taking into account scheduling conflicts as well as potential benefits at each meet. Typically, most of the Bulldog sprinters and a select number of distance athletes will make the ten-hour bus ride from New Haven to Williamsburg in the hope that the hotter, less windy weather in the South will translate into faster times on the track.
This is not to say that Yale athletes have not been surprised by sub-par conditions at William and Mary. Ironically, the only snow that the Bulldogs faced in competition last year was at the Colonial Relays. However, the possibility of competing on an eighty-degree day that won't come to New Haven until May or June is alluring to many of the sprinters who have had to deal with fifty-degree conditions since returning from training in Irvine, California.
The weather is not the only attractive element of the Colonial Relays. The meet regularly attracts high-level competition from across the eastern seaboard, including Big East powerhouses Rutgers, Seton Hall and Georgetown as well as programs such as Michigan State, Iona and George Mason. The Tribe of William and Mary regularly contributes very strong distance athletes to an already solid field.
The Colonial Relays itself is a two-day meet held on Friday and Saturday that offers a full spectrum of events. All individual events, except for select field events and finals of the 100-meter dash, 110-meter hurdles and 100-meter hurdles, will take place on Friday with all relays on the second day. This is one of the few meets that offers relays such as the 4x200-meter relay and 4x1,500-meter relay.
The first field event on Friday is the women's hammer throw, which will begin at 11:00 a.m.. The first track event on Friday is the men's 3,000-meter steeplechase, which will begin at 12:00 p.m. The first field event on Saturday will be the men's hammer throw at 9:30 a.m. and the first track event will be the men's 4x800-meter relay at 12:00 p.m.
report by Ted Galligan '10, Yale Sports Publicity