May 9, 2008

Bulldogs to Compete at Heptagonal Championship Saturday and Sunday

May 9, 2008

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A journey that began for most last September is about to come to its climactic conclusion as the Yale women's track and field team competes at the annual Heptagonal Championship, hosted this year in New Haven at the Cuyler-Dwyer complex on Saturday, May 10th and Sunday, May 11th. To some, "Heps" is the most important meet of the season. It is the last major team competition of the year for the Bulldogs, and the last meet that does not need a qualifying standard to enter.

Last year, the Bulldogs finished in fifth place with 71 points. The effort was anchored by winning efforts from then-seniors Ashley Nolet and Erica Davis, as well as notable contributions from Katrina Castille, who combined for 33.5 of the team's total points.

Returning from this effort is senior Lindsay Donaldson, who scored 14 points at this meet last year (3rd place in the 1,500-meter run and 2nd in the 3,000-meter run). Donaldson will be looking for double-gold this year as she attempts the very difficult 5,000-3,000-meter double (both events take place on the same day, four hours and twenty minutes apart), roughly five miles of running. Captain Elizabeth Calle will also be hoping to score big at the Heptagonal Championship. The senior did not score last year; however, the regional qualifier is currently seeded fourth in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.

With few healthy athletes returning from last year's effort, the Bulldogs will rely heavily on their younger runners. Freshmen Eve King (heptathlon) and Emily Standish (high jump) hope to contribute valuable points to the team effort. And, of course, freshman Kate Grace will be expected to have a big day for the Bulldogs. Grace is currently seeded second behind Penn all-American Jesse Carlin, who Grace defeated at the Penn-Princeton-Yale triangular meet (where she ran her current personal best of 2:06.32). The freshman also stands to drastically improve the women's 4x800-meter relay, a team that returns with all members from a sixth-place effort last year.

Other athletes to watch for the Bulldogs include: junior Jennifer Lin (400-meter hurdles) and senior Meredith Leenhouts (mid-distance, 4x800-meter relay).

The Heptagonal Championship is a two-day event. Women's field events begin on the first day with the javelin throw at 11:00 a.m. and conclude with the shot put at 3:30. Women's track events on the first day begin at 11:35 a.m. with the 100-meter hurdles for the heptathlon and conclude with the 10,000-meter run at 5:00 p.m.

The top six places in each event score. From first place, finishers receive 10, eight, six, four, two and one point respectively.

report by Ted Galligan '10, Yale Sports Publicity

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