May 13, 2009
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - This weekend several Yale track and field athletes will compete in the ECAC Championships in Princeton, N.J. Athletes from the 90 NCAA Division-I member schools who have met the qualifying standards will compete in the three-day meet, which will take place Fri.-Sun., May 15-17. The ECAC hosts the women's track and field championship for eastern schools concomitantly with the men's IC4A Championships at Princeton. This year, Yale has five individuals and three relay teams who have qualified for the weekend.
The qualifying standards for the meet can be found here. This is the first time qualifying for the ECAC Championships for many of this year's Bulldogs.
Senior captain Jennifer Lin qualified for the 400-meter hurdles many weeks ago; she ran a personal best this past weekend at the Heptagonals Championship of 1:01.82 to place fourth. That time would have earned her a fifth place finish in the ECAC finals in the event in 2008.
Junior Claudia Duncan qualified in the 400-meter dash just this past weekend, when she set a school record of 55.49. Duncan had been finishing just above the standard for several weeks, and finally qualified in her third-place finish. She should run even faster with better competition.
Senior Bevin Peters and freshman Anne Lovelace both qualified for the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Lovelace qualified at the very beginning of the season when she ran 10:54.87 at UC-Irving in March. Peters has a personal best of 10:50.48 from the Harvard-Yale vs. Oxford-Cambridge competition at Yale in April. That is only .23 seconds above the NCAA regional qualifying standard, and she will be trying to make the 10:50.25 standard when she runs on Friday. Her best would have placed her 11th last year in the steeplechase competition.
All-American sophomore Kate Grace has qualified for the 800-meter run and the 1,500-meter run. Grace was named first-team All-Ivy this past weekend after winning the 800-meter run at the Heptagonal Championships. Grace's personal best in the 800-meter run is 2:07.83, which more than qualifies her for NCAA regionals. Last year at ECACs, Grace competed in the preliminary heats and qualified for the 800-meter finals, but did not compete in them. This year Grace has also qualified to compete in the 1,500-meter run, and she has a personal best of 4:30.31 from the Harvard-Yale invitational on Apr. 18.
Yale's three relay teams have also qualified to compete this weekend. The 4x100-meter relay team performed best at the first meet of the season in late March, when it finished in 47.96 seconds. Last weekend at Heps a team of freshman Alexa Monti, Duncan, Grace and sophomore Jennifer Parker placed fifth in a time of 48.01 seconds.
The 4x400-meter relay team posted its best time at Penn Relays, when Duncan, Lin, Parker and Grace pulled off a close 3:47.93 finish. Last year that time would have been just shy of qualifying for finals in the event.
Yale also had its best showing in the 4x800 meter relay at Penn Relays. Junior Stephany Reaves, Grace, Duncan and junior Erin Walsh passed the baton around the track in 8:56.42. The team's current best time would have placed them fourth in the event in 2008. Yale performed well in the preliminary heat last year, and then finished sixth in the finals.
This meet is the last chance athletes have to qualify for the NCAA regional championships, which will be hosted by North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, N.C. on May 29 and 30. Thus far only Grace has qualified.
Distance events and the 3,000-meter steeplechase will be held on Friday, while Saturday will be a day of trials in most events and Sunday will showcase finals. A complete schedule of events can be found here.
Report by Kyle Eichner '12, Yale Sports Publicity