PRINCETON, N.J. - In the second weekend of competition for the outdoor season, the Yale women's track and field team took a big step forward at the 2019 Princeton Sam Howell Invitational Saturday.
The Bulldogs brought a large cohort down to New Jersey to match up against other Ivy League teams including Princeton and Dartmouth and squads from around the northeast like Boston College and Villanova. If Saturday's meet -- which included one school-record performance -- was any indicator, Yale is poised for a very successful outdoor season.
Starting off the day on the track was the unseeded 1500 meter run. Zoe Nuechterlein ran the first 1500 meter race of her career, finishing in an impressive 4:45.52, and fellow sophomore Sarah Pillard ran a 10 second personal best to finish in 4:50.24. Later in the evening was the seeded section of the 1500 meters, where Sevanne Ghazarian finished 12th in a competitive field running a 4:30.53 and Arianna Lord recorded a personal best of 4:37.11 in the same race.
In the first relay of the day, Yale's "A" 4x100 meter squad of Aaliyah Boshnak, Lauren Drysch, Lillian Enes and Sophie Isom took fifth in 48.12 seconds. In the 100 meter dash, Ava Thomas was the first Bulldog across the line, finishing in 12.41 seconds to land herself in the top half of the more than 30 person field. Continuing Yale's positive momentum, Megan Quimby finished seventh overall in the unseeded 800 meters running 2:15.1, her college personal best by more than four seconds in the event.
The Bulldogs' 4x400 meter relay also finished fifth, recording a time of 3:55.07, just over a second off of the third-place finishers, Boston College. Princeton won the relay with a quick 3.48.48, beating the rest of the field by nearly three seconds, but the young Yale squad held its own.
In the 5,000 meters Rachel Suss led the Bulldogs. Running a smart race, Suss improved eight places throughout the final 2,000 meters for a seventh-place finish and a time of 17:54.50. Hannah Steffke finished in 18:02.38, more than a 20 second personal best for her in the event from last year.
First year Jocelyn Chau continued her domination on the track, winning her section of the seeded 800 meters in 2:11.00. In a race including former NCAA champion Raevyn Rogers and fourth-place 2019 NCAA Indoor Nationals finisher Allie Wilson, Chau was the first rookie to cross the line.
Meanwhile on the field, high jumpers Elizabeth Adelson and Olivia Mooney both cleared 1.60 meters to open their outdoor campaigns. And in the day's final event first-year phenom Emma Vasen finished second in the shot put, throwing 14.69 meters (48' 2.5") to claim the Yale school record. Vasen, who also holds the indoor record in the event, has proven herself a force to be reckoned with in the Ivy League.
Full results from Saturday's competition can be found here.