PRINCETON, N.J. – The Yale women's track and field team wrapped up its second day of competition at the Ivy League Heptagonal Track and Field Championship. This huge meet brings together all eight of the Ivy League colleges for their conference final. And for many Bulldogs who were not able to qualify for the ECAC Championship next week, this was their last week of the season. All in all, though the Bulldogs put together a well-fought 12 points, coming in eighth place overall. The nationally ranked Harvard women's track and field team won the meet with 160 points.
Sophomore Dana Klein ran in the 3,000-meter steeplechase this afternoon, finishing with a career-best time of 10:36.12. Her improvement of almost ten seconds earned her seventh place out of a tough field of 14 competitors, including three runners who rank among the top 20 in the entire Eastern region. So Klein's place overall does not do justice to the level at which she ran today. Her time is one of the best ran by a Bulldog in years, currently ranking her fifth-best competitor in this event in Yale history. Rather unfortunately, Klein might have just missed qualifying for the NCAA Outdoor Track East Preliminary Championship Meet by just a few tenths of a second. Regardless, the sophomore still has two years to further improve in an event that she has dominated in. Though she finished just outside of the top six and was not able to get points for the team, Klein had a phenomenal race today.
The 4x100-meter relay team led off by senior captain Sydney Cureton also had tough luck today, placing seventh with a time of 47.55s. The relay, which included freshman Alexandra Lee and senior Mackenzie Mathews, and junior Katerra Logan as the anchor leg, ran well but fell just outside of the top six teams that earned points.
But, the Bulldog performed well in the 1500-meter run. Junior Frances Schmiede was able to overtake one of Harvard's top distance athletes on the final lap of the 10-woman final to take second place with a time of 4:23.99. The distance runner Schmiede beat out was actually seeded faster than her and is ranked nationally in the top 20 of this event. Junior Emily Waligurski also performed well in this event, coming back from ninth place on the final lap to finish an astounding fifth with a time of 4:25.50. Junior Meredith Rizzo also had a fine race, finishing with a time of 4:32.61.
In the final of the 100-meter dash, Cureton crossed the finish line with a time of 11.95s, good for a sixth-place finish that earned the team a point.
Meanwhile, Senior Shannon McDonnell had a tough race in the final of the 800-meter run, finishing eighth with a time of 2:12.50. It was a very tight race in which second- through eighth-place were separated by barely a second. Rather unfortunately, McDonnell finished in the back of the pack. However, McDonnell still has a pretty good shot of qualifying for the Eastern Pre-Champ meet later this month.
The 5,000-meter run was also a very challenging race, which becomes evident when noting that four of the competitors in this 20-woman final are presumably qualified for the Pre-Champ meet. Freshman Andrea Masterson was by far the best performer on the team in this event. She finished in eighth place, with a time of 17:18.02. Sophomore Clare Carroll finished 13th with a time of 17:29.35, while sophomore Melissa Fairchild and junior Chandler Olson finished 16th and 14th, respectively.
Finally, the 4x800-meter relay, which was led off by Schmiede, had a season-best performance this afternoon. After running the leadoff leg in 2:12.15, Schmiede passed the baton off to sophomore Katherine Raphael, who ran her leg in 2:16.43. McDonnell ran the next leg, handing it off to Waligurski after 2:12.35. The anchor leg ran her 800 meters in 2:12.27, crossing the finish line in sixth place with an aggregate time of 8:53.20.
Next up for the Bulldogs this coming weekend is the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC) Championship at Princeton.
Recap by Ariel A. Sánchez '19, Yale Sports Publicity