JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The first day of the NCAA East Preliminary Round started off on a high note for the Bulldogs on Thursday. Jocelyn Chau and Samantha Friborg competed in the preliminary rounds of their respective events and Andrea Masterson competed in the 10,000-meter, run as a final.
The meet is hosted by the University of North Florida at Hodges Stadium. In contrast to the New Haven weather this spring, the heat and humidity of Jacksonville presented an additional challenge for the Bulldog athletes. With highs in the low 90s and high humidity, Yale athletes had only a few days to adjust before the competition started off.
Nonetheless, the Bulldogs held their own against other athletes who were undoubtedly more acclimated to the weather.
To start off the day, first-year Chau earned herself a spot in the finals of the 1,500-meter run at her first ever East Preliminary Round. She ran a time of 4:21.30, which earned a time-qualifier to the finals compared to an automatic qualifying spot. This is just off her season best time set a few weeks ago at the West Point Invitational.
Chau's time places her at 17th overall heading into the final round. To qualify for the NCAA Championship, she will have to finish in the top 12 in the final round, which is not out of reach for Chau as she finished within one second of the top 12 on Thursday.
The final will go off at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday.
To follow-up on Chau's impressive first-year performance, fellow first-year Friborg punched her ticket to the final round of the East Preliminary in the 800-meter run. She ran a new lifetime best of 2:05.92 to finish with the 15th best mark of the day.
Friborg's new lifetime bests places her at third on the Yale outdoor all-time list. One of the athletes in front of her, holding the spot at the top of the list, is Olympian Kate Grace. Already, as a first-year athlete, Friborg has established herself as a top-level athlete and among Yale's best ever.
The final of the East Preliminary round for the 800-meter run will take place on Friday at 6:30 p.m., presenting another opportunity for Friborg to move up the all-time list and close in on the school record yet again.
After the sun had set and the temperatures had slightly dropped, the women's 10,000-meter competitors took to the track. Although the temperatures dropped from the peak heat of the day, the temperatures were still above 70 with high humidity, making for a challenging 25 laps.
Senior Masterson capped off a historic career as a Yale distance athlete with the 10,000-meter run Thursday evening. She finished in 35th with a time of 35:31. She finishes her career as the fourth fastest runner in the event in Yale history (34:12), and also holds a spot on the 5,000-meter outdoor list. Consistently, Masterson has earned herself spots in the long distance events at regional and national events, and from her first-year onward, was a foundational athlete to the success of the Yale track and cross country teams.
Complete results, as well as live results for the full weekend of competition, can be found here.
Recap by Gabrielle Rinne '19, Yale Sports Publicity.