W. track opens strong at Penn Relays

At the Penn Relays, members of the undefeated women’s track team (4-0) are on their own.

A handful of Bulldogs are competing at Pennsylvania’s Franklin Field April 23 to 26 at the Penn Relays. The meet, scored on an individual basis, is regarded as the largest track competition in the world outside of the Olympics.

“It’s an exciting place to compete,” captain Sarah Smith ’03 said. “It’s the chance to go up against the best athletes from all over the country.”

Amid rough weather conditions Thursday, Yale managed to open with one silver finish and close with one gold.

Kate O’Neill ’03 won the 5000-meter championship last night in 15:51.86. Her twin sister Laura O’Neill ’03 finished fourth in the same event in 16:16.56.

Last year, in Philadelphia, Laura O’Neill earned second place in the 10,000-meter run. With their times, both runners qualified for NCAA Regional meet.

Earlier in the morning, the Ivy League’s top pole vaulter Molly Lederman ’06 jumped to second place in her event, clearing 12 feet, 7.75 inches. Lederman finished just 2 inches behind Clemson’s Joana Costa, the winner in the event.

Another rookie phenom, Joslyn Woodward ’06, placed seventh in the Eastern long jump in 19 feet, 3.25 inches.

On the track, Lindsay Mitchell ’03 and Ann Martin ’05 finished fourth and seventh, respectively, in their heat in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Neither Mitchell nor Martin qualified for the championship race.

The distance medley relay squad earned a ninth-place finish in 11:54.55.

On Sunday, the women who did not compete at the Relays will compete at the Yale Springtime Invitational at Yale’s Dewitt Cuyler Field.

“It’s a prep meet for Heps,” Smith said. “Everyone is focused on Heps right now.”

The Heptagonal Championships will be held at Yale May 3 to 4.

— Smita Gopisetty

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