W. track leaves Lions, Big Green in the dust

While the snow piled up outside on Sunday afternoon, inside Coxe Cage, the women’s track and field team piled up points and individual victories.

The Bulldogs hosted a tri-meet that included league rivals Dartmouth and Columbia. The Eli women dominated, winning 11 of 17 events and scoring 97 points, more than second-place Dartmouth’s 53 points and Columbia’s 31 points combined.

“I was very pleased with how we performed as a team yesterday,” captain Lisa Wygant ’04 said. “I could definitely tell that everyone was putting forth a full effort.”

Three Eli women turned in performances that qualified them for the ECAC Championships Mar. 6-7. Dionna Thomas ’06, the triple jump winner, qualified in that event with a mark of 11.95 meters and Ashley Nolet ’07 qualified in the pole vault after clearing a height of 12 feet. Rebecca Dickens ’04, who took first place in the 1000-meter run, qualified for the ECAC meet with a time of 2:57.27.

Bulldog sprinters continued last year’s winning ways. The Eli women swept the top three places in the 55 and 400-meter dashes and took first and second in the 200-meter dash. Katrina Castille ’07 and Joslyn Woodard ’06 went 1-2 in both the 55 and the 200. The duo also competed in the long jump, where Woodard took second with a leap of 5.52 meters and Castille took fourth.

“I’m content with my performances yesterday, although rather annoyed with my approach run in the long jump,” Woodard said.

In their sweep of the 400, Katie Dlesk ’07 and Jessica Pall ’07 both ducked under 60 seconds while Candace Arthur ’05 missed the one-minute barrier by a mere 0.12 seconds.

Meanwhile, the middle and long distance runners were not to be outdone, winning every distance event.

Vanessa Mazandi ’05 won the 800-meter for the second consecutive week. She improved on last week’s time by three seconds, finishing in 2:13.06.

Wygant commended Mazandi for making a fine return after struggling for a year.

“[Mazandi] looked incredibly strong in that race, and it’s especially inspiring to see her come back like this after her illness last year, which I know was extremely discouraging for her,” Wygant said.

Madeline Meek ’04 won the mile in 5:10.53, less than half a second ahead of runner-up Anne Martin ’05.

Cara Kiernan ’07, first team All-Ivy in cross country last fall, set a personal record, winning in the 3000-meter run with a time of 10:05.13. She out-distanced second place Melanie Schorr of Dartmouth by ten seconds.

The Elis’ success was not limited to the individual races, as both relay teams won. The Bulldogs barely edged Columbia and Dartmouth in the 4×400-meter relay in which all three teams finished within half a second of each other. But the 4×800-meter relay team won easily, defeating second-place Dartmouth by a huge 17-second margin.

In what will be a theme of the regular season meets, the distance crew was not at full strength.

“I held out a number of the distance kids, splitting the group a little bit,” head coach Mark Young ’68 said.

Young added that some of the distance runners needed rest and an opportunity to recover from nagging injuries. To avoid racing too much and to concentrate on peaking at Heps, most of them will not run every meet.

While the Elis won every running event except the 55-meter hurdles and the 500-meter dash, field event competition was not quite as one-sided. Highlights included the second place efforts of Margo Angelopoulos ’06 in the weight throw and the shot put, falling short both times of winner Jamila Smith of Dartmouth.

In a repeat of last week, Wygant took third in the high jump, this time with a height of 1.65 meters. Molly Lederman ’06 and Nolet again went 1-2 in the pole vault. At the Jan. 10 Yale Invitational, Lederman qualified for the ECAC Championship.

Lederman is a copy staffer for the Yale Daily News.

While the focus of the season is basically on one meet — the Heptagonal Championship Feb. 28-9 — Wygant stressed that the Bulldogs cannot dismiss their regular season schedule.

“Every meet is important on our road to Heps, especially these league meets,” Wygant said.

Madeleine Meek ’04 (right) and Anne Martin ’05 compete in the mile race during Sunday’s track meet against Columbia and Dartmouth at Coxe Cage. Meek won the event in 5:10.53.
Stephanie Dziczek
Madeleine Meek ’04 (right) and Anne Martin ’05 compete in the mile race during Sunday’s track meet against Columbia and Dartmouth at Coxe Cage. Meek won the event in 5:10.53.

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