The competition may have been sub-par, but the freshmen on the women’s track team got their first taste of the big time this Saturday.
The Bulldogs won eight events without their top distance runners and thoroughly dominated weaker local competition at Coxe Cage in the Lidlifter Invite. The meet provided a chance for freshmen to get their feet wet in a comfortable atmosphere and for the rest of the team to gauge where it stands as training gears up for 2006 league competition.
The University of Albany, Southern Connecticut, Columbia, Manhattan College, the
University of New Haven and Quinnipiac were not the most formidable of foes.
From the meet’s start, it was clear the Elis concerned themselves very little with the other competitors in the building, instead emphasizing team focus.
“It was about going out there and getting a race under your belt and seeing where you are,” Sharifa Love ’09 said. “This was a really low key meet and things will definitely step up with more and better competitors as the season progresses.”
Joslyn Woodard ’06 led the way by winning three individual events. She was easily the fastest qualifier in the 60-meter dash prelims, and then won the finals in 7.84 seconds. In the 200, Woodard won in 25.62, taking the individual title ahead of second place finisher Katie Dlesk ’09.
But Woodard did not stop there. In addition to winning two sprints, she placed first in the long jump, jumping 5.71 meters.
Kelley Moore ’09, who won the weight toss with a throw of 14.25 meters, said Woodard has emerged as a leader off the track as well.
“Joslyn’s personality is so amazing,” Moore said. “She’s an awesome role model for the freshman class. We see her go out there and perform and then she’ll stop by and congratulate us in between.”
Woodard headed a sprinting contingent that won four of the five sprinting events. Katie Greene ’06 won the 500 in 1:18.50. In the only sprinting defeat of the day, Jennifer Lin ’09 placed third in the 60-meter hurdles. But in her first taste of collegiate competition, Lin and several other newcomers impressed teammates with their confidence.
Lin’s fellow rookie, Kristen Farley ’09, looked like a wily veteran while winning the mile. Farley hung back in second place for the race’s first six laps, comfortably settling in behind Albany’s Jenna Ortman. Then, with less than 400 meters to go, Farley passed Ortman on the outside and outkicked her down the final stretch. She cruised across the finish line in 5:09.29, nearly three seconds ahead of Ortman.
Dlesk controlled the 400 wire to wire by winning in 57.81, over two seconds ahead of the next finisher. After her strong second-place showing in the 200, the 400 only reaffirmed her potential. Not far behind, fellow newcomer Love placed third in 1:00.47.
Love said the weekend provided valuable experience.
“It was nerve-racking at first,” she said. “But now that it’s over it provides a sense of accomplishment because we’ve been training so long for this.”
Captain Molly Lederman ’06, defending Ivy League indoor pole vault champion, picked up where she left off last season. She vaulted 3.81 meters, well ahead of teammate and second-place finisher Ashley Nolet ’07 (3.35 meters).
Lederman said that she was impressed most of all by the freshmen?s composure in their debut performance.
“For the freshmen, considering it was their first meet, they did well,” she said. “To be a freshman and do well right away is a great accomplishment.”
The field events were not as overwhelmingly dominated by the Elis. In addition to Woodard and Lederman’s victories in the long jump and pole