Sometimes even your best is not enough.
Defending indoor champion Harvard won the annual H-Y-P meet despite a school record set by Bulldog Yetsa Tuakli-Wosornu ’01 in the long jump and a string of personal and season bests by her teammates.
The meet, which was held Saturday at Princeton’s Jadwin Gymnasium, saw the Harvard Crimson win with 71 points, followed by the Bulldogs with 55 points and the Tigers with 32.
Despite the loss, the Elis had impressive performances that should bolster the squad’s hopes for the upcoming Heptagonal Championships Feb. 24 and 25.
“The meet really came down to a difference of one or two key places,” captain Emily Estey ’01 said. “We performed really well, but there is still room for some people to improve.”
Tuakli-Wosornu crushed Samantha Lincoln’s 10-year old long jump record of 19′ 3.25″ by leaping 20′ 03.00″, nearly a full foot ahead of her nearest competitor from Harvard. Head Coach Mark Young said the jump was near the provisional qualifying distance for the NCAA Championships.
“We had some great performances on Saturday,” Young said. “Yetsa’s jump was incredible. Obviously, the team is disappointed with the loss to Harvard, but they were the favorites coming into the season, and they still are. Harvard has a core of five or six very strong athletes, and that’s tough to beat in a small meet, even with the depth we have.”
As has been the case all season long, the 4×800-meter relay team — Rebecca Dickens ’04, Jessica Thomas ’02, Katie Rigney ’01 and Estey — had an impressive showing, annihilating their Ivy foes with a season best time of 9:15.38. Princeton finished second 11 seconds behind.
Estey continued her strong day, by racing to a second-place finish in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:11.48 — only 0.4 seconds behind Tiger Lauren Simmons.
The Bulldogs maintained dominance in the distance events as Kate O’Neill ’03 and Rigney went one-two in the 1-mile run. Both O’Neill and Rigney ran personal bests as they finished with times of 4:57.03 and 4:58.99, respectively. Not to be outdone, O’Neill’s twin sister Laura O’Neill ’03 also ran a personal best in the 3,000-meter as she won with a time 9:50.25.
One of the more poignant moments during the meet came during the 55-meter hurdles final. Becky Rauth ’03, who has been steadily improving all season, was on her way to a breakthrough time and vital top-three finish, when she caught her lead leg on the final hurdle and tumbled over the finish line. The tumble caused Rauth to sustain a concussion and finish in fifth place, but she still managed to walk away with a personal best time of 8.71 seconds and some hope for better luck at Heps.
Despite strong performances by the Bulldogs in the sprints, the Crimson’s one-two punch of Brenda Taylor and Marna Schute was too much. Taylor dashed to victory in the 55-meter — ahead of Bulldogs Tuakli-Wosornu and Jennifer Newsom ’01 — and the 200-meter. Schute took second in the 200-meter and cruised to a 2.5-second win in the 400-meter, just ahead of Yale’s Anika Kreider ’03, who ran a personal best time of 58.26.
The Elis will look to recuperate and refuel their engines in the next two weeks as they prepare for the season’s ultimate goal — a win at the Heptagonal Championships.
“Everything else that’s happened up to this point goes out the window at Heps,” Young said. “I remember never beating Harvard in a dual meet during my four years as a Yale runner and then we won the Heps my senior year. We win in two weeks’ time and the season is made.”
[ydn-legacy-photo-inline id=”20855″ ]