In track meets, consistency is often the key to success.

The Yale women’s track team earned 114 points, good for a third-place finish, at the Colonial Relays at William and Mary this weekend. The Bulldogs were led with victories in the women’s distance relay, and Emily Estey’s ’01 win in the 1,500-meter run. The Elis were helped by a strong overall performance, which included a plethora of second- and third-place finishes.

The men’s team had a strong squad performance as well, riding five second-place finishes and a number of third-place efforts to an overall sixth-place finish. Penn State dominated the competition, racking up 219 points — 101.5 more points than second-place Rutgers.

Both teams used the Colonial Relays to prepare for the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships at Princeton May 5 and 6.

Associate head coach David Shoehalter said the meet was a good training session for the Heptagonals.

“The Colonial Relays are a two-day meet, which mirrors how the Ivy League championships are,” Shoehalter said. “It gives people experience to work hard one day and then have to come back equally strong the next.”

Because the Ancient Eight title is decided at that one meet, overall team results are not as important as how each individual performed. The Elis used this past weekend’s meet to try out different things to see what works well for the team.

And a lot of things worked.

On the men’s side, Shoehalter said he was most impressed with the 4×800 relay team, which consisted of James Pearce ’02, Robert Lobue ’04, Don Carson ’02 and Ryan Barrows ’01, which finished second to Seton Hall with a time of 7:29.46.

“That was the best time a Yale team has done in 10 years,” Shoehalter said.

The 4×400 relay team also finished second with a time of 3:13.99.

Other bright spots for the men came from JC Reindl ’03, who finished with a time of 31:56.40 in the 10,000-meter — good for a second place finish behind Bucknell’s Kevin Weatherill’s time of 31:33.15. Thomas Hocker ’02 posted a time of 51.79 seconds in the 400-meter intermediate hurdles, also placing second. Anthony Thomas ’03 gave the Bulldogs their fifth second-place performance in the long jump. His mark of 7.07 meters was just three one-hundredths of a meter behind Penn State’s Ryan Olkowski.

Seniors Jason Rife and Barrows posted third-place showings in the 400-meter dash and 800-meter run, respectively.

For the women, Emily Estey ’01 and Kate O’Neill ’03 finished first and second in the 1,500-meter run, with times of 4:33.85 and 4:37.15, respectively. O’Neill was pleased with the finish.

“I wish I had run a little faster, but I am happy for Emily, who does not even normally run this event,” O’Neill said.

The women’s distance medley team — consisting of Estey, O’Neill, Kathleen Rigney ’01 and Jessica Thomas ’02 — grabbed first place with a time of 11:40.96.

“I was running anchor, and by the time I got the baton, we had a big lead,” O’Neill said. “It was great that my teammates had taken some of the pressure off.”

Melanie Harris ’01 wound up just shy of first in the hammer throw, with her mark of 49.84 meters only two one-hundredths of a meter behind Bucknell’s Maria Garcia. Yetsa Tuakli-Wosornu ’01 was second in the triple jump with a distance of 11.84 meters, while her jump of 5.70 meters gave her third place in the long jump. Jennifer Newsom ’01 was third in the 100-meter dash and fourth in the long jump.

Women’s head coach Mark Young is optimistic about the team’s chances.

“I am pleased with our progress,” Young said. “The pieces are starting to come together.”