Three school records fell as the women’s track team opened its winter season.
The men’s team scored victories in several events at the Northeastern Invitational on Dec. 7.
The individually scored event, hosted by Northeastern University at Boston’s Reggie Lewis Center, featured over a dozen universities. The meet, called the Husky Indoor Track and Field Carnival, comes about a month before the start of league meets and is the first opportunity this year for the track programs to compete.
Though both teams boasted individual victories in a variety of events, twins Kate O’Neill ’03 and Laura O’Neill ’03 turned in the most remarkable performances of the meet. With respective times of 16:02.96 and 16:03.75 in the 5000-meter run, the sisters qualified for the NCAA Indoor Track National Championship meet scheduled for March. It will be Kate’s second trip to the national event; her time was a new school record. The nearest competitor finished the race over 45 seconds later.
Kate O’Neill and Laura O’Neill qualified for the Indoor Championship earlier in the winter season than anyone else in Yale history. Since Yale started participating in indoor track events, only seven individuals and two relay teams have ever qualified for the NCAA Championship indoor meet.
The O’Neills’ accomplishment continues an already successful year. Kate and Laura competed in the NCAA Cross Country National Championship race in November, where Kate finished second place and Laura 13.
“I was really excited by our performances,” Kate O’Neill said. “We weren’t expecting those times.”
Head Coach Mark Young was elated by the twins’ performances.
“It is hard to explain the magnitude of what they did,” Young said. “It was the most impressive event of the day.”
Members of the women’s team were responsible for two other new records. Molly Lederman’s ’06 pole vault of 12-feet shattered the old record and was good enough for a second place finish at the meet. Joslyn Woodard ’06 won the 200-meter sprint and also set a new record with her 25.00 second run. Candace Arthur ’05 came in second in the 200 meters.
Lederman’s and Woodard’s performances represent a surprisingly strong freshman showing. The same was true for the men’s team. The all-freshman 1,600 meter relay team, anchored by Corey Vaughn ’06, shocked competitors by finishing second at the meet.
“This is probably the greatest recruiting class ever,” Young said.
The men’s team also showed strong individual performances. Robert Dwyer ’04 won the one mile race with a time of 4:19.40. Robert Lobue ’04 finished a close second.
“The race was a nice piece of teamwork, and it was also a good victory,” Dwyer said. “It was nice just to get back on the track.”
Though both teams are optimistic for the upcoming season, Young said the women’s team should be very competitive this year.
“The women have a great core of seniors,” Young said. “They should be able to contend for the league championship.”