Even sickness cannot stop the women’s outdoor track team this season.
Although the Bulldogs were battling a team-wide cold bug, they trounced Princeton and Pennsylvania Saturday in their first home meet of the season. Yale won with 97 points, while Princeton and Penn earned 47.5 and 37.5 points, respectively.
“I thought Princeton would be a little stronger, but that does not diminish our performance. The win was a terrific team effort,” head coach Mark Young ’68 said. “We had a very solid performance in just about every area.”
Eli athletes won 12 of 19 events, sweeping the sprints, distance races and relays.
Joslyn Woodard ’06, Aisha Cort ’05 and Candace Arthur ’05 came in first, second and third, respectively, in both the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes.
“We have one of the strongest sprinting squads in the league,” Young said. “It was really nice to see all Yale blue when the sweep came around.”
Another trio of Bulldogs — Kate O’Neill ’03, Rebecca Hunter ’04 and Laura O’Neill ’04 — swept the top spots in the 1,500-meter run.
“[Penn and Princeton] knew that we would win most of the track events, but I think our depth surprised them,” captain Sarah Smith ’03 said.
In the 3,000-meter run, Laura O’Neill just eked by sister Kate O’Neill with 9:41.23. On March 27 at the Raleigh Relays, the O’Neills both ran qualifying times for the NCAA Championship meet in the 10,000-meter run.
Woodard, one of the meet’s top overall performers, also won the high jump (5.79 meters) and ran the anchor leg for the victorious 400-meter relay squad, which also included Cort, Arthur and Anika Kreider ’03.
“I did well, considering I was sick,” Woodard said. “It’s not like I can say I did horribly, because then everyone would look at me and say, ‘Are you kidding?’ But I know that I wasn’t fully satisfied.”
The athletes performed before a large crowd and a bright sun, but behind the scenes, not everything clicked. A score-keeping problem forced hand-timing of most track events. The teams previously feared inclement weather would be their biggest problem.
“It was horrible that morning,” Smith said. “But by the first event, the sky cleared, and the weather was great for the rest of the meet.”
The Eli women also had a strong showing on the field.
Molly Lederman ’06, who qualified for the NCAA Regional pole vault event last week at the Colonial Invitational, improved on that performance, clearing the bar with a 12-foot-9-inch leap, her highest collegiate vault.
To finish the field events, Lisa Wygant ’04 won the high jump with a 1.6-meter leap, and Margo Angelopoulos ’06 won the shot put with her 12.94-meter toss.
“Last year, we lost this meet because we didn’t score points in the field events,” Young said.
The Bulldogs go head-to-head with Harvard Saturday. Though Cornell is Yale’s primary foe in the Ivy League, the Yale-Harvard rivalry retains the dual meet’s excitement.
“We can’t wait to beat them,” Woodard said.