While the Cornell women’s indoor track and field team considers Yale its top competition for the Ivy League title, this weekend, the Bulldogs showed they are not yet able to unseat the Big Red.
Saturday, Yale hosted a dual meet against Cornell at Coxe Cage. The Bulldogs — who came in second to Cornell in both the indoor and outdoor Heptagonal Championships last year — lost to the Big Red 95-50.
“Cornell girls tapered for this meet,” Vanessa Mazandi ’05 said. “In their minds, we are competitive.”
The Bulldogs managed to win only five of 17 events. Joslyn Woodard ’06 took first place in the long jump with a mark of 5.62 meters and grabbed another victory in the 55-meter dash, once again barely edging teammate Katrina Castille ’07. Dionna Thomas ’06 won the triple jump with a mark of 12.07 meters and Molly Lederman ’06 cleared a season-high 3.90 meters to win the pole vault.
Lederman is a copy staffer for the Yale Daily News.
Mazandi continued her success this season in the 800-meter run, winning in a time of 2:12.55, two seconds ahead of Katie Greene ’06.
In another notable performance, Rebecca Dickens ’04 was runner-up in the 1,000-meter run, a second behind Natalie Gingerich of Cornell. Dickens’ time of 2:53.38 was good enough to qualify her to compete in the 1,000 in the ECAC Championships March 6-7.
Because Heps does not include a 1,000-meter race, Dickens will likely join Mazandi as one of the top entries in the 800, Mazandi said.
“Dickens and I want to go one-two [at Heps],” Mazandi said. “I don’t care how that happens as long as there’s nothing but navy blue in front of me. My big goal is for the team to win Heps.”
Another second place Bulldog finish came in one of Saturday’s most competitive events. Captain Lisa Wygant ’04 cleared 1.70 meters in the high jump on her third attempt, matching her season and career high.
“I was very happy to jump [1.70] again,” Wygant said. “The first time I cleared it two weeks ago, there was a small fear that maybe it was a fluke, so it gives me confidence to know that I am performing consistently.”
High jump winner Jessica Brown of Cornell also cleared 1.70 meters on her third attempt, but was awarded first place because Wygant missed an attempt at a lower height.
“I was disappointed that I lost to Brown in jumps,” Wygant said. “I need to work on making every attempt count.”
Wygant and other Bulldogs focused on the individual successes and downplayed the lopsided team score, attributing it to the dual meet format.
“Cornell has a really big team, and it’s hard to compete with them when it’s just two [teams],” Thomas said.
Wygant and Mazandi pointed to the quality of the Bulldog athletes as their strength at Heps, which is scored differently than dual meets.
“I really do feel that the quality of our team is closer to Cornell’s than we displayed this weekend, and when you add more people from other teams like at Heps, that shows in the points,” Wygant said.
To illustrate her point, Wygant provided the weight throw, which Cornell swept, as an example.
“At Heps, all of those people aren’t good enough to score,” she said. “Other teams will be there to take those points away from them.”
Mazandi said the situation is the same in the 400- and 500-meter dashes. Cornell took the top three places in both events. Heps does not include a 500, and the Bulldogs will hope that the Big Red sprinters will not place as highly or at all.
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