For an Eli, there are few things worse than losing to Harvard, and for the women’s track team, losing by just two points at Cambridge made it that much worse.
After defeating Princeton and the University of Pennsylvania April 10, the Bulldogs fell 82-80 to the Crimson, Saturday, at McCurdy Track.
“We had gone to the meet expecting to win,” sprinter Katrina Castille ’07 said. “Three quarters of the way through, we realized we were down 12 points.”
Part of the surprise was due to the Cantabs’ dominance in the field events. The Bulldog runners were not aware until late in the meet that Harvard had compiled 39 field points.
“They definitely pulled ahead of us in the field events,” Castille said. “It’s not like we weren’t competing hard to begin with, but knowing [the score] would have given us a competitive edge. Even the Harvard girls were surprised they won.”
Harvard senior thrower BreeAnna Gibson came in first place in shot put and discus, contributing 13 crucial points. Gibson also finished second in hammer throw, helping the Crimson sweep the event.
“We definitely had good competition in every throwing event,” Yale thrower Erica Davis ’07 said.
Davis, who usually throws 40 meters or above, came in second in the discus with a mark just over 39 meters.
The Elis made a strong comeback in the sprints and jumping events, but it was too little too late.
Captain Lisa Wygant ’04 finished first in high jump, and Molly Lederman ’06 won the pole vault. Jumping with an irritated tendon in her foot, Lederman said she felt well enough to vault after warming up and plans to practice this week.
Lederman is a copy staffer for the Yale Daily News.
On the oval, sprinter Joslyn Woodard ’06 did not lose a step although her Ivy opponents may have needed her to lose two or three to stand a chance. Woodard won the 100- and 200-meter dashes and the long jump event. The sophomore speedster also ran a leg on the Elis’ victorious 4×100-meter relay team.
Even when the Bulldogs won an event, the Crimson were right there to pick up second or third place.
“We definitely could have performed better, and it made things very even to the point where losing a place in an event sealed the deal for them,” Davis said.
The Yale squad will split up next weekend with its top relay teams competing Saturday at the Penn Relays and the other athletes staying in New Haven for Sunday’s Yale Invitational.
Although the roster has not yet been set for Penn, Yale will race in the 4×100- and 4×200-meter relays, and possibly the 4×400-meter relay. Lederman will compete in pole vault and a few distance runners may break into the pack in some individual events.
Passing the baton around against top collegiate and international sprinters will be a great opportunity for the Eli 4×100 relay team. Woodard, Castille, Aisha Cort ’05 and Candace Arthur ’05 have made easy dust eaters out of their previous Ivy competition.
At last year’s Relays, Yale’s 4×100-meter team just missed qualifying for the finals. With the addition of standout freshman Castille, the group should have a better chance at advancing this season.
“It’s an opportunity that will help us compete against the Ivies,” Castille said. “Our expectation is to step it up and hopefully advance to the finals.”