While midterms are still a long way off, the women’s track and field team put its team to the test for the first time this semester.

In a recently renovated Coxe Cage, which now sports the second raised track in the Ivy League, the Bulldogs competed in their first meet of the New Year Friday and Saturday at the Yale Collegiate Track Classic.

Other teams attending the invitational included Southern Connecticut State University, The University of Essex, Sacred Heart University, Fordham University and the University of St. Francis.

While there was no team scoring, captain Katrina Svoboda ’05 said the events allowed the Bulldogs to assess their progress individually against competitors.

“The meet served as an opportunity to put forth a competitive effort after a week of intense training,” Svoboda said. “Everyone got the chance to see where their fitness levels are and where they need to be a month from now.”

The Bulldogs had a chance to run against teams they will not see again this season, and individually the team did well. A number of Elis took first in their respective events or notched impressive times for the squad.

Joslyn Woodard ’06 placed first in the long jump with a jump of 5.9 meters. Woodard also finished second in the 60 meter dash with a time of 7.74 — just behind Essex’s Kerron Stewart’s time of 7.54.

Molly Lederman ’06 won the pole vault with a clearing height of 3.7 meters and teammate Ashley Nolet ’07 placed second in the same event with a clearing height of 3.5 meters. Nolet also took fifth in the 60 meter hurdles with a time of 9.72.

Other top finishers included Jessica Pall ’07 who took second with a time of 57.91 in the 400 meter run, and Margo Angelopoulos ’06 who finished second in both the shot put, with a distance of 12.22 meters, and the weight throw with a distance of 13.39 meters.

While satisfied with the weekend, sprinter Katie Greene ’06 knows that the team still has room for improvement.

“We had some pretty good performances out of a lot of girls — either winning their events or posting good times for this early in the season,” Greene said. “But we still have a long way to go.”

Following the weekend’s outcome, Svoboda expects the team to be focusing on long-term goals such as winning Heptagonals in February and being competitive in the Ancient Eight.

“As we progress into our season our competition will be fiercer and performances will respond,” Svoboda said. “This meet laid the groundwork for what should be a very successful season for the program. We have the talent and the depth to be vying for one of the top spots in the league.”

The Bulldogs face their first Ivy League competition this weekend when they travel to Hanover, N.H. to take on Dartmouth and Columbia.

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