The women’s track team is wrapping up its 2004-2005 indoor season in spectacular fashion.
The Bulldogs grabbed second place at the Ivy League Indoor Heptagonal Championships at Harvard this weekend. Joslyn Woodard ’06 led the Elis with three first place finishes as Yale racked up 73 points to finish behind Cornell, which dominated the weekend and ended the meet with 154 points. Woodard earned Female Athlete of the Meet honors for her outstanding performances.
Woodard controlled the long jump and short sprints over the weekend. The All-Ivy sprinter and jumper took first place in the long jump, with a distance of 19 feet, 9.75 inches. This was the third consecutive year in which Woodard has won the event. She holds the meet record with a 20 feet, 7 inches jump from 2004.
On Saturday, Woodard clocked the best times of the day in the 60-meter and 200-meter dash trials, setting her up for Sunday’s sweep of the events. Woodard took the 60-meter dash in a time of 7.63, and the 200-meter dash in 24.49. She holds the meet record for the 60-meter dash, a 7.59 from 2003.
“Joslyn Woodard never stops,” pole vaulter Ashley Nolet ’07 said. “But because she is such a great athlete, we sometimes don’t realize the magnitude of her accomplishment today. Joslyn won three events today; most people dream of winning just one.”
Molly Lederman ’06 said Woodard was the crucial ingredient in the Elis’ success.
“Joslyn definitely helped carry the team to our second-place finish,” Lederman said. “We are in awe of what an incredible competitor she is.”
Rounding out the Bulldogs’ sprinting success was Katrina Castille ’07, who won the 60-meter dash at Heps last year as a freshman. Castille, who had a sub-par trials time and a poor lane placement, came from behind to take second place in the 60-meter.
“We got some surprise performances as well,” sprinter Aisha Cort ’05 said. “In the 60-meter Katrina Castille, who hadn’t been feeling well, came out of lane eight and finished second.”
Lederman added a first place finish in the pole vault to the Elis’ collection of wins. A 12 feet, 5.5 inches vault secured the repeat for the Bulldogs’ record-holding vaulter, who also nabbed first place in the event at the 2004 Heps. Nolet took sixth place in the event.
“Molly had some trouble in the beginning of the meet,” Nolet said. “She really pulled it together and had some great vaults, which is very difficult to do in an event that requires as much mental strength as the pole vault.”
After Saturday, which saw the trials and semifinals for most events, as well as the finals for several field events, Yale’s 21 points put the Bulldogs in third place, behind Cornell and Dartmouth, who were tied with 27 points apiece. Sunday’s finals saw Cornell widen its lead, and Dartmouth fall behind a strong Yale squad.
“On Saturday, we had an okay day; it was mainly qualifying races for the finals on Sunday,” Nolet said. “Today, we showed everyone what we are really made of.”
On Sunday, the Bulldogs found another first-place finish from Lindsay Donaldson ’08 in the 3000-meter run with a time of 9:16.97. Donaldson managed to win the event despite a nagging knee injury which has kept the freshman away from the track in recent weeks. This year’s 3000-meter run was one of the fastest ever recorded, with the top four finishers all falling into the top ten times ever run at the Indoor Heps.
“Lindsay Donaldson did really well in the 3000,” Cort said. “She’d only been on a track once in the past two weeks — her knee had been bothering her.”
Other solid performances for the Bulldogs included that of Margo Angelopoulos ’06, who came away with fifth place in the shot put. Vanessa Mazandi ’05 finished the 800-meter final in a time of 2:09.54, good enough for third place.
The Elis have just one meet left of the indoor season — the ECAC Championships — but the Bulldogs are already eagerly anticipating the start of outdoor competition, Cort said.
“ECACs are just like an interim between seasons,” she said. “We build up Heps so much and put it on a pedestal. Right now, it’s like we’re done. People are starting to look forward to the outdoor season.”