Men's Track and Field Ready for 2012 Ivy League Heptagonal Indoor Championships
ITHACA, N.Y. -- Princeton is looking to win three consecutive Ivy League titles for the third time in program history and the first since it won five in a row from 1998-2002. That streak started a trend in which either Cornell or Princeton has won the championship, and, since 2003, the Big Red and the Tigers have gone 1-2 in the championship with Cornell taking five titles and Princeton winning four. But the other six teams are hoping 2012 is the year the stranglehold is broken.
Cornell and Princeton will not relinquish their grasp on the Ivy League Indoor Championships easily, however, as the Tigers rank No. 1 or No. 2 in the League in 15 events, while the Big Red is second with 11 combined first or second-best marks in the conference this season.
See below for a team-by-team breakdown:
Brown Bears: The Bears rank among the top-five in the Ivy League this season in five events. Senior Dan Lowry has the second-best time in the 3,000m with a career-best 8:02.40 and the fifth-fastest mile time at 4:03.72. Junior Erik Berg ranks third in the 1,000m with a time of 2:23.39 and sophomore John Spooney holds the fourth-quickest time in the 60m (6.85). Brown lost only one member of its 2011 second-place 4 x 400m relay team and ranks fifth in the League this season with a 3:17.44.
Columbia Lions: The Lions replaced all four of their championship 4 x 800m relay team from last season but did not miss a beat, as their current squad holds the fastest time in the NCAA this season, at 7:25.47. Sophomore Harry McFann is the League-leader in the 500m with a time of 1:03.76, while teammate Billy Kovalczyk is not far behind with the fourth-fastest League time of 1:04.22. McFann also holds the third-best 800m time (1:50.59). Junior Kyle Merber ranks second in the 1,000m (2:22.52) and third in the mile (4:02.83). His time in the 1,000m is the sixth-best in the NCAA this season. Columbia's distance medley relay team holds the top spot in the League this season with a time of 9:50.87.
Cornell Big Red: The Big Red looks to take over the top spot in the Ivy League Indoor Championships for the first time since 2009. Cornell is first or second in the Ivy League in 11 events this season and returns four first-team and six second-team All-Ivy recipients from a year ago. The Big Red holds the top three spots in the heptathlon and ranks 2-3-4 in the high jump. Sophomore Chris Bain is the League-leader in the 60m with a time of 6.82 and freshman Stephen Mozia is the best shot-putter in the conference with a mark of 62-8. Seniors Dan Hagberg and Nick Huber and sophomore Steven Bell look to hold on to their titles in the 60m hurdles, heptathlon and long jump and each leads the League in their respective event this season. Bell also ranks second in the League in the triple jump and hopes to better his second-place finish from a year ago.
Dartmouth Big Green: The Big Green ranks among the top-10 in the Ivy League in six events this season. Sophomore John Bleday ranks third in the 3,000m (8:03.78) and seventh in the mile (4:04.02) and junior Matt Miner is close behind in the mile with a time of 4:04.37. Senior Ethan Shaw (14:16.17) and junior Adam Doherty (14:21.72) are 3-4 in the 5,000m and junior Connor Reilly is tied for seventh in the 60m (6.93). Freshman Jeremy Birck holds the fifth-best mark in the League in the high jump with a leap of 6-8 ¼ and sophomore Dom Filiano posted the sixth-best throw in the shot put, at 55-6 ½.
Harvard Crimson: Sophomore Damani Wilson holds the second-fastest time in the 60m in the Ivy League this season, a scant .01 seconds behind the leader. Senior John Dingus ranks second in the 500m with a time of 1:04.00, just .24 seconds behind the fastest time, and freshman Jarvis Harris is third in the 60m hurdles with a time of 8.11. Junior Nico Weiler recorded the second-best jump in the pole vault (17-4 ½) and freshman Ben Glauser ranks second in the shot put (59-3 ½). Glauser also is seventh in the weight throw (55-7), trailing teammates Dustin Brode (fifth, 56-7 ¼) and Matthew Polega (sixth, 55-10 ¼).
Penn Quakers: Sophomore Maalik Reynolds burst on to the scene in 2011 with a title in the high jump to earn first team All-Ivy honors. Reynolds does not seem to want to give up his spot in the event, as he holds the top mark in the Ivy League in 2012 with a leap of 7-3 ¾. Junior Ikechi Nnamani trails his teammate in the high jump with the sixth-best mark in the League this season at 6-7. Penn's distance medley team holds the second-best time in the conference this season and its 4 x 800m relay squad is third in the League so far in 2012. Senior Brian Rosenthal ranks sixth in the 400m with a time of 49.38.
Princeton Tigers: The Tigers return six individual champions and two relay champions from 2011. Junior Russell Dinkins holds the fastest time in the League in the 800m this season with a time of 1:49.92 and hopes to retain his title in that event. Junior Peter Callahan won the 1,000m in 2011 and is the current League-leader in that event as well as in the mile. His time of 2:20.78 in the 1,000m is the second-best mark in the NCAA and his 3:58.76 in the mile is tied for the ninth-fastest in the country so far this season. He is the third Ivy runner to break the four-minute mile and the first since 1991. Senior David Slovenski looks to become the first four-time champion in the pole vault in Ivy League history.
Yale Bulldogs: The Bulldogs rank among the top 10 in four events. Senior Matt Bieszard ranks second in the 400m (48.40) and eighth in the 500m (1:04.45), junior Tim Hillas holds the 10th-best time in the 3,000m (8:12.55) and fellow classmate Michael Levine recorded the eighth-best weight throw (55-6 ½). Sophomore James Shirvell returns for the Bulldogs; he placed second in the 1,000m in the 2011 Ivy League Indoor Championships and was also part of Yale's second-place distance medley relay squad.