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Indoor Track & Field Update - 3

Princeton's Tom Hopkins (left), Harvard's Adabelle Ekechukwu (right)

USTFCCCA Preseason National Rankings

PRINCETON, N.J. – All eight teams are on the track.

Columbia was the last of the Ancient Eight to kick off its 2013-14 indoor track and field season, as the squads heads towards the Ivy League Heptagonal Indoor Track & Field Championships, March 1-2 at Dartmouth.

The United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) preseason top 25 poll includes three Ivies, as Princeton is No. 21 on the men’s side, while Dartmouth (No. 14) and Harvard (No. 24) are both ranked on the women’s side.

Here is a team-by-team look at the Ivy League squads:

Brown
The Bears have competed twice so far in 2014, at the Yale Invitational on Jan. 11 and in the Battle for Beantown on Jan. 18. At Yale, the women saw success in the field events, as senior Victoria Buhr won the shot put, junior Morayo Akande placed third in the high jump and sophomore Kebbeh Darpolor finished third in the weight throw. The Battle for Beantown saw a number of top-five finishes, including runner up marks for senior Sasha Teninty (1,000m), sophomore O’Sha Williams (triple jump) and senior Victoria Buhr (shot put).

The men claimed four titles at the Yale Invitational, including a 1-3 finish in both the 60m and 800m. Junior Peter Rhodes took the top spot in the former, while sophomore Ned Willig placed first in the latter. Brown went 1-2 in the weight throw led by sophomore Mathew O’Hara and freshman Taylor Alarcon made it two-for-two in the triple jump with his second victory in as many events. The Bears recorded five second-place finishes at the Battle for Beantown: senior Matthew Bevil (500m), fellow classmate Colin Savage (mile), senior Jonathan Padmore (triple jump), junior Courtland Clavette (shot put) and the 4x400 relay team.

Next events: Friday, Jan. 24, Harvard Multi-Event Challenge/Friday, Jan. 24, Northeastern Invitational/Friday-Saturday, Jan. 24-25, Boston University Terrier Invitational

Columbia
The Lions opened their season with a tri-meet against Yale and Dartmouth in Hanover, N.H. The women recorded 72 points to win the event, while the men placed second with 47 points.

The women dominated the track events, led by senior Marvellous Iheukwumere, who won both the 60m and the 200m. Columbia also recorded wins in the 400m (sophomore Jaycee Parker), the 500m (junior Nicole Bauer), the mile (senior Caroline Williams), the 60mH (sophomore Irish Chijioke) and the 4x400m relay. Moreover, junior Nadia Eke placed first in the long jump.

The men’s day was highlighted by a 1-2-3 finish in the 1,000m with junior Brendon Fish leading the way. A pair of freshmen opened their indoor careers with a bang, as Rob Napolitano and Alex Freemantle went 1-2 in the 800m.

Next event: Friday, Jan. 24, NYU Team Challenge – The Armory

Cornell
The Big Red hosted the Southern Tier Collegiate Open and then traveled to Penn State to compete in the Northeast Challenge.

The women placed first in nine events in the Southern Tier Collegiate Open. Senior Emily Shearer won the mile and placed second in the 1,000m, while sophomore Kristen Niedrach, who finished ahead of Shearer in the 1,000m, also placed third in the mile. Sophomore Hillary Holmes also had double-duty, winning the long jump and placing second in the 60mH. Cornell also won the 400m, 200m, 4x400m relay and pole vault. At Penn State, sophomore Udeme Akpaete broke an 11-year-old school record in the 400m with a time of 55.16, and then was a part of the Big Red’s 4x400m relay team that crossed the line with the third-fastest time in program history (3:41.33), the fifth-best mark in Ivy League history.

For the men, sophomore Bryan Rhodes opened his 2013-14 season with a weight throw mark of 64 ½ at the Southern Tier Collegiate Open, fourth-best in Cornell history. Junior Stephen Mozia won the shot-put with a mark of 62-1 ¼; both he and Rhodes rank in the top 10 nationally in their respective events. The Big Red went 1-2-3 in the high jump, led by senior Tommy Butler, and 1-2 in the pole vault, led by freshman Grant Sisserson. Among the solid performances on the track was Cornell’s 1-2-3 finish in the 400m, with freshman Tobenna Attah placing first. In the Northeast Challenge, Sisserson made it two-for-two with another pole vault victory, this time clearing 16-4 3/4., a Cornell freshman record. Mozia did what he does best, winning the shot put, this time with a mark of 64-7 1/4., third-best in League history.

Next events: Friday, Jan. 24, Pentathlon – Ithaca, N.Y./Saturday, Jan. 25, Upstate Challenge – Ithaca, N.Y.

Dartmouth
The Big Green hosted two events to open its 2014 slate, the Dartmouth Relays and a tri-meet with Yale and Columbia.

The women won the Dartmouth Relays with 140.5 points and finished second in the tri-meet with 56 points. The team recorded six individual wins at the Relays, including the long jump (senior Janae Dunchack), mile (junior Meggie Donovan), 3,000m (senior Bridget End), 800m (senior Megan Krumpoch), 400m (sophomore Jennifer Meech), and triple jump (sophomore Molly Shapiro). Donovan won for the second time in 2014, taking the 800m, while sophomore Kaitlin Whitehorn won the high jump. Senior Abbey D’Agostino took to the track for the first time in 2013-14, winning the 1,000m and anchoring the Big Green’s winning 4x800m relay squad.

The men’s team won both of its events, taking the Dartmouth Relays for the third-straight year with 120 points and defeating Yale and Columbia with 75 points. At the Relays, junior Jeremy Birch won the high jump in a jump-off to help hold off Southern Connecticut, which tallied 113 points. Senior Will Geoghegan won the mile, even besting former NCAA National Champion Sam Chelenga by 17-hundredths of a second. Dartmouth went 1-2-3 in the 3,000m with senior John Bleday in first, while fellow classmate Josh Cyphers won the pole vault. In its home tri-meet, Dartmouth went 1-2 in the 400m, mile and 60mH. Among the individual winners was Cyphers, who again took the pole vault title.

Next event: Friday-Saturday, Jan. 24-25, Boston University Terrier Classic

Harvard
The Crimson have competed in two events so far in 2014, the Dartmouth Relays and the Battle for Beantown, which was held at Harvard.

The women placed second in the Dartmouth Relays and first in the Battle for Beantown. Sophomore Autumne Franklin was the first collegiate runner and second overall in the 60mH in Dartmouth and then took sole possession of the top spot a week later at home. Two other freshman also performed well at the Relays, as Nikki Okwelogu and Raegan Nizdil each took third in the shot put and high jump, respectively. Okwelogu went on to place first in the shot put at the Battle for Beantown. In the 60m, junior Danielle Barbian and fellow classmate Ashley Collinsworth went 2-4 in Hanover, N.H., and 1-2 at the Battle for Beantown, while senior Adabelle Ekechukwu won the weight throw, at both events. Ekechukwu set a Battle for Beantown meet record with a toss of 67-6 3/4., second-best mark in League history.

The men were led at the Dartmouth Relays by junior Jarvis Harris, who set a meet record in the 60mH with a time of 8.10 to place first. Harris also ran with the 4x200m relay team, which took first. Junior Ben Glauser (shot put) and freshman Joshua Whitener (weight throw) each placed first among collegiate athletes and second overall in their respective events, while sophomore Mark Hill finished second in the long jump. Back at home for the Battle for Beantown, seniors Andrew Ezekoye and Damani Wilson went 1-2 in the 60m, while Harris took both the 60mH and triple jump titles. Senior James Leakos won the 3,000m with a time of 8:18.78.

Next events: Friday, Jan. 24, Harvard Multi Challenge/Friday-Saturday, Jan. 24-25, Boston University Terrier Classic

Penn
The Quakers took part in the Lehigh Invitational, but the competition was farthest from their minds as they were mourning the passing of freshman Madison Holleran. The coaches left it up to the athletes as to who would like to travel to Bethlehem, Pa. Those who did performed admirably, albeit with heavy hearts.

The women garnered 77 points to place fourth. They were led by junior Lydia Ali and freshman Noel Jancewicz, who won the 200m and high jump, respectively. Senior Gabrielle Piper finished second in the 60m and third in the 60mH, while junior Jenny Thompson was the runner-up in the triple jump.

The men finished third with 113 points. Senior Maalik Reynolds won the high jump and sophomore John Li take the pole vault, while the 4x400m relay team also placed first. Junior Jordan Jett (triple jump) and sophomore Ben Bowers (60mH) each placed second in their respective events.

Next event: Saturday, Jan. 25, Haverford College Invitational

Princeton
The women won a tri-meet against St. Joseph’s and St. John’s with 161 points, almost doubling that of their nearest competitor, the Hawks (88). The Tigers went 1-2-3-4 in the high jump and 500m and 1-2-3-4-5 in the mile, led by sophomore Taylor Morgan, junior Kim Mackay and junior Kathryn Fluehr, respectively. Sophomore Julia Ratcliffe did what she does best, winning the weight throw with a mark of 62 ½, while fellow classmate Brielle Rowe took the shot put with a mark of 38-4 ¾. The Tigers also took the pole vault (freshman Lauren Santi) and triple jump (senior Imani Oliver). Junior Emily de La Bruyere won the 1,000m and sophomore Lindsay Eysenbach took the 3,000m, while the 4x800m relay team was also victorious.

The men have competed in three events in 2014, a dual against Navy, the NYC Gotham Cup and the Monmouth Blue & White Invite. The Tigers fell to the Mids, 94-87, despite a number of strong performances. Senior Tom Hopkins had a busy two weeks, winning the 400m and finishing second in the 200m at Navy and winning the 500m and long jump at the Gotham Cup. Against the Mids, Princeton also placed first in the 800m, 1,000m, mile, 3,000m, 5,000m, 4x800m, high jump and shot put. In the NYC Gotham Cup, seniors Michael Williams and Chris Bendtsen went 1-2 in the mile, while fellow classmates Alejandro Arroyo Yamin and Tyler Udland did the same in the 3,000m. Senior Scott Rushton highlighted the Tigers’ trip to West Long Branch, N.J., placing second in the shot put.

Next event: Saturday, Jan. 25, Tiger Open – Princeton, N.J.

Yale
The Bulldogs opened their 2014 slate with a pair of events, the Yale Invitational and a tri-meet against Columbia and Dartmouth in Hanover, N.H.

A number of Bulldogs posted solid performances at the Yale Invite, including junior Kira Garry’s runner-up finish in the mile. Just over two and a half seconds behind her in third-place was sophomore Elizabeth McDonald. Yale teams fared well in the relays, with a win in the 4x800m and third-place finishes in the 4x400m and DMR. In the field, sophomore Karleh Wilson placed second in the weight throw, while freshman Kate Simon finished ninth in both the shot put and weight throw. The Bulldogs then placed third in the Dartmouth tri-meet with 52 points. Junior Alisha Jordan won the triple jump and placed fourth in the long jump, just behind senior Amanda Snajder, who finished for second. Snajder also finished second in the high jump, where she tied with sophomore Megan Toon. Wilson set a personal-best in the weight throw en route to the win and finished second in the shot put. Simon again performed well, placing second in the shot put and sixth in the weight throw.

For the men, the Yale Invite again saw freshman Marc-Andre Alexandre lead the way, this time placing second in the 60m and running on the Bulldogs’ third-place 4x400m relay team. Senior James Shirvell finished second in the 800m, leading a contingent of four Yale runners among the top 10. Junior Isa Qasim took second in the 3,000m, part of a group of four Bulldogs who finished among the top 10. In the Dartmouth tri-meet, Yale finished third with 35 points. Alexandre was again the highlight, winning both the 60m and 200m, just ahead of senior Daniel Jones, who finished second in the 60m and third in the 200m. Senior Dana Lindberg also pulled double duty, winning the long jump and placing third in the 60m. Sophomore Brendan Sullivan took second in the pole vault and freshman James Randon finished third in the mile.

Next event: Friday-Saturday, Jan. 24-25, Boston University Terrier Classic