Women's Indoor Track & Field Championship Preview
HANOVER, N.H. -- For the first time since 2010, the Ivy League Heptagonal Indoor Track & Field Championships are heading to Hanover, N.H.
Sunday's finals will be streamed live on The Ivy League® Digital Network, starting at 12pm.
Dartmouth has never won the Ivy League Indoor title, coming closest in 1996 (coincidentally in Hanover), when it placed second. In 2012-13, Harvard won the championship for the first time since 2000 to become the third different team to win in as many years, as Princeton took the title three years ago and Columbia won it all in 2012.
A number of All-Ivy performers from a year ago return, including both the Most Outstanding Track Performer of the Meet (Dartmouth senior Abbey D'Agostino) and the Most Outstanding Field Performer of the Meet (Harvard senior Adabelle Ekechukwu). Cornell leads the way with five 2013 first-team All-Ivy performers, including all four of the wining 4x400m relay team, while Harvard has four athletes back who garnered first-team All-Ivy accolades a year ago.
Among the many standouts on the track will be D'Agostino and Columbia senior Marvellous Iheukwumere, who combined have six individual Ivy League indoor championships. The field events will be highlighted by the women's weight throw, where Ekechukwu and Princeton sophomore Julia Ratcliffe hold the top six marks in League history.
The Bears look to get back to the top half of the standings for the first time since 2011, when they finished fourth. Senior Heidi Caldwell, who won the indoor 5K in 2012, looks to lead the team on the track; she holds the second-best time in the 5K this year and ranks fourth in the 3K. Junior Alexandra Stanton is fourth in the 500m and 10th in the 400m, while fellow classmate Heather Vermillion is 10th in both the shot put and the weight throw. Another Brown field athlete, senior Victoria Buhr, holds the second-longest shot put mark in the League so far this season and the seventh-best weight throw toss.
The Lions return a three-time first-team All-Ivy runner in senior Marvellous Iheukwumere, who last year won both the 60m and 200m dashes. She is looking to become the first-ever Ivy to win the 200m for three-straight years. So far this season, Iheukwumere has set the second-fastest 60m time in League history (7.46) and the fifth- and sixth-fastest 200m marks in League history (24.02, 24.17). Sophomore Olivia Sadler holds the second-fastest 1K time and the fourth-best one-mile time this season, while junior Waverly Neer is third in the 3K. In the field, junior Nadia Eke holds the best marks in the long jump and triple jump this season. Last year she finished second in the triple jump, an event that she won in 2012. Freshman Gardenia Centanaro ranks first in the pole vault and looks to end Princeton's five-year hold on the event.
The Big Red finished second each of the last two years and looks to win its first Ivy League indoor championship since 2009. Junior Zena Kolliesuah is second in the 200m and fourth in the 400m, while sophomore Udeme Akpaete is first in the 400m and third in the 200m. The Big Red went 1-2 in the 3K last season, and both runners are back in seniors Rachel Sorna and Emily Shearer. The latter ranks third in the mile and eighth in the 3K, while the former is fifth in the 5K and ninth in the 3K so far this season. In the field, sophomore Hillary Holmes ranks second in the pentathlon, tied for second in the long jump, fourth in the triple jump and tied for fifth in the high jump. As a freshman last year, Holmes was the runner-up in the long jump.
The Big Green is ranked No. 23 in the latest United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) National poll. Senior Megan Krumpoch is second in the League in the 800m and sophomore Jennifer Meech ranks fifth in both the 200m and 400m. Sophomore Dana Giordano is second in the 3K and fifth in the mile and fellow classmate Kaitlin Whitehorn is first in the high jump and fourth in the 60m dash. Senior Janae Dunchack hopes to become the first four-time Indoor Pentathlon champion since Brown's Lindsay Taylor (1998-01); she ranks first in that event so far this season. Senior Abbey D'Agostino, meanwhile, is first in the mile, 3K and 5K, setting the all-time Ivy League record in the mile (4:28.31) and 3K (8:51.91) and the second-fastest time in League history in the 5K (15:40.55), trailing the mark she set a year ago.
The Crimson hopes to win its second-straight team title for the first time in its program's history. Harvard returns a number of All-Ivy performers from a year ago, including the Most Outstanding Field Performer of the Meet, senior Adabelle Ekechukwu. The two-time defending weight throw champion, Ekechukwu holds the top three marks in Ivy League history, two of which she set this season. The Crimson also returns the defending champions in the 400m (junior Gabrielle Scott), 800m (junior Erika Veidis) and the 60mH (sophomore Autume Franklin). So far this season, Veidis ranks first in the 800m, Franklin is first in the 60mH, Ekechukwu is first in the weight throw and Scott is second in the 400m. Freshmen Raegan Nizdol and Nikki Okwelogu rank first in the high jump and shot put, respectively.
The Quakers look to juniors Lydia Ali and Heather Bong and senior Gabrielle Piper to lead the team, especially on the track. Ali ranks sixth in the League in the 60m and 10th in the 400m, and has also competed in the 200m this season. Meanwhile, Bong is ninth in both the 60m and 200m dashes. Piper, who won the 60mH in 2012 and placed third last season, ranks fifth in that event so far in 2013-14. In the field events, freshman Noel Jancewicz became the first Quaker high jumper to clear 5-7 ¾ since 1995 and ranks fourth in the League so far this year. Sophomore Gillian Berger is fourth in the long jump, sophomore Serena Graf is ninth in the weight throw and junior Jenny Thompson is 10th in the triple jump.
The Tigers are looking to return to the top of the standings for the first time since 2011. They return two second-team 2013 All-Ivy performers in junior Cecelia Barowski (400m) and sophomore Julia Ratcliffe (weight throw) and one first-team performer in senior Molly Higgins (4x800m relay). Ratcliffe looks to unseat Harvard's Adabelle Ekechukwu from the top of the weight throw podium; she finished second to her Crimson counterpart last season. On the track, Princeton freshman Megan Curham holds the third-best 5K time in the League this season and the seventh-best 3K time. Freshman Allison Harris and senior Samantha Anderson look to continue Princeton's dominance in the pole vault, ranking second and third this season, respectively. Senior Imani Oliver, who finished fourth in the triple jump in 2012 and third last season, ranks second in that event so far in 2013-14.
The Bulldogs look to replicate their second-place performance from 2006, when Heps was also at Dartmouth. Yale is led on the track by junior Kira Garry, who ranks sixth in the 3K and ninth in the mile so far this season. Senior Emily Urciuoli, who holds the third-best pole vault mark in the League in 2013-14 and won the event at HYP, looks to become Yale's first champion in that event since Molly Lederman won three in a row from 2004-06. Sophomore Karleh Wilson and junior Alisha Jordan could each could give Yale points in a pair of events, as Wilson ranks fourth in the shot put and sixth in the weight throw and Jordan is fifth in the triple jump and ninth in the long jump.