PRINCETON, N.J. -- As April brought a slew of lowered times, one Ivy League record and three current national top 20 rankings, the Ivy squads kick off the month of May by decending on Franklin Field in Philadelphia for the 2011 Penn Relays. For most, this weekend's Relays will be the final competition before the 2011 Ivy League Heptagonal Outdoor Track & Field Championships on May 7-8 at Cuyler Field & Dwyer Track on the campus of Yale University in New Haven, Conn.
Perhaps the most impressive individual performance among the Ivy women in the month of April was Columbia's Sharay Hale, setting a League record in 200m dash. Her time of 23.69 on April 23 at the Princeton Larry Ellis Invitational nips the previous record of 23.70, achieved by Princeton's Nicole Harrison in 2007.
In less that two weeks, Hale will be seeking a repeat Outdoor Championship title in the 200m after claiming first last year in 23.83. Hale is also the current Ivy leader in the 400m dash with a time of 53.10, also achieved at the Princeton Larry Ellis Invitational. That mark is currently the 16th fastest in the nation among NCAA Division I athletes.
Two additional Ivy League athletes also hold times and marks that rank in the nation's top 20 list, both achieved during the past month.
Brown's Brynn Smith, the two-time reigning Ivy champion and all-time Ivy record-holder in the hammer throw (199-8) is currently ranked in a tie for 18th in the nation following a toss of 197-6 on April 23 at the LSU Alumni Gold meet.
Back on the track, Yale's Kate Grace, the two-time reigning Ivy champion and 2010 outdoor All-American in the 800m dash, raced to a season-best 2:05.48 on April 22 at the Princeton Larry Ellis Friday Night Races to rank No. 13 among Division I competitors.
To date, eight Outdoor Track & Field Champions from 2010 are currently atop the League's rankings this season. That list includes Hale in the 200m, Grace in the 800m, Princeton's Sarah Cummings in the 10,000m, Cornell in the 4x100m relay, Columbia in the 4x400m relay, Columbia's Monique Roberts in the high jump, Princeton's Tory Worthen in the pole vault and Smith in the hammer throw.