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Women's Outdoor Track & Field Championships Preview

Columbia's Kyra Caldwell
Columbia's Kyra Caldwell

Ivy League Outdoor Heptagonal Track & Field Championship Central

PHILADELPHIA -- The 2012 Ivy League Heptagonal Outdoor Track & Field Championship returns to historic Franklin Field in Philadelphia for the first time since 2009 and the sixth time overall.

Cornell has won three of the past four Outdoor Championships at Franklin Field, as well as the last two, but the Big Red will have to get past Princeton, which has won two of the past three championships overall. Columbia won its first-ever Indoor title and looks to do the same with the Outdoor Championships, while Brown placed second in 2010 and third in 2011 and looks to move into the top spot in 2012.

See below for a team-by-team breakdown:

Brown Bears: The Bears are ranked No. 7 in the latest USTFCCCA Northeast Region poll. Sophomore Colby Lubman and freshman Lauren Waterbury went 1-2 in the 400m at the Tom Jones Invitational on April 21, crossing the line in 54.46 and 54.51, respectively. Those two times are the best in the Ivy League this season, and Lubman's mark is tied for the 44th-best time in the nation. Brown returns 2011 discus champion Lacey Craker, who currently holds the third-best toss in the League in 2012, at 149-0. Craker also leads the way in the hammer throw with a mark of 186-11, the 26th-best mark in the nation.

Columbia Lions: Columbia is ranked No. 4 in the latest USTFCCCA Northeast Region poll. The Lions return three title winners from 2011, including Kyra Caldwell (100mH), Monique Roberts (high jump) and Uju Ofoche (long jump), as well as two runners-up in Tara Richmond (high jump) and Dora Vegvari (long jump). Freshman Nadia Eke is the Ivy's best triple jumper this season with a mark of 42 ½, the sixth-best leap in the nation this season. On the track, sophomore Marvellous Iheukwumere is second in the League in the 100m (11.99), while senior Kyra Caldwell holds the best 400mH time (59.64) and Emily Lanois is second in the 10,000m (33:53.06) and fifth in the 5,000m (16:34.63).

Cornell Big Red: The Big Red is the top-ranked team in the Northeast Region by the USTFCCCA. Cornell will look to junior Katie Kellner in the distance events, as she owns the top time in the League in the 10,000m (32:58.73) and the third-best time in the 5,000m (16:33.19). Kellner's 10,000m mark is the seventh-best in the country so far this season. The Big Red is 1-2 in the 200m, as freshman Katie Woodford's 24.15 is just ahead of sophomore Ebolutalese Airewele's 24.41. The Big Red holds the fastest 4x400m relay time in the League this season, at 3:43.23, and the second-fastest 4x100m relay time, at 46.21. Cornell also ranks first in three of the field events, including pole vault (Claire Dishong, 12-7 ½), long jump (Anjelique Parnell, 20 ¼) and shot put (Victoria Imbesi, 47-11 ¼).

Dartmouth Big Green: Dartmouth is ranked No. 9 in the latest USTFCCCA Northeast Region poll. The Big Green returns the 5,000m 2011 champion in sophomore Abbey D'Agostino, who has proven successful during each track and field season in 2011-12. D'Agostino holds the fastest outdoor 5,000m time in the country this season with a 15:23.35, the fastest mark in Ivy League history in that event. Senior Alexi Pappas looks to defend her title in the steeplechase; her 9:58.07 is the fastest in the League this season and the second-fastest in the country. Senior Priscilla Trojano hopes to win her third-straight heptathlon title, but she will have to get past sophomore Janae Dunchack, who won the indoor title and owns the highest outdoor total this season (4,741).

Harvard Crimson: The Crimson is ranked No. 5 in the latest USTFCCCA Northeast Region poll. Harvard returns a pair of All-Ivy performers from 2011, including javelin champion Hannah Mayer and heptathlon runner-up Nicole Sliva. Sophomore Olivia Abbate holds the top time in the 100mH at 14.04. Harvard has seen success in the field events, including Mary Hirst's top high jump mark of 5-9 ¼. Junior Olivia Weeks is third in the long jump (19-5 ¼) and fifth in the triple jump (40 ¾), while fellow classmate Shannon Watt ranks second in both the shot put (47-3 ½) and discus (158-5). Sophomore Allie Pace tied for the top mark in the pole vault with a 12-7 ½ and fellow classmate Adabelle Ekechukwu tossed the second-longest hammer throw in the League this season, reaching a distance of 181-8.

Penn Quakers: Penn is ranked No. 9 in the latest USTFCCCA Mid-Atlantic Region poll. One week after hosting the Penn Relays, the Quakers will open Franklin Field to the Ivy League Outdoor Heptagonal Championships. Penn returns three All-Ivy performers, including sophomore Gabrielle Piper and junior Morgan Wheeler, who placed second in the 100mH and javelin in 2011, respectively. This season, Wheeler holds the best javelin throw with a mark of 147-9, the 26th-best toss in the nation. Penn holds the top time in the 4x100m relay (46.12) and the fourth-fastest time in the 4x400m relay (3:46.76). In the field events, junior Jillian Hart is tied for first in the pole vault with a mark of 12-7 ½ and senior Kristen Judge is tied for second in the high jump with a leap of 5-8 ¾.

Princeton Tigers: Princeton is ranked No. 5 in the latest USTFCCCA Mid-Atlantic poll and hopes to become the first back-to-back champion since Cornell won seven-straight from 2002-08. The Tigers return four All-Ivy performers from a year ago, including senior Eileen Moran, who won the 100m and placed second in the 200m in 2011. Junior Tory Worthen hopes to win her third-straight outdoor pole vault title after setting the indoor record during the Ivy League Indoor Heptagonal Championships. In 2012, Moran holds the fastest 100m time so far this season (11.87), while junior Greta Feldman is first in both the 800m (2:06.66) and 1,500m (4:18.86). She ranks 18th in the country in the 800m and eighth in the 1,500m and looks to take her first outdoor titles in 2012. In the field events, freshman Chukwunonso Okwelogu ranks first in the discus with a throw of 159-5, the 40th-best toss in the nation this season.

Yale Bulldogs: The Bulldogs are ranked No. 15 in the latest USTFCCCA Northeast Region poll. Yale returns the 2011 runner-up in the 3,000m, junior Nihal Kayali, who holds the third-fastest time in that event so far in 2012 (9:45.60). Sophomore Liana Epstein (9:38.20) and junior Elizbaeth Marvin (9:41.53) rank first and second in the 3,000m this season, respectively. Kayali also ranks fourth in the 1,500m with a time of 4:23.94. In the field events, junior Adele Jackson-Gibson and sophomore Teresa Parent rank fourth and seventh in the long jump with leaps of 19-3 ¼ and 18-10, respectively, while Parent (37-10 ½) and freshman Alisha Jordan (37-8 ¾) are 8-9 in the triple jump.