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May 9, 2014

Cornell Looks to Three-Peat at Women's Heptagonal Outdoor Track & Field Championships

Championship Central

NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- Cornell has finished first or second in each of the last 12 Ivy League Women's Heptagonal Outdoor Track & Field Championships, including its current streak of back-to-back team titles. But the Big Red has its work cut out if it wants to three-peat for the first time since winning seven-straight from 2002-08. Harvard is the two-time defending indoor champion, while Columbia finished second at the outdoor championships in 2013. Dartmouth was the runner-up at indoors this year and Princeton won the championship the last time it was at Yale in 2011.

Sunday's finals of the Ivy League Outdoor Track & Field Championships will be streamed live on The Ivy League® Digital Network from 11:30 a.m. until after the awards ceremony. Anyone with a current subscription to The Ivy League® Digital Network will be able to access the broadcast by simply clicking on the link on their school's schedule page.

For those without a subscription, there are a variety of packages to choose from, all of which can be accessed by clicking here. Fans can purchase either an Ivy League subscription or a school subscription.

Team-by-team breakdown:

Brown: The Bears have placed third each of the last two times that the Ivy League Outdoor Track & Field Championships were hosted by Yale, in 2011 and 2008. Brown's three-year streak of placing among the top half of the Ancient Eight came to an end last year, when it finished in sixth. The Bears look to return to the top-four in the standings on the backs of their field performers. Senior Victoria Buhr is the defending discus champion; she holds the top mark in the League in that event as well as the shot put. She also ranks ninth in the hammer throw. Sophomore Kebbeh Darpolor, who placed fourth in the discus in 2013, is third in that event so far in 2014. Junior Heather Vermillion looks to pick up points for her team in the hammer throw and the shot put, where she ranks third and ninth, respectively. Senior Brienna Crimmins' long jump mark of 19-3 ½ is tied for the best in the League so far this year, while freshman Ellie Gravitte is third in the javelin and sophomore Uzoamaka Okoro is fourth in the triple jump. On the track, senior Heidi Caldwell is fourth in the 3K, fifth in the 1,500m and sixth in the 5K.

Columbia: The Lions finished second last season, their best finish since placing second in 2005. Columbia has never won a team title at the outdoor championships, and in order to do so this year it will need standout performances from its track contingent, including senior Marvellous Iheukwumere, who last season became the first Lion to ever win both the 100m and 200m dashes in the same championships. She ranks second and first in those two events this season, respectively. Fellow classmate Trina Bills placed third in the 800m a year ago and holds the top time in that event this season. Junior Waverly Neer is the defending 5K champion; her time of 15:37.85 is second-best in the League and seventh in the country. Sophomore Olivia Sadler holds the third-best time in the 1,500m at 4:25.37. In the field events, Columbia looks to place three in the triple jump as junior Nadia Eke, freshman Anna Williams and sophomore Addy Sonaike rank second, third and sixth, respectively. Williams also is seventh in the long jump.

Cornell: The Big Red is looking to three-peat for the first time since it won seven in a row from 2002-08. Cornell looks to be led by its middle and long distance runners, including senior Rachel Sorna, who broke her own Ivy League record in the steeplechase earlier this season (9:43.48). Sorna also holds the best time in the 3K –  an event in which she placed second a season ago – and is fourth in the 5K. The Big Red holds the top four of the top five spots in the 10K, including the fastest time set by senior Devin McMahon, and the top three spots in the 800m, led by sophomore Udeme Akpaete. Cornell also ranks either first or second in all three relays and hopes to pick up valuable points in those events. In the field, seniors Dominique Corley (t-1st) and Anjelique Parnell (3rd) hope to get onto the podium in the long jump, while freshman Kacie Hargett is second in the javelin and juniors Even Bishop and Jennifer Markin are third and fourth, respectively, in the pole vault.

Dartmouth: After its second-place finish at the Ivy League Indoor Championships, the Big Green has confidence going into Outdoor Heps. Sophomore Kaitlin Whitehorn could have a busy weekend, as she ranks first in the high jump, third in the 200m and fourth in the 100m. In the 200m, Whitehorn's time of 24.29 is close behind her teammate and fellow classmate Jennifer Meech's time of 24.13. Another sophomore, Sara Kikut, ranks tied for fifth in the 200m and hopes to be a part of a Dartmouth triumvirate on the podium. Meech, meanwhile, also ranks ninth in the 400m, while senior Megan Krumpoch is second in the 800m and third in the 400mH. Senior Abbey D'Agostino, the defending Ivy and NCAA champion in the 5K, ranks first in the League in that event this season with the third-best time in the country, 15:30.93. It's the third-best time in Ivy League history, trailing only the marks D'Agostino set in 2013 and 2012. Sophomore Dana Giordano ranks third in the League in the 5K and junior Sarah Delozier is second in the steeplechase. In the field, senior Emmaline Berg is third in the shot put and eighth in the discus.

Harvard: The Crimson is looking to win its second overall outdoor championship and first since 1990 to go along with its current streak of consecutive indoor titles. Juniors Danielle Barbian and Ashley Collinsworth rank 1-3 in the 100m; Barbian has set three Ivy League records in the event this season and her time of 11.63 is the best-ever. Collinsworth also ranks tied for fifth in the 200m, just ahead of sophomore Autumne Franklin (seventh), who is also first in both the 100mH and 400mH. The Crimson holds the top two spots in the 1,500m, led by junior Molly Renfer, and senior Emily Reese posted the second-fastest time in the 10K this season. Freshman Jackie Modesett is second behind Franklin in the 100mH and sixth in the 400mH. In the field events, three Crimson rank among the top-four in the high jump and freshman Nikki Okwelogu is second in the discus and third in the shot put. Sophomore Madison Hansen hopes to give Harvard back-to-back titles in the heptathlon for the first time in program history, as Mary Hirst won it a year ago. Hansen is the League leader in the event this season.

Penn: The Quakers are looking to place among the top-four as a team for the first time since finishing second in 2006. Junior Lydia Ali hopes to give her team points in both the 100m, where she ranks fifth, and the 400m, where she ranks fourth. Senior Gabrielle Piper, who won the 100mH in 2012 and place third last year, looks to get back to the top of the podium. She is third in the event so far in 2014. Penn also ranks third in each of the three relays that will be competed at the outdoor championships. In the field, freshman Noel Jancewicz is one of two Ivies to surpass 5,000 points in the heptathlon this year, as she garnered 5,035 en route to a win at Penn Relays. In the field events, sophomore Kelsey Hay holds the best javelin mark in the League this season, and her throw of 160-0 is the third-best all-time in Ivy League history. Sophomore Serena Graf looks to pick up points in both the hammer throw and shot put, where she ranks fourth and eighth, respectively.

Princeton: The Tigers are looking for their first team title since 2011, which coincidentally took place in New Haven, Conn. The Tigers will be led by sophomore Julia Ratcliffe, who has twice set the all-time Ivy League mark in the hammer throw this season, twice breaking the record she previously set. In fact, Ratcliffe owns the top six hammer throw marks in Ivy League history. Her top heave this season of 230-7 (70.28m) ranks first in the NCAA. Ratcliffe won the hammer throw at last year's Ivy League Outdoor Championship and looks to become the first Tiger to ever win two titles in the event. Senior Elizabeth McKenna and sophomores Kerry Krause and Taylor Morgan all hope to pick up points in the heptathlon, while freshman Allison Harris and senior Samantha Anderson rank first and second, respectively, in the pole vault. Last year's triple jump winner, senior Imani Oliver, ranks first in the event in 2014 and fourth in the long jump. On the track, the Tigers hold the best time in the 4x800m relay and freshmen Elizabeth Bird and Megan Curham rank third and fifth in the steeplechase and 5K, respectively.

Yale: The Bulldogs are hosting the event for the seventh time and first since 2011. Yale is looking to get back to the upper half of the standings for the first time since 2004, when it placed fourth. Junior Emily Cable looks to have a busy weekend on her home track, as she holds the fourth-fastest time in the 200m and the seventh-best time in the 400m among Ivy runners this season. Junior Kira Garry holds the fourth-fastest mark in the steeplechase. Sophomore Emily Stark looks to get on the podium in the 10K, an event in which she ranks seventh so far in 2014, while fellow classmate Mackenzie Mathews hopes to do the same in the 110mH, where she ranks 10th. In the field events, junior Alisha Jordan and sophomore Karleh Wilson each could give the Bulldogs points in multiple events. Jordan is fifth in the triple jump and eighth in the long jump, while Wilson ranks second in the shot put, fourth in the discus and fifth in the hammer. Senior Emily Urciuoli ranks in fifth in the League in the pole vault.