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Ancient Eight Revving Up for the 2012 Heptagonal Cross Country Championships

Photo courtesy of Columbia Sports Information/Media Relations

PRINCETON, N.J. -- Down the stretch they come! With one more weekend before the Ivy League Heptagonal Cross Country Championships, the Ancient Eight is revving up for what should be an exciting day of running.

The 2012 Ivy League Cross Country Championships will take place at Princeton's West Windsor Fields on Saturday, Oct. 27, at 11:00 a.m. (women) and Noon (men). The awards ceremony will take place at 1:00 p.m.

The big event last weekend was the Wisconsin adidas Invitational. Seven of the eight teams competed in the prestigious race and the final standings on both sides showed the Ivy League standing tall.

The men's side featured 316 individual runners and 45 teams, including 19 of the nation's top-30 ranked squads in the latest United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).

Leading the way for the League was Columbia, which placed four runners in the top-70, earned 308 points and tied for fifth with No. 19 Arkansas. The Lions trailed only No. 8 Stanford (first, 135), No. 5 Iona (second, 145), No. 4 Oklahoma (third, 166) and No. 22 Texas (fourth, 267). Columbia finished ahead of 14 ranked opponents including No. 10 Syracuse (11th, 402), No. 5 Portland (12th, 407) and No. 1 Wisconsin (17th, 489). Senior Mike Murphy's led the way with a 22nd-place finish (23:47) for the Lions.

The first Ivy runner to cross the line was Harvard junior Maksim Korolev, who placed 18th with a time of 23:44. Fellow classmate James Leakos finished 13 seconds behind Korolev to take 36th. As a team, the Crimson finished in 28th place with 655 points.

Princeton took 14th with 449 points, and for the third time this season the Tigers were paced by junior Alejandro Arroyo Yamin. His time of 23:52 was good enough to put him in 29th-place. Rounding out the rest of the Ivy squads was Dartmouth (32nd, 732), Yale (40th, 1,042), Cornell (43rd, 1,159) and Brown (44th, 1,237).

On the women's side, Cornell placed fifth out of 48 teams with 262 points and senior Katie Kellner came in 15th overall out of 327 runners with a time of 20:04. On her heels was junior Rachel Sorna, who crossed in 20:06 to take 22nd.

Yale tallied 469 points and tied with No. 15 Toledo for 13th-place, while Harvard placed 23rd with 608 points and Princeton took 25th with 626 points. Brown junior Heidi Caldwell placed 57th with a time of 20:33 as the Bears took 26th overall, while Columbia came in 36th (826) and Dartmouth placed 44th (1,078).

Several of the teams also competed in the Princeton Invitational, which was held on the very same course that will host the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships on Oct. 27.

Harvard led the Ivy League men's teams with a second-place finish overall out of 23 schools, tallying 110 points. The Crimson placed five among the top-30, including Sean Pohorence, who took 18th with a time of 24:48. Cornell junior John Schilkowsky took seventh overall out of 212 runners with a time of 24:30 to lead the Big Red to seventh-place with 203 points.. The host Tigers placed 14th with 405 points, led by Sam Berger, who crossed the line in 24:53 to take 25th.

Out of 25 teams and 219 runners on the women's side, Columbia took the title with 83 points. The Lions put three in the top-20, led by Caroline Williams (fifth, 21:48) and Leila Mantilla (sixth, 21:53). Despite the fact that many of Cornell's top runners were not competing, the team took third with 132 points. Freshman Claire DeVoe led the way, coming in 20th with a time of 22:10. Princeton kept its JV squad home to compete in the event and came in sixth with 208 points, as sophomore Erika Fluehr finished in 22:16 to take 23rd. Finally, Harvard took 10th with 283 points..

Penn was the lone League team in the Leopard Invitational, hosted by Lafayette. Out of 13 teams, the women's team won the title, while the men's team came in second. On the women's side, senior Leslie Kovach earned her first career victory, crossing the line in 21:03.48. She was one of five Quakers to finish among the top-10. A pair of freshmen led the men's squad, as  Brendan Smith and Brandon Clark went 7-8 with times of 25:22.05 and 25:36.48, respectively.

USTFCCCA National Polls | USTFCCCA Regional Polls
In the latest USTFCCCA National polls, the Columbia men jumped from No. 17 to No. 10, the highest ranking in program history. Princeton remained in the poll, coming in at No. 23. On the women's side, Cornell continued its steady climb up the rankings, moving from No. 9 to a tie for No. 7. It is the highest ranking in the Big Red's history. Yale was the other team listed, tying with Villanova at No. 22.

In the Regional polls, Princeton is No. 1 and Penn is No. 12 in the men's Mid-Atlantic, while the Northeast features Columbia at No. 2, Harvard at No. 4, Dartmouth at No. 5, Yale at No. 7, Cornell at No. 10 and Brown at No. 11. For the women, Cornell is the top-ranked squad in the Northeast, followed by Yale at No. 3, Harvard at No. 7, Brown at No. 8, Dartmouth at No. 9 and Columbia at No. 10. Princeton is No. 4 in the Mid-Atlantic, while Penn sits at No. 8.

Brown
Men: Cross Country Competes At Wisconsin adidas Invitational

Women: Heidi Caldwell Leads Women's Cross Country at Wisconsin adidas Invitational

Columbia
Men: Cross Country Beats Nation's Elite At Wisconsin Invitational

Women: Cross Country Competes At Wisconsin Invitational

Cornell
Men: Cross Country Places 43rd in Wisconsin Invitational
Men: Cross Country Places Seventh at Princeton Invitational

Women: No. 9 Cross Country Takes Fifth in Competitive Wisconsin Invitational
Women: Cross Country Takes Third at Princeton Invitational

Dartmouth
Men: Cross Country Runs in Wisconsin Invitational

Women: Tough Field Tests Women's Cross Country in Wisconsin Invite

Harvard
Men: Cross Country Battles Nation's Best at Wisconsin adidas Invitational, Shines at Princeton Invite

Women: Cross Country Battles Nation's Best at Wisconsin adidas Invitational, Shines at Princeton Invite

Penn
Men: Cross Country Places Second at Leopard Invitational

Women: Cross Country Strolls to Victory at Lafayette

Princeton
Men: No. 11 Cross Country Takes 14th at Wisconsin Invite
Men: Cross Country 14th at Home Meet

Women: Cross Country Takes 25th at Wisconsin Invite
Women: Cross Country Sixth at Princeton Invitational

Yale
Men: Four Elis Finish Under 25 Minutes at Wisconsin
Women: Bulldogs Beat Seven Nationally-Ranked Squads at Wisconsin Invitational