Cornell Looks to Three-Peat at Women's Heptagonal Cross Country Championship
Photos Courtesy of Columbia Sports Information/Media Relations, Cornell Athletic Communications and Dartmouth Athletics Communications
PRINCETON, N.J. -- Princeton's West Windsor Fields will serve as site of the Ivy League Heptagonal Cross Country Championships for the third straight year, where the Cornell women's team will be looking to win their third-straight title. But for the third-straight year, the Big Red will have to get past the rest of the League to accomplish their goal, which is no easy feat.
Although Cornell took the top three spots in the 2012 Championships en route to the overall team title, the Big Red did not have to race against Columbia's Waverly Neer or Dartmouth's Abbey D'Agostino, who went 1-2 in the 2011 race. Both are back for the 2013 running, which could mean the end of Cornell's two-year reign at the top. Columbia finished second to the Big Red in 2011 by just two points. Besides D'Agostino and Neer, nine All-Ivy performers from a year ago are back, including Big Red seniors Emily Shearer and Rachel Sorna, who placed second and third in 2012.
The Bears are ranked 12th in the latest USTFCCCA Northeast Regional poll. Senior Heidi Caldwell, who placed fourth individually at last year's Heps, has led Brown in each of the races in which she's run, including a 31st-place finish out of 406 runners at the 6K Paul Short Invitational. In that race, she was followed closely by sophomore Lily Harrington, who took 34th as the Bears finished 16th out of 47 squads. Caldwell also took 10th at the 6K Dartmouth Invitational and second at the 5K Rothenberg Run, where Harrington was again on Caldwell's heels, placing third.
The Lions are ranked No. 7 in the Northeast Region by the USTFCCCA. Junior Waverly Neer, the individual runner-up in 2011, returns after missing last season's Heps due to injury. She has led the team in all three of the races in which she has run this year, including a third-place finish at the 6K Paul Short Invitational and a 14th-place run at the 6K Wisconsin adidas Invitational. As a team, Columbia placed second at the 5K Stony Brook Invitational and fifth at Paul Short, where sophomore Leila Mantilla placed 17th.
The Big Red come into the 2012 Championships ranked No. 24 nationally and No. 4 in the Northeast Region by the USTFCCCA. Cornell is looking for its third consecutive Ivy title for the first time since winning three in a row from 1991-93. The Big Red returns the second- and third-place finishers from a year ago in seniors Emily Shearer and Rachel Sorna. Cornell placed third at the 5K Coast to Coast Battle in Beantown and then finished fourth at the Paul Short Invitational, led each time by Sorna, who took fifth in each race.
The Big Green is ranked No. 11 in the nation and No. 2 in the Northeast by the USTFCCCA. Senior Abbey D'Agostino has three wins under her belt already this season: the 6K Dartmouth Invitational by 51 seconds, the 6K Paul Short Invitational by 26 seconds and the 6K Wisconsin adidas Invitational by 14 seconds. As a team, the Big Green placed third at its Invitational, second at Paul Short and seventh at Wisconsin. Junior Sarah Delozier and sophomore Dana Giordano have also run well, including fifth and ninth-place finishes, respectively, at the Dartmouth Invitational. Giordano earned second-team All-Ivy honors at last year's Ivy League Championships.
The Crimson is just outside of the USTFCCCA top-30 nationally, as it is the first team listed in the receiving votes category. Harvard also comes in at No. 6 in the Northeast Region. The Crimson has been led by junior Viviana Hanley, who took 13th at the 5K Virginia-Panorama Farms Invitational and 14th at the 6K Paul Short Invitational, as well as senior Emily Reese, who took 12th at Paul Short and 49th at the 6K Wisconsin adidas Invitational. Reese finished 16th at last year's Heps, followed closely by senior Morgan Kelly, who placed 17th.
The Quakers are ranked No. 8 in the latest USTFCCCA Mid-Atlantic Regional poll. Penn has competed in a number of national events, including the 6K Paul Short Invitational, where it placed 17th out of 48. Freshman Cleo Whiting finished 45th overall out of 407 runners. Whiting also ran in the Pre-Nationals at Terre Haute, Ind., placing in the top half of the 340 runners. Running on the same course as the Ivy League Championship, senior Chelsea Delaney took 29th at the 6K Princeton Invitational.
The Tigers come in at No. 23 nationally and No. 2 in the Mid-Atlantic in the latest USTFCCCA polls. Princeton has fared well in national events this season, placing fifth at the 5K Notre Dame Invitational, 10th at 6K Pre-Nationals and seventh at the 6K Princeton Invitational. Freshman Megan Curham, who won the 6K Delaware Invitational, finished 12th at Notre Dame and 15th at Pre-Nationals to lead her squad in each race. Fellow classmate Nicole Marvin took 30th out of 484 runners at the 6K Paul Short Invitational Open race, while junior Jackie Nicholas placed 41st. Nicholas is the lone returning All-Ivy runner from a year ago, as she finished 13th.
The Bulldogs are ranked No. 13 in the latest USTFCCCA Northeast Regional poll. Sophomore Kira Garry led Yale in three races in 2013, the 5K Coast-to-Coast Battle for Beantown Invite (25th), the 5K New England Championship (13th) and the 6K Wisconsin adidas Invitational (149th). At the 6K Iona Meet of Champions, freshman Meredith Rizzo took 17th out of 190 runners to pace her squad. Senior Liana Epstein, who finished second overall in the annual HY meet, looks to improve on her second-team All-Ivy finish from a year ago at Heps, when she placed 11th.