NEW YORK – A total of 17 women are set to join the Columbia track & field team this fall, as the Director of Cross Country/Track & Field Daniel Ireland has announced his incoming class.
“The class of 2021 brings with it some very talented athletes that can hopefully bring home an Ivy League title before they graduate,” said Ireland. “It addresses some areas that we have not traditionally had coverage in and it strengthens other areas as well. We are looking for each of these athletes to have immediate contributions to the success of this program.”
Paris Calcagnini | Middle Distance/Distance | New York, N.Y. | Convent of the Sacred Heart
Member of the cross country and track & field teams at Convent of the Sacred Heart school in Manhattan ... Won a total of 15 letters during her prep career ... Posted personal bests of 4:39 in the 1,500m and 5:01 in the 1 Mile ... A 2017 class Valedictorian ... The daughter of Nina and Arthur Calcagnini ... Father, Arthur, played lacrosse at Georgetown and attended Columbia Business School ... Will attend Columbia College.
Grace Campbell | Jumps/Hurdles/Sprints | Murray, Ky. | Murray
A multi-event athlete at Murray High School in Kentucky, who plans on high jumping in college ... Competed in the high jump, triple jump, long jump, 100m hurdles, 300m hurdles, and 4x400m relay as a prep ... Posted personal bests of 5’8” in the high jump, 35’6” in the triple jump, 17’10” in the long jump, and 46.68 in the 300m hurdles ... Team won a pair of state titles in track & field during her final two seasons ... Earned Class A Athlete of the Year honors after winning high jump, triple jump, and 300m hurdles titles her junior year, before becoming the state runner-up in the high jump and triple jump her senior season ... Also played golf and basketball in high school, earning a total of 16 varsity letters ... The daughter of Kimberly and Patrick Campbell ... Will attend Columbia College.
Amanda Cooper | Throws | Newport Beach, Calif. | Corona del Mar
Former thrower at Corona del Mar High School in California ... Earned four varsity letters in track & field as a prep ... Posted a career best of 131’6” in the discus ... The daughter of Lily and Ken Cooper ... Brother, Ken Cooper, was an All-American hammer thrower at MIT ... Will attend Columbia College, where she plans on studying Computer Science.
Cameron Downey | Throws | Minneapolis, Minn. | Blake School
Participated in the throwing events at the Blake School in Minnesota ... An honorable mention AAU All-American, garnering all-state and all-conference honors as a prep ... Posted personal bests of 133’3” in the discus and 37’5” in the shot put ... The daughter of Christine Young-Downey and Steven Downey ... Father, Steven, played football at the University of Wisconsin-Lacrosse ... Will attend Columbia College where she plans on studying urban studies.
Sydney Groom | Middle Distance | Las Vegas, Nev. | Liberty
A four-time state qualifier in track & field and cross country while attending Liberty High School in Nevada ... The 2017 Region champion in the 800m ... Posted career bests of 56.3 in the 400m and 2:14.89 in the 800m ... Earned 11 varsity letters during her prep career ... The daughter of Ileetha and John Groom ... Has a twin sister, Camille, who will attend North Carolina A&T ... Intends to study biology at Columbia College.
Allie Hays | Distance | Wading River, N.Y. | Shoreham-Wading River
Participated in track & field and cross country at Shoreham-Wading River High School in Long Island ... Picked up all-american and all-state honors during her final two seasons ... Owns career bests of 4:34 in the 1,500m, 4:51 in the 1 Mile, and 9:42 in the 3,000m ... Earned 14 varsity letters during her prep career ... The daughter of Regina and Albert Hays ... Has two brothers and a sister that are Columbia alumni ... Will attend Columbia College where she plans on studying economics.
Betty Jackson | Hurdles | McDonough, Ga. | Eagles Landing
A former multi-event runner and cross country athlete at Eagles Landing High School in Georgia ... Advanced to the New Balance Meet her final two seasons, earning All-American status in the 400m hurdles with a personal best 1:01.67 ... An all-state selection in the 100m hurdles and 300m hurdles during her senior season ... Picked up region and county championships in that season ... Won a state title in the 800m during her junior year ... Recorded personal bests of 12.32 in the 100m, 25.11 in the 200m, 42.99 in the 300m hurdles, 57.89 in the 400m, 1:01.67 in the 400m hurdles, and 2:14.60 in the 800m ... The daughter of Cara and Antaures Jackson ... Will attend Columbia College.
Simone Kirton | Sprints/Hurdles | Chatham, N.J. | Chatham
A first team all-state, all-conference, and all-county selection during her prep career ... Clocked career bests of 7.49 in the 55m, 12.58 in the 100m, 26.91 in the 200m, 8.10 in the 55m hurdles, and 14.07 in the 100m hurdles ... The daughter of Bonita and Raymond Kirton, who both attended Cornell ... Sister, Winsome Kirton, ran track at Penn while her brother, Reynaldo Kirton, played football at Harvard ... Plans on studying neuroscience and behavior at Columbia College.
Maria Kogan | Distance | Port Washington, N.Y. | Paul D. Schreiber
Competed in track & field and cross country at Paul D. Schreiber High School in New York ... Ran in the 4x800m relay at the state championship during her senior season, while clocking a 4:47 in the 1,500m run ... Was second at the state qualifier meet in the 3,000m in 10:28.37 ... Won the Pre-State Cross Country Invitational during her senior season ... Posted career bests of 2:17 in the 800m, 2:58.67 in the 1,000m, 4:47 in the 1,500m, 5:10 in the 1 Mile, and 10:28 in the 3,000m ... Is fluent in Russian ... The daughter of Vlada Alexeeva and Vladimir Kogan ... Sister attends Barnard College ... Will attend the FU Foundation School of Engineering & Applied Sciences.
Samantha Marin | Distance | Blacksburg, Va. | Blacksburg
A 12-time letterwinner while competing in track & field and cross country at Blacksburg High School in Virginia ... A State Champion in cross country in 2016, before earning a state title in the 3,200m run in 2017 ... The Region 3A West Cross Country Runner of the Year ... Contributed to four cross country, two indoor track, and two outdoor track state titles ... Holds career bests of 5:12 in the 1,600m, and 10:52 in the 3,200m ... The daughter of Julia and Chris Marin ... Will attend Columbia College where she intends to study political science.
Camila Michael | Middle Distance | Bristol, R.I. | The Wheeler School
A former distance runner at The Wheeler School in Rhode Island ... Participated in track & field and cross country, while also earning a varsity letter on the swim team ... Posted career bests of 2:20 in the 800m, 4:48 in the 1,500m, and 10:40 in the 3,000m ... Also participated in swimming, lacrosse, and field hockey as a prep ... The daughter of Angela and Jason Michaels ... Will attend Columbia College.
Lauren Micham | Sprints/Hurdles | Toledo, Ohio | Sylvania Southview
Participated in the sprints and hurdle events at Sylvania Southview High School in Ohio ... A six-time first team all-state honoree and 10-time all-league pick in the sprint, hurdle, and relay events ... Clocked personal bests of 13.66 in the 100m hurdles, 43.18 in the 300m hurdles, 12.35 in the 100m, 25.38 in the 200m, and 8.73 in the 60m hurdles ... Also an all-state soccer player during her prep career ... The daughter of Allison and Mel Micham ... Plans on studying chemistry while attending Columbia College.
Brittney Raffo | Jumps | Tabernacle, N.J. | Seneca
Earned five varsity letters on the track team at Seneca High School in New Jersey ... Owns school records in the pole vault and triple jump, with personal bests of 12’0” and 36’4”, respectively ... A first team Olympic Conference and All-South Jersey selection ... Also competed in gymnastics in high school ... The daughter of Lisa and Stephen Raffo ... Father was a collegiate swimmer at Gettysburg College and Rutgers University ... Great Grandfather, Edward Raffo, was a World-Class Cyclist, who competed in the U.S. and Europe in the 1920s and 1930s ... Will attend Columbia College where she plans on studying Economics.
Madelyn Sessler | Multi-Events | Plymouth, Mass. | Plymouth South
Former multi-event specialist at Plymouth South High School in Massachusetts ... Combined to earn eight varsity letters between indoor and outdoor track ... Posted career bests of 14.65 in the 100m hurdles, 8.32 in the 55m hurdles, 16’7.5” in the long jump, 36’0” in the triple jump, and 5”2” in the high jump ... Also participated in soccer in high school ... The daughter of Ann Marie and Andrew Sessler ... Grandfather, Francis McCaffery, competed in track & field at Columbia ... Will attend Columbia College.
Carlita Taylor | Sprints/Hurdles | Detroit, Mich. | Oak Park
A former sprinter and hurdler who attended Oak Park High School in Michigan ... A three-time state D-I Champion and four-time competitor at the New Balance Nationals ... Competed for the Motor City Track Club ... The daughter of Latricia and Paul Taylor ... Will attend Columbia College where she intends to study biomedical science.
Serena Tripodi | Distance | Westport, Conn. | The Lovett School (Atlanta, Ga.)
Ran cross country and track & field at The Lovett School in Atlanta, earning 13 state championships (nine individual, four team) between the two sports ... Earned the Atlanta Journal Constitution XC runner of the Year in 2017 ... Posted career bests of 4:59 in the 1,600m and 10:51 in the 3,200m ... The daughter of Sarah and Joe Tripodi, who played football at Harvard ... Will attend Columbia College.
Terri Turner | Middle Distance | Clifton Heights, Pa. | Penn Wood
Competed in track & field at Penn Wood High School in Pennsylvania ... Two-time All-American in both the 4x400m and the SMR … A 2017 PTFCA Indoor State Champion in the 800m ... Won the 2015 AAU National Junior Olympic 800m race ... Posted personal bests of 55.96 in the 400m, 1:31.95 in the 600m, and 2:08.58 in the 800m ... The daughter of Karen Thompkins and Terrence Turner ... Plans on studying English at Columbia College.