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Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics/Gene Boyars

2014 Outdoor Track & Field Ivy League Championships Preview

Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics
          Release: 05/07/2014
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NEW YORK – The Columbia men and women’s track & field teams will head to New Haven, Connecticut this weekend to compete for conference supremacy in the 2014 Ivy League Heptagonal Outdoor Track & Field Championships at Yale’s Cuyler Field & Dweyr Track.

The two-day championships begin on Saturday, May 10 with both running and field events set for an 11 a.m.start. Sunday’s action begins with running events at 10:30 a.m, while the field events are slated for an 11 a.m start.

Follow the event via live stream on Sunday courtesy of the Ivy League Digital Network.  Action will stream from 11:30am until after the awards ceremony.

THE COLUMBIA WOMEN

In the sprints, Marvellous Iheukwumere will look to repeat her dominant performances from the 2013 season. The senior enters as the reigning conference champ in both the 100m and 200m dashes. Iheukwumere has battled back from a late indoor season injury to post the second best Ivy League times in the 100m and 200m, including a personal-record time of 11.68 in the 100m at the George Mason Spring Invitational in April.  The Lions also hold a capable sprinter in Ashley Cunningham that came away with second team All-Ivy League honors in the indoor 200m earlier this season.

In just her second season, Jaycee Parker has emerged as one of the top runners in the 400m. Just recently, Parker posted the Ivy League’s fourth-best time at 54.92 behind a runner-up finish at the Princeton Elite Meet last weekend.

A 14.12 second performance in the 100m hurdles at Princeton last weekend put Iris Chijioke back among the top in the conference for Heps. Her time ranks fourth-best overall this year.

Trina Bills will enter Heps following an 800m program record performance for the season consecutive season. The senior clocked in with a new record time of 2:06.74 at the George Mason Spring Invitational, the fastest time in the Ivy League this year.

In the distance events, Waverly Neer and Olivia Sadler are poised to make some noise for the Lions. Sadler put together the Ivy League’s best performance in the 1,500m at the Elite Meet last weekend with a time of 4:22.55. Neer kicked-off the outdoor season with a program-record performance in the 5,000m run at the Stanford Invitational with a time of 15:37.85, which stands second-best overall in the conference this year.

On the field, Nadia Eke will look to continue her conference dominance in the jumps.
The junior grabbed Ivy League titles in both the long and triple jump events in the indoor season. She currently holds the second-best triple jump outdoor measure in the conference this season with a leap of 12.84 at the Penn Relays.

Look out for Joanna Koronios in the women’s throwing events for the Columbia. Koronios captured a victory in the discus with a throw of 42.84m at Princeton’s Elite Meet and holds the Ancient Eight’s second-beast measure this season in the hammer throw at 53.11m.

THE COLUMBIA MEN

Columbia heads into the outdoor championships as a heavy favorite to dominate the middle distance and distance events. The Lions boast five different runners with top-10 Ivy League times in the 800m and 1,500m runs this season.

Columbia holds the top-three times in the 800m run with Harrison McFann leading the way behind a program-record time of 1:46.93. McFann was the runner-up in the event during the indoor season and will look to cap his senior year with an outdoor title. He also holds a top mark in the 1,500m with a time of 3:45.28 that stands sixth best overall.

John Gregorek returns as a major force with second-best times in both the 800m and 1,500m runs. Last weekend, Gregorek clocked in with an 800m time of 1:48.70 to go along with a solid 1,500m time of 3:43.05 at the George Mason Spring Invitational.

Third in the 800m is Brendon Fish, the reigning indoor 1000m Ivy League Champion. Fish crossed the line just a step behind Gregorek at the Princeton Elite Meet for his season-best time of 1:48.70. Like many of his teammates, Fish also posted a season-best time in the 1,500m at the George Mason Spring Invitational (3:45.29 – 7th). The 2013 outdoor 800m runner-up Connor Claflin will also be threat for the Lions holding the sixth-best time this year at 1:50.19.

In the 1,500m, Daniel Everett (3:44.78 – 5th) and Tim Cousins (3:45.49 – 8th) also hold top competing times. Everett, the 5,000m runner-up in 2013, will return with his eye on the prize in the event. The junior ran the 10th-best time at the Stanford Invitational early in the outdoor season.

Additionally, the Lions return all members of last years 4x800m relay champion squad in Greogrek, Fish, Claflin and McFann.

On the field, Duncan Dickerson is the reigning hammer throw champion and looks to be in good shape for another. At the Inaugural Mark Young Invitational, Dickerson threw for a league leading measure of 62.18m.

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