Highlight: Columbia Men Take The 4x800m Title
Highlight: Women's DMR Captures Heps Title
Highlight: Sauer Goes From 4th to 1st
Highlight: Sarah Hardie Collects 3rd 1K Title
Highlight: Akua Obeng-Akrofi Wins Heps 400m
NEW YORK - The Columbia track & field teams won seven events over the weekend at the 2017 Ivy League Indoor Heptagonal Championships at the NYC Armory.
At the conclusion of the meet, the women stood in third place with 97.33 points, while the men finished seventh with 56 points.
"I am extremely proud of both the men and the women to perform the way they did on our home track in a great atmosphere," said the Director of Cross Country/Track & Field Daniel Ireland.
The day after Henna Rustami posted a win in the 3,000m run, the Columbia women were victorious in four additional events, starting with junior Akua Obeng-Akrofi. In the 400m run, Obeng-Akrofi edged Harvard's Jade Miller to take the top spot on the podium in 54.10. The Lawrenceville, Georgia, native would not stop there, as she went on to finish third in the 200m dash with a time of 24.13.
The next champion for the women was Anna Williams, who went big in her final attempt at the triple jump. Williams put forth a 12.99m (42'7.5") effort on her sixth attempt, giving her a slight advantage over Harvard's Simi Fajemisin, who went 12.96m. The senior also gave Columbia six points in the long jump on Saturday, going 5.97m (19'7").
For the third consecutive season, Sarah Hardie was the Ivy League Champion in the 1,000m run, overtaking teammate Devon Towell during the final lap to clock a 2:49.28. Towell was the runner-up to Hardie in 2:49.49, earning All-Ivy honors for the first time in her career, while Hardie became the first three-time winner of the event. Matching Towell's All-Ivy performance was Natalie Tanner, who was the runner-up in the 5,000m run at 16:08.80, which is the second best effort in school history.
The final victory for the women came in the distance medley relay, when Libby Kokes, Jordann Feinstein, McKenzie Sup and set a meet record en route to a championship finish. Although Rustami was handed the baton in fifth, the senior kicked her mile split in 4:38.61, which would have been a school record by over two seconds had it not been run in a relay.
Other top performances for the women included Brittney Wade taking third in the 800m (2:09.83), Sydney Petersen finishing fourth in the 500m (1:13.53), and Maryam Hassan going fifth in the triple jump (11.68m).
"I was extremely impressed with our women's seniors," said Ireland. "Natalie ran awesome coming off an injury, Devon was an All-Ivy performer in her first ever Heps Championship, and Anna had a huge PR to get her first win during the indoor Heps."
The men won their first title of the weekend on day two, when Alek Sauer went from fourth to first on the final lap of the 1,000m for the win. Sauer's 2:24.96 helped him to edge Princeton's Noah Kauppila, who was on his heels in 2:25.07. The sophomore picks up All-Ivy honors for the second time in his career, but would not be done on the day.
Alongside Josiah Langstaff, Sam Ritz and Robert Napolitano, Sauer would post another victory in the 4x800m relay, becoming just one of two men to win an individual title and a relay title during the event. The relay team was aided by Napolitano's 1:49.67 anchor split, once again getting by Kauppila and the second place Princeton team in 7:32.88.
"For Alek to be one of two men to win an individual title and a relay title really speaks volumes not only of his performance, but also of the competitiveness of the meet," said Ireland.
Aside from Sauer, the three other members of the 4x800m relay team were also able to score points in other events.
Napolitano is now a seven-time All-Ivy League performer, adding a runner-up finish in the 1 Mile today, going along with his 4x800m relay performance. The senior went 4:12.02 in the 1 Mile, coming up just shy of back-to-back titles in that event.
Langstaff was a second place finisher in the 800m run with a time of 1:50.84, as Columbia doubled-up in the event with Willie Hall claiming sixth in 1:52.20.
Ritz was able to place fourth in the 1,000m run, scoring four points for the Lions on the day with a time of 2:25.18. In the 5,000m run, Tal Braude was able to secure a fourth place finish in 14:23.16.