PRINCETON, N.J. – On the final day of competition at the 2013 Ivy League Heptagonal Outdoor Championships, the Columbia track & field returned to Princeton’s Weaver Stadium to grab four individual titles and two relay titles.
The Lions totaled eight titles over the course of two days of action. The Columbia women garnered its best showing since 2005 with a runner-up finish and a program record of 121 team points. The men took fourth place, anchored by its distance runners, tallying a program record 73 team points for its best finish since 1938.
IVY LEAGUE INDIVIDUAL/RELAY CHAMPIONS
4x800m Relay - John Gregorek, Brendon Fish, Connor Claflin, Harry McFann
For the second straight season, Columbia takes the victory in the men's 4x800m run defending its outdoor Ivy League title. With combined time of 7:24.11, the squad of Gregorek, Fish, Claflin and McFann put together one of the best performances of the season.
(Columbia University Athletics | Darlene Camacho)
3,000m Steeplechase Run - John Gregorek
Gregorek added an Ivy League title with a first-place finish in the men’s 3,000m steeplechase with a time of 8:54.21. The school record holder led the Columbia place and was also joined by Joseph Kotran on the podium. Kotran posted a career-best time of 8:56.01 for an overall third place finish.
Gregorek & Kotran in the 3,000m Steeplechase (Columbia University Athletics | Darlene Camacho)
The Columbia men have performed well all season in the mid-distance and distance events. They continued to shine on Saturday in several events, including big showing in the 800m run. Claflin led the way with a runner-up finish with a career-best time of 1:48.68. He finished ahead of 2012 champion teammate Mcfann who crossed the the line third place at 1:49.12. Fish completed the dominance with a fifth place a time of 1:49.81.
Daniel Everett gave the Lions another runner-up finish in the men's 5,000m with a time of 14:11.03. Mark Fiegen also had a solid day in the men's 1,500m with a fourth-place finish with a time of 3:51.32.
IVY LEAGUE INDIVIDUAL/RELAY CHAMPIONS
Waverly Neer wins first Ivy title of the day (Columbia University Athletics | Gene Boyars)
5,000m - Waverly Neer
After spending most of the 2012-13 season recovering from injury, Neer battled back to capture her first outdoor 5,000m Ivy Leauge title on Sunday. The sophomore crossed the finish line in an IC4A qualifying time of 16:14.23. Neer also went on to place third in the women's 3,000m run with a time of 9:29.60.
4X100m Relay - Uju Ofoche, Marvellous Iheukwumere, Iris Chijoke, Jaycee Parker
With a season best time of 46.47, the quartet of sprinters Ofoche, Iheukwumere, Chijoke and Parker combined for a winning effort in Princeton. The squad added an important 10 points on the day for the Lions.
Iheukwumere takes 100m Ivy League Crown (Columbia Athletics/Darlene Camacho)
100m - Marvellous Iheukwumere
Iheukwumere returned in day tow of action ro repeat a top prefomrnace in the women's 100m dash. After finising the 100m prelims in leading fashion with a career-best time of 11.82, the junior went on capture the Ivy Leauge title in the finals with the same time of 11.82.
200m - Marvellous Iheukwumere
The Austin, Teaxas native earned her second individual Ivy League title of the meet in the 200m run. She led a dominant Columbia peformance in the event with a winning time of 23.54 (wind - 2.1). The Ivy League record holder Sharay Hale placed third at 24.26 and Jaycee Parker followed in fourth place at 24.32. Hale also added a fourth place finish in the women's 400m clocking in at 55.46.
The Lions placed two jumpers in the top three of the women's triple jump behind a runner-up finish by Nadia Eke (12.68m) and a third place finish by QueenDenise Okeke (12.38m). In the women's hurdle events, first-year Iris Chikoke (14.24) earned points with a fourth place in the 100m hurdles and Susan Rodriguez (59.91) grabbed fourth place in the 400m hurdles.
Distance runners Trina Bills and Erin Gillingham joined the action in the women's 800m (Bills, 3rd-2:07.77) and the women's 1,500m (Gillingham, 3rd-4:27.39) to bring the Lions to its best conference finish in seven years.