Day One: Columbia Posts Several Title Contending Marks

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Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics/Gene Boyars

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. – With day one of the 2014 Ivy League Heptagonal Outdoor Track & Field Championships complete, Columbia looks to be in solid position to come away with a number of Ivy League titles behind some top performances in preliminary heats on Saturday, May 10 at Yale’s Cuyler Field & Dweyr Track.

THE COLUMBIA WOMEN

For the second time in her career, Nadia Eke grabbed a runner-up finish in the women's long jump. Eke earned second team All-Ivy League honors with a personal-best leap of 6.01m. The junior was edged by just .01m as senior Imani Oliver of Princeton took home the win.

In just here first season, Gardenia Centanaro earned second team All-Ivy League honors in the pole vault. Centanaro cleared a height of 3.80m to finish the overall runner-up in the event.

Marvellous Iheukwumere was sensational in the sprints for the Lions, looking to defend her outdoor titles. In the 100m prelims, Iheukwumere ran the fastest time in the Ivy League this season at 11.63 to enter Sunday’s final as the top title contender. The senior’s time marked a career best and tied the Columbia all-time record set by Melissa Ikono in 2008. Iheukwumere went on to earn a spot in the 200m finals behind a top-three prelims time of 24.15.

In the 800m run, Trina Bills continued her solid performance this season with an overall runner-up time of 2:07.55. Bills will be joined by teammate Brittney Wade in the finals who clocked in with a qualifying time of 2:10.01.

Irisi Chijioke posted the first qualifying finals mark of the day with a fourth-place overall time of 13.96 in the 100m hurdles. Jaycee Parker followed with a sixth-place overall time of 55.27 in the 400m run. Parker also posted a top-three time in the 200m with a time of 24.12.

The Lions will have two runners compete in the 1500m finals on Sunday after Olivia Sadler and Aryn Foland both had impressive qualifying performances. Foland clocked in with the third-best time of the day at 4:26.55 and Sadler won her heat with a time of 4:26.67.

In the women’s hammer throw, Joanna Koronios put together a fifth-place showing with a measure of 52.45m to earn points for Columbia. Caroline Williams added to the opening day tally with a fifth-place finish in the 10,000m run with a time of 34:30.45.

THE COLUMBIA MEN

Duncan Dickerson grabbed the opening points for the Lions with a top-five finish in the men’s hammer throw. The senior threw for a measure of 57.82 to finish fourth overall.

The Lions dominated the preliminary mid-distance events with a number of top finishers in the men’s 800m and 1500m runs. Columbia stayed true to its impressive form in the 800m as four runners posted finals qualifying times. Harry McFann grabbed the top time of the day at 1:49.19, followed by Brendon Fish with the second-best overall time at 1:49.84, Connor Claflin with the fourth-best time at 1:50.75 and Rob Napolitano in the eight spot at 1:51.01.

John Gregorek led the way in the 1500m with an overall first-place time of 3:47.20. Just steps behind in the same heat was teammate Tim Cousins, who finished with a time of 3:47.92 to send both runners to Sunday’s finals.

Corey Hammond also posted a finals qualifying mark in the 400m hurdles running a fourth–place time of 54.78.

The Lions will return for the final day of the 2014 Ivy League Outdoor Track & Field Championships on Sunday, May 11 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.

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