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Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics/Mike McLaughlin

Track & Field Opens Indoor Season At Yale & Dartmouth Tri-Meet

Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics
          Release: 01/17/2013
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NEW YORK - The Columbia track & field team opens its 2013 indoor season on Saturday, Jan. 19 with its annual Ivy League tri-meet against Yale and Dartmouth in New Haven, Conn.

Field events are slated to begin at 10:30 a.m. with the weight throw. Running events will start at 1 p.m. with the 60-meter hurdles and the final event is scheduled for 3:35 p.m. Meet results will be available at GoColumbiaLions.com and DirectAthletics.com following the competition.

Columbia is coming off a successful cross country season in which its men's team made program history at the Northeast Regional, placing four runners in the top-15 to capture an automatic bid to the NCAA National Champions with a second-place finish. The 72-point total was enough to edge regional rankings leader No. 14 Syracuse by one point. The Lions were led by USTFCCCA All-Region honorees, seniors Mark Feigen, Mike Murphy, Leighton Spencer and junior Jacob Sienko

"We are coming off of one of our most successful season in program history," Columbia Director of Cross Country and Track & Field Willy Wood said. "We feel that we have the people in place to build upon that and reach even greater levels of achievement. Mark Feigen and Daniel Everett are in amazing shape after having breakthrough cross country seasons."

The Columbia men will face this season without three-time All-Ivy League first team standout Kyle Merber, but return a poised group of runners. The Lions return all members of the 4x800m 2012 Indoor Ivy League title squad, including Brendon Fish, Harrison McFann, Liam Tansey and Connor Claflin. First-team All-Ivy League middle distance runners Adam Behnke and Byron Jones will also be big contributors to the Lions success this season.

"We want to continue to be among the nation's top middle-distance programs. We have the potential to cover more events than we did last year. We have a very talented group of sprinters and jumpers with great potential to make us a better team, " said Coach Wood.

The Columbia women's team will look to build on a historic 2012 season on Sunday.  The Lions won thier first Ivy League Heptagonal Indoor Track & Field Championship in school history behind a slew of standout performances. Some of the women's big winners on Sunday included Monique Roberts in the high jump, Nadia Eke in the triple jump, Uju Ofoche in the long jump, Marvellous Iheukwumere in the 200m and Waverly Neer in the 3,000m.

Neer proudly represented the Lions on the national stage, competing in the 2012 NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships.  In the women's 3,000m, Neer took 15th place with a time of 9:33.32.

Neer also made her mark in the Columbia history books last sesason, qualifying for the NCAAs in the 3,000m by clocking a 9:08.72 at the Boston University Valentine Invitational. That time broke the school record set by former Honda Award winner Caroline Bierbaum in 2005 by nearly 10 seconds. At the 2012 New Balance Collegiate Invitational, Neer set the new school record in the mile as well with a time of 4:41.92.

"As always, our goal is to win Indoor Heps, " said Coach Willy Wood. "We bring back Sharay Hale and as a team we cover almost every event very well. A lot of our success will depend upon the health of Waverly Neer and Emily Lanois. We are looking forward to a great season because we are very talented. "

The Lions will welcome back 2011 USTFCCCA First-Team All-American in the indoor 400m  and two-time indoor heps Most Outstanding Performer of the Meet Sharay Hale this season.  In 2011 she finished seventh in the final heat at the NCAA National Indoor Championships in the 400m at 54.22.

Iheukwumere put together a sensational indoor sophomore season earning the 2012 Women's Armory College Athlete of the Year award. With a time of 24.61, she captured the 2012 Ivy League Indoor Track & Field champion in the 200m dash and took second place in the 60m dash with a time of 7.62. She was an All-Ivy League first-team selection for the 200m dash and a second-team honoree for the 60m dash. Ihuekwumere set the school record in the 60m dash at The Armory on Feb. 3 when she clocked a 7.56 in the prelims of the 2012 New Balance Collegiate Invitational.

Both teams each took second in last year's Ivy League tri-meet against Dartmouth and Yale. The Lions' women combined for 63 points while the Columbia men scored 60 points. Eighteen women's entries and 16 men's entries scored points for the Lions as the men and women both enjoyed eight first-place showings.

Check out the schedule of events of this year's tri-meet below:

TIME EVENTS
10:30 AM

Men's Weight Throw

Women's Weight Throw

10:30 AM

Men's Shot Put

Women's Shot Put

10:30 AM

Women's High Jump

Men's High Jump

11:00 AM

Women's Long Jump

Men's Long Jump

11:00 AM

Women's Triple Jump

Men's Triple Jump

12:00 PM

Women's Pole Vault

Men's Pole Vault

1:00 PM Men's 60m Hurdles - Trials
1:05 PM Women's 60m Hurdles - Trials
1:10 PM Men's 60m Dash - Trials
1:15 PM Women's 60m Dash Trials
1:20 PM Men's 1 Mile - Sections
1:30 PM Women's 1 Mile - Sections
1:40 PM Men's 60m Hurdles - Finals
1:45 PM Women's 60m Hurdles - Finals
1:50 PM Men's 400m Run - Sections
1:55 PM Women's 400m Run - Sections
2:00 PM Men's 500m Run - Sections
2:05 PM Women's 500m Run - Sections
2:10 PM Men's 60m Dash - Finals
2:15 PM Women's 60m Dash - Finals
2:20 PM Men's 800m Run - Sections
2:25 PM Women's 800m Run - Sections
2:30 PM Men's 1000m Run - Sections
2:35 PM Women's 1000m Run - Sections
2:40 PM Men's 200m Run - Sections
2:45 PM Women's 200m Run - Sections
2:50 PM Men's 3000m Run - Finals
3:00 PM Women's 3000m Run - Finals
3:10 PM Men's 4x800m Relay
3:20 PM Women's 4x800m Relay
3:30 PM Men's 4x400m Relay
3:35 PM Women's 4x400m Relay

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