Previewing the Heps Championships for Women's Track and Field

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PHILADELPHIA - Its the biggest weekend of the year for Ivy League track and field. All 16 teams from the eight schools will converge at Princeton's Weaver Stadium for the 2010 Outdoor Heptagonal Championships on Saturday and Sunday. The University of Pennsylvania women's track and field team boasts 18 marks ranking in the top six of the league this year.

The meet begins Saturday at 11 a.m. with the start of the heptathlon. The field events are underway with the hammer throw at noon and the first track events are the 400-meter qualifiers. The first day concludes with the 10,000 meters at 6:15 p.m. Championship Sunday begins at 11 a.m. with the resumption of the heptathlon, while field and track events start at noon with the 5,000 meters, discus and high jump. A 2010 Heptagonal team champion will be announced around 5:30 p.m. For live updates and results throughout the meet, see the Heps Track homepage link atop this release.

At Heps, only the top-six finishers score in each event and Penn will be counting on points from a variety of its athletes in a variety of events.

The sprints will be an important part of the meet for the Quakers as they have served to be one of the team's biggest strengths throughout the year. Sophomores Leah Brown, Renee McDougall and Paige Madison will be busy, as will junior Kali Strother. Each will most likely participate in more than one individual event and possibly more than one relay. Brown ranks fifth in the league in the 100 meters and sixth in the 200 meters, McDougall is sixth in the 100 meters, and Madison is fifth among the Ivies in both hurdles events. Strother will be a threat for the title in the 200 meters (she currently ranks fourth in the league) and the 400 meters, where she has posted the second-best Ivy League time of the year.

Senior Jamie Massarelli is recovering from injury, but has had an impressive season, ranking among the top six in the league in both the 400 meters and 800 meters. Senior Anna Aagenes will most likely add some points in the middle distance as well. She ranks second in the 1,500 meters and was the runner-up in the 800 meters a year ago.

Penn has also fielded two of the better relay teams in the league this year. The 4x100 team has been bettered by only one other Ivy team (Cornell), and the 4x400 relay enters with the third-best time in the Ivies.

In the field events, Kathryn Gevitz will have a legitimate shot at both the triple jump and the long jump titles. Gevitz won the indoor Heptagonal triple jump championship in March and enters the outdoor meet ranked fourth in the event. Her wind-aided long jump of 6.08 meters (19 feet, 11 1/2 inches) is second among Ivy competitors. In the pole vault, Yelizaveta Lozovatskaya ranks third and in the javelin, freshman Morgan Wheeler ranks fifth. Wheeler is also third in the heptathlon after her score of 4,152 at the Penn Relays.

Last year at the league championships, the Quakers finished with several ECAC qualifiers and numerous personal bests to place seventh as a team at Franklin Field. Aagenes, Strother, McDougall, Brown and Madison each earned second-team All-Ivy Honors. Aagenes was the runner-up in the 800 meters and the other four were a part of the school's second-fastest relay in team history, finishing as the runner-up in the 4x100.

A full recap of the 2010 Outdoor Heptagonal Championships will be available at PennAthletics.com shortly after the completion of each day's events.

Download: Record Book.pdf