Showdown in the Big Apple - Women's Track Heps Preview

The University of Pennsylvania women’s track team will compete at the 2005 Heptagonal Ivy League Championships on May 7-8 at Wein Stadium on the campus of Columbia University in New York City.

The Red and Blue are coming off their best indoor finish since 1999 and look to improve upon last season’s fifth-place showing at the 2004 Outdoor Heptagonal Championships. Junior Charity Payne and sophomore Catrina Chisholm will look to defend their Ivy League titles in the shot put and hammer, respectively, while seniors Izu Emgeawali and Sam Crook, junior Dana McCurdy, sophomore Tina Morrsion and freshmen Jesse Carlin and Shaunee Morgan are in the hunt for titles of their own.

Competing for the Quakers in the sprints will be Emeagwali, Morgan and Carlin. Emeagwali, who is the Penn program record holder in the 100m, will compete in both the 100m and 200m and run on the 400m relays and the 1600m relay. Morgan added her name to the all-time top-10 Penn performances earlier this season in the 200m, clocking in at 25.09. She will compete in the both sprints and on the relays. Carlin enters the 400m with the second fastest pre-Heps time (55.01) and the second-best performance in the event in Quaker history. The rookie broke in the indoor school record in the 400m with her fourth-place finishes at the Indoor Heps.

Morrison, freshmen Stacy and Claire Kim and senior Claire Duncan will look to score points for the Red and Blue in the middle distance events. Morrison qualified for the NCAA Regionals in the 800m and currently has the 13th-fastest time in the East at 2:08.59. Stacy Kim has the fourth fastest 1,500m time in program history with a time of 4:31.80. Claire Kim has clocked in at 9:47.63 in the 3,000m which is the fourth fastest on Penn’s all-time top-10 list. Duncan is an NCAA Regional Qualifier in the steeplechase with her school record time of 10:38.8. Her time is the third fastest pre-Heps time and ranks 14th in the East.

Sophomore Jeanette Curtis should challenge in the 100m hurdles. She finished second in the 60m indoors and has the second-fastest pre-Heps time. In the 400m hurdles, junior Dana McCurdy will look to improve upon her fifth-place finish a season ago. McCurdy has the fifth-fastest pre-Heps time coming into this weekends events.

Senior Sam Crook is coming off a record-breaking performance at the 2005 Penn Relays. The pole vaulter broke her own school record in the event, clearing a height of 12’11” to win the College division. She holds the top pre-Heps mark, over indoor champion Molly Lederman of Yale, who vaulted 12’9”. The two finished first and second at the indoors championships and second and third at the last year’s championships.

The Quakers will have senior Rachel Dailey compete in the high jump, sophomore Shani Boston in the long jump and classmate Jerrie Kumalah in the triple jump.

In the throwing events, Payne and Chisholm are looking to defend their titles. Payne, who won the indoor shot put title, has the third best pre-Heps throw. Chisholm threw 169-07.25 at the Penn Invitational earlier this year which is the second-best pre-Heps mark.

In the 4x100m relay, the Red and Blue have the second-fastest pre-Hep mark behind Cornell, which is looking to win the event for the fourth year-in-a-row. The stage is set for an interesting match-up in the 4x400m relay as the Quakers seek to upset three-time defending champion Cornell. The Quakers won the Penn Relay Heptagonal Championships last week finishing ahead of Cornell. Earlier in year Penn broke the school record when they raced the Big Red at the Penn Invitational. The Quakers 3:39.82 is the 10th fastest time on the East Coast this spring.

The 2005 Heptagonal Championships kick off on May 7 with the women’s hammer throw at 10 a.m. For complete results click here.

Written by Heather Palmer, associate director of athletic communications