Women's Track and Field Heptagonal Championships this Weekend

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PHILADELPHIA - One week after hosting the 117th running of the Penn Relays, the University of Pennsylvania women's track and field team is set to compete at the 2011 Outdoor Heptagonal Championships this weekend at Yale's Cuyler Athletic Complex in New Haven, Conn.

The Heps meet kicks off at 11 a.m. on Saturday with trials for the 400 meters. A couple finals for field events will be taking place at the same time for the hammer throw, pole vault and long jump. Saturday concludes with the finals for the 10,000 meters at 5:45 p.m. Championship Sunday begins with the resumption of the heptathlon plus the finals for the triple jump at 11 a.m. The 2011 Heptagonal team champion will be announced around 5 p.m. For live updates and results throughout the meet, see the 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.

Entering this weekend's competition, Penn has ten marks ranking in the top six of the Ivy League. Among them is sophomore Leslie Kovach, who was two results appearing among the top three in the Ivies. After setting the school record in the 5,000 meters last weekend at the Penn Relays, clocking in at 16:11.59, Kovach now holds the league's best time in the event. In addition, she currently sits in third in the 10,000 meters.

Freshman Gabrielle Piper posted the second-best Ivy League time of the year in the 100-meter hurdles. Her time of 14.12 set at the Wake Forest Open earlier this season is only four-hundredths of a second behind that of Danielle Silas of Cornell.

A couple of Penn's relay teams are also ranked in the top six among the Ivies, one of them being the 4x100 team which includes Piper, and juniors Paige Madison and Leah Brown, and senior Kali Strother. Madison, Brown, and Strother are also a part of the 4x400 team along with junior Victoria Strickland that is ranked fourth in the Ivy League. Furthermore, Brown is fourth in the 100 meters and Madison is sixth in both the 400-meter run and hurdles.

In the field events, sophomore Morgan Wheeler owns the sixth-best toss of the year in the javelin, while Catherine Okoukoni is also sixth in the league in the triple jump. Wheeler's throw of 43.02 meters last weekend at the Penn Relays moved her to fifth in the Penn record books.

The Quakers finished in fifth place with 86 points while taking home two Heps titles at the Ivy outdoor championship meet last year. Strother became just the second Quaker to ever win the 400-meter Heps title, and one day after setting the school record in the long jump, then-senior Kathryn Gevitz became the first Quaker since 1991 to win both the indoor and outdoor triple jump titles in the same year. In the 400-meter hurdles, Madison became the first Penn woman to ever break the one-minute barrier with her time of 58.89, which was good for second place in the event. Then-senior Anna Aagenes also finished as runner-up in the 1,500 meters as did the 4x100 team.

A full recap of the 2011 Outdoor Heptagonal Championships will be available at PennAthletics.com shortly after the completion of each day's events.