Women's Track and Field Preps for Heptagonal Championships

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PHILADELPHIA - With a young, but maturing squad, the University of Pennsylvania women's track and field team will enter its most pressure-packed meet of the year this weekend as the Quakers make their way to Hanover, N.H., to compete for the Ivy League title at the 2010 Indoor Heptagonal Track and Field Championships on Feb. 27-28.

The first women's event at Leverone Field House, located on the campus of Dartmouth University, begins on Saturday at 1:05 p.m. with the start of the pentathlon. The first field events are the shot put and pole vault at 2 p.m., while the first track events will be the preliminaries of the 60-meter hurdles at 2:15 p.m. and the mile at 2:30 p.m. The first day is set to conclude with the 200-meter semifinals at 4:30 p.m. Meanwhile, Sunday’s slate of events kicks off with final of the mile at 12:10 p.m., and ends with the 4x400 relay at 3:55 p.m. The awards ceremony for the meet is scheduled shortly thereafter at 4:15 p.m.

Heading into the championship event, junior Kali Strother has posted the second-fastest time in the Ivy League so far this seaon in the 200 meters. Penn's 4x400 and 4x800 relay's are both ranked third among the Ivies. Also ranking in the top five of the Ivy League are Leslie Kovach (5,000 meters), Paige Madison (500 meters), Kathryn Gevitz (triple jump), Leah Brown (60 meters), Yelizaveta Lozovatskaya (pole vault) and Kristen Judge (high jump). Jamie Massarelli is ranked sixth in the 400 and 800 meters, and is fourth in the 500 meters.

Last season, Penn placed fifth at the Heptagonal Championships for the second straight year. Anna Aagenes earned indoor All-Ivy honors as she provisionally qualified for the NCAA's with a runner-up finish in the 800 meters. Six of the nine Quakers that earned points at the meet last year will be competing for the Red and Blue this weekend.

In Penn's last competition before the Heptagonals, the Quakers placed fifth as a team at the Armory Duals on Feb. 13. The Red and Blue were led by a winning performance by the 4x400 relay team and Kovach's runner-up finish in the 3,000 meters where she set the school's freshman record. Several other Quakers are coming off impressive efforts as Lozovatskaya matched the school's second-best pole vault, Brown ran the second fastest 60 meters in Penn history, and Madison and Massarelli moved into the top 3 all-time at Penn in the 400 meters.

Complete results from the meet will be available on PennAthletics.com shortly after the conclusion of each day’s events.