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Indoor Track & Field Update - 1

Princeton's Julia Ratcliffe
Princeton's Julia Ratcliffe

PRINCETON, N.J. -- Seven of the eight Ivy League track and field teams have opened their indoor seasons, posting successful outings before they break for the holidays. The highlight of the League's season openers came in Princeton, N.J., as freshman Julia Ratcliffe made her collegiate debut with an Ivy League record toss in the weight throw, reaching 64-3 to beat the mark previously set by former Tiger Thanithia Billings in 2011.

Here is a team-by-team look at the Ivy League squads this season:

The Bears' men's and women's teams combined for 13 titles at the non-team scoring Alden Invitational. Senior Lacey Craker and junior John Spooney picked up right where they left off last season, winning the weight throw and the 60m dash, respectively. Freshman Kebbeh Darpolor opened her career with a shot put title winning throw of 46-9 ½. Freshman O'Sha Williams led the women to a 1-2-3 finish in the triple jump and senior Tess Plant-Thomas won the 1,000m run in 3:02. Both the men's and women's 4x400m relay teams placed first as well.

Next event: Saturday, Jan. 12, Sorlien Invite – Kingston, R.I.

Next event: Saturday, Jan. 12, NYRR – New York

Competing against 16 other teams, the men and women won a total of 18 events at the Cornell Relays. Freshman Hillary Holmes scored 3,605 points in the pentathlon, winning the event while setting a new school freshman record and the third-best mark in Cornell history. Senior Ailish Hanly won the high jump with a personal-record leap of 5-8. Fellow classmate Claire Dishong tied the school record in the pole vault, set two years ago by Natalie Gengel, by clearing 12-9 ½. The Big Red placed four of the top five in the 500 led by Ryan Woolley, who won the event with a personal-best 1:15.40.

On the men's side, the Big Red took the top four spots in the 60m dash, as junior Chris Bain led the way, clocking in at 6.80. Cornell went 1-2 in the 500 with sophomore Cisco Olloqui taking the top spot in 1:06.20. Olympic Trials finalist Montez Blair cleared 7-2 ¼ to easily win the high jump, while Steven Bell took the long jump title with a leap of 23-10 ¼. Sophomore All-American Stephen Mozia looks ready to improve upon his second-place showing in the Ivy League Heptagonal Indoor shot put, as he won that event along with the weight throw at the Cornell Relays, setting a personal record in the latter event.

Next event: Friday, Jan. 4, Southern Tier Collegiate Invite – Ithaca, N.Y.

The Big Green competed in three non-scoring events over the space of a week before it takes a break for the holidays. After a number of top-five finishes at the Jay Carisella Invite hosted by Northeastern, junior Janae Dunchack picked up the Big Green's first title of the season, winning the URI Pentathlon. Dunchack, who has won the past two Ivy League pentathlon individual titles, bested 14 other competitors with 3,654 points. In its next event, the Harvard Invitational, Dartmouth recorded a pair of championships as junior Megan Krumpoch won the 400m with a time of 56.80 and sophomore Cathy Liebowitz won the weight throw with a toss of 51-7 ¾.

The men competed in two events over the week, the Jay Carisella Invite and the Harvard Invitational. The Big Green saw senior Connor Reilly set a new meet record at Northeastern with a winning time of 6.91 in the 60m dash. Junior Dom Filiano won the shot put by more than a foot, recording a throw of 49-4 ½. Dartmouth earned a number of top-five finishes at Harvard, including Reilly's second-place run in the 55m dash (6.42).

Next event: Friday-Sunday, Jan. 11-13, Dartmouth Relays – Hanover, N.H.

The Crimson competed in just one event before the winter break, hosting the Harvard Invitational on Dec. 8. On the women's side, Freshman Martina Salander became just the second athlete in school history to break the eight-second mark in the 55m hurdles, winning the event in 7.96. Salander also won the 600m with a time of 1:38.68, while fellow classmate Autumne Franklin placed first in the 300 with a 40.22 mark. Sophomore Ann Giebelhaus matched her persona-best in the high jump with a leap of 5-7. For the men, last year's Ivy League Indoor pole vault champion, senior Nico Weiler, won his signature event by clearing 16-2 ¾.

Next event: Friday, Jan. 18, Vault Summit – Reno, N.V.

The Quakers opened their 2012-13 schedule at Lehigh on Dec. 7 with six victories, including one by a freshman who set the fourth-best shot put mark in program history. Penn actually went 1-2 in the shot put as Theresa Picciallo recorded a throw of 45-1 ½, the longest toss since 2007. Sophomore Annie Holland won the high jump with a leap of 5-7, senior Jillian Hart won the pole vault after clearing 11-7 ¾ and freshman Eliana Yankelev was the long jump champion with a mark of 18-0 ½. Junior Gabrielle Piper, who won the Ivy League Indoor 60m hurdles after placing second as a freshman, opened her season with a victory in her best event, crossing the line in 8.84. She also placed second in the 60m dash. Sophomore Shakele Seaton earned her first collegiate victory, winning the 500m in 1:18.88.

For the men, two-time All-American Maalik Reynolds did what he does best, winning the high jump with a leap of 6-10 ¾. Freshman Thomas Pitt (6-6 ¾) came in second in the event. Junior Jake Brenza won the shot put with the fourth-best toss in program history (54-5 ¼) and freshman Drew Magaha won the 1,000m title with a time of 2:32.74.

Next event: Jan. 12, Iona Meet of Champions – New York

Freshman Julia Ratcliffe made her collegiate debut a memorable one, setting an Ivy League record in the weight throw at Princeton's New Year's Invitational. Ratcliffe's toss of 64-3 beat the mark previously set by former Tiger Thanithia Billings in 2011. The Tigers were not done, however, winning a total of seven events. Three-time Ivy League Indoor pole vault champion Tory Worthen opened her 2012-13 season with yet another win, clearing 12-5 ½. A pair of freshman also earned their first collegiate victories as Taylor Morgan won the high jump (5-8 ¾) and Sarah Lavin won the 60mH (8.55). Princeton also did well in the distance events as junior Kristin Smoot won the mile (5:01.59) and senior Melissa Zajdel won the 1,000m (2:55.95).

The men also featured a freshman earning a victory in his first collegiate competition. John Hill won the 60m dash with a time of 6.93. He was joined in the winner's circle by junior Tom Hopkins, who won the 300m with a time of 34.31.

Next events: Sunday, Jan. 6, at Navy (men only) – Annapolis, Md.; Friday, Jan. 11, Princeton Quad Meet (women only) – Princeton, N.J.

Six Bulldogs earned victories at the Yale Season Opener. In the field events, freshman Karleh Wilson won the shot put with the fifth-best mark in program history (39-6 ½), while senior Antonia Renker took the weight throw title (46-1 ½). On the track, freshman Shannon McDonnell won the 1,000m (3:01.46) and fellow classmate Elizabeth McDonald won the 3,000m (10:29.30). Sophomore Anna Demaree placed first in the 5,000m run in 17:45.02 and senior Annelies Gamble won the mile run by 10 seconds as she finished in 5:04.75. Senior Allison Rue set a personal-best with a 1:16.47 run in the 500m, placing second in the process.

The men earned three titles, including a winning weight throw toss of 57-8 ¼ by senior Michael Levine. The Bulldogs went 1-2 in the mile, as Michael Pierce won the event (4:25.38) and freshman Max Payson was second (4:32.71). Junior James Shirvell took the title in the 1,000m, crossing the line in 2:26.57.

Next event: Saturday, Jan. 12, Yale Invitational – New Haven, Conn.