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Women Post Best Showing at Ivy League Championship in 18 Years

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Photo Courtesy of The Ivy League/Ryan Samson, Sideline Photos     By Beverly Schaefer

HANOVER, N.H.  – The growth of the Dartmouth women’s track & field program took another huge step forward Sunday afternoon in the final day of competition at the 2014 Ivy League Heptagonal Championship.

Hosting the event inside Leverone Field House, the Big Green claimed second place with 102 points, their best finish in the standings since 1996 and the program’s most points ever in an indoor championship. Just four years ago when the team last hosted this meet, they were seventh with 16 points, illustrating tremendous growth in just a short period time.

The Harvard women took home the team title with solid performances in the final few events of the day, holding off a surging Big Green for the top spot in the standings.

“I couldn’t be more proud of how of we competed these two days,” Herbert and Marge Chase Head Coach for Women’s Track & Field Sandy Ford-Centonze said. “We really did a great job of maximizing our opportunities to help us earn points.

“I also feel great about the type of effort we saw from our seniors this weekend. They have so much to be proud of in their final home indoor meet and during their time with this program,” Ford-Centonze added.

For the second straight indoor season and the fourth time in her career between both indoor and outdoor campaigns, senior Abbey D'Agostino was selected as the Most Outstanding Track Performer of the Meet. Sunday’s most recent accolade came in unanimous fashion as she was part of 30 points, winning two individual titles this weekend as well as a relay championship for the first time in her career.

A day after claiming the 5000m, D’Agostino pulled off the trifecta with her third Ivy title in the mile in as many years on Sunday. The senior from Topsfield, Mass., ran a 4:40.28 in the finals to earn 10 points for her team, while sophomore Elizabeth Markowitz added another eight to the total with her impressive second-place finish in 4:44.53.

D’Agostino and Markowitz would also make up half of the Green’s 4x800 relay team on Sunday. Meggie Donovan and Megan Krumpoch started and anchored the race with the two top milers making up the middle portion. That foursome would combine to run an 8:45.41, capturing the event title for the first time in program history.

At the completion of the weekend, D’Agostino now has 12 individual Ivy titles while a part of the one relay championship effort.

Like D’Agostino, Krumpoch would also put together an outstanding day of competition in her final home races at Leverone. In the 800m, the Dartmouth senior passed Harvard’s Erika Veidis on the final lap’s last turn to win the individual crown in 2:05.56, qualifying for Nationals in the process.

It wasn’t just seniors who were taking home titles on Sunday either as sophomore Jennifer Meech captured the top spot in the finals of the 200m. She ran a 24.66 in winning the first heat, edging out Ashley Cunningham of Columbia by just two-hundredths of a second. Fellow Lion Marvellous Iheukwumere, the two-time defending Ivy League indoor champion at this distance, was the top runner in the second heat, but crossed in 24.72, allowing Meech to earn the top step on the podium.

The sophomore also picked up points with a sixth-place showing in the final of the 400m in 54.40.

Meech’s classmate Dana Giordano took home the 2014 title in the 3000m in one of the most exiting races of the day on either the men’s or women’s side. She was at the front of the pack the whole race and after Sarah Delozier’s early pace-setting run dropped back, the Dartmouth sophomore took control. The win was not easy, though, as Princeton’s Megan Curham (9:22.08) hung with her until the final 100 meters before Giordano outkicked the runner-up for the win, crossing the line in 9:21.77.

Sophomore Kaitlin Whitehorn added four points in the 60m, crossing fourth in 7.55. Whitehorn was 11th in the high jump as well with a height of 5-4.50/1.64m.

Cathy Liebowitz picked up a point in the weight throw with a toss of 54-8.75/16.68m to take sixth.

Eighteen of Dartmouth’s points in the final standings came from senior Janae Dunchack on Saturday as she won both the pentathlon and took second in the long jump. Her victory in the pentathlon was the fourth of her career, making her just the second Ivy League woman to take home the title in all four seasons of her collegiate career.

Most Outstanding Performers:
Female (Track): Abbey D'Agostino, Dartmouth*
Female (Field): Adabelle Ekechukwu, Harvard
*-Unanimous vote by coaches

1. Harvard, 122
2. Dartmouth, 102
3. Columbia, 95
4. Princeton, 79
5. Cornell, 54
6. Brown, 37.5
7. Penn, 22.5
8. Yale, 15