PHILDELPHIA - The Dartmouth women's track and field team began the first day of competition at the 2012 Ivy League Heptagonal Championships Saturday at Penn's Franklin Field with records and strong showings in several preliminaries.
Through one day, Dartmouth sits eighth with four team points as just five events were not in the preliminaries.
Few would argue that the highlight of the day wasn't sophomore Abbey D'Agostino's (Topsfield, Mass.) record-setting performance in the preliminaries of the 1,500 meters, breaking the meet record en route to an automatic qualifying spot in Sunday's finals.
D'Agostino ran a 4:19.93, eclipsing the old Heps record of 4:20.75 set by Penn's Stacy Kim in 2008. The Dartmouth record in the event remains 4:16.23, set by Kristen Manwaring ’96.
"It wasn't about the meet record, but we wanted the race to be a little bit faster because we thought it would work to our advantage and help more of our runners make the finals," assistant coach Mark Coogan said. "It played out just as we had anticipated.
"Abbey is going to have to do it all over again tomorrow to win, but she's a great athlete and I have a ton of confidence in her that she will be able to do that," Coogan added.
The runner who benefited from that strategic planning was sophomore Arianna Vailas (Manchester, N.H.), who also qualified for Sunday's final in the 1,500 with a 4:26.33.
Another Big Green runner who will be moving on to Sunday's finals after qualifying in the preliminaries was senior Christina Supino (Windham, N.H.) in the 800 meters. Supino used a final kick down the stretch to win her heat in 2:08.36, the second fastest time of the afternoon in the event.
In the 400-meter hurdles, sophomore Megan Krumpoch (Shrewsbury, Mass.) won her heat and qualified second with a 1:01.69 and will challenge Sunday for an Ivy title in her top event.
Dartmouth is in good position through the first day of the heptathlon as well, as sophomore and indoor Heps champion Janae Dunchack (Northern Cambria) is in first place with 3,068 points after four events. Freshman Priscilla Trojano (West Brodgewater, Mass.) is not far back either, sitting third with 2,811 points through one day.
Freshman Cathy Liebowitz (Plainfield, N.H.) earned two points in her first outdoor Heps, taking fifth in the hammer throw with a measurement of 170-8.0/52.03m. Senior Christina Alexander (Austin, Texas) claimed sixth with a throw of 161-11.0/49.36m to earn another point for her team.
The final event of the day on either side saw sophomore Hannah Rowe (St. Johnsbury, Vt.) earn the fourth team point with a sixth-place showing in the 10,000 meters. Rowe ran a 35.36.53 and was part of a tightly-packed group of runners.
Sunday will see several members of the Big Green return to the track in hopes of earning an individual Ivy League title in events carrying over from Saturday as well as many that did not compete on this day.
Currently, Cornell is first in the standings with 39 points, leading second-place Brown by a single point.