Princeton, N.J. - The Brown University women's cross country team will travel to Princeton's West Windsor Fields for the 2012 Ivy League Heptagonal Championships this Saturday at 11:00 a.m. Each of the Ancient Eight will race twelve individuals as they compete for the conference title and for points to help qualify out of the regional meets to the NCAA Championships later in the season.
Last year in Coach Mitchell Baker's first season with Brown, the team finished seventh with 153 points and the added challenge of blizzard-like conditions on the 6-kilometer course. Cornell claimed the 2011 title and looks to have a chance to defend that title after throwing down some fast times at the Adidas Invitational earlier this season and earning a No. 7 ranking nationally. No. 22 Yale is the only other Ivy League school to have a top-30 ranking this season. At the Adidas Invitational, Brown placed fifth out of the Ivies and right on both Harvard and Princeton's tails.
Junior Margaret Connelly (Chicago, IL) returns after placing 10th at the 2011 Heps Championships, as does junior Heidi Caldwell (Hanover, NH) who also finished in the top-20 last year. Both senior captains Olivia Mickle (Sacramento, CA) and Bree Shugarts (Lewistown, PA) will be competing and are also familiar with the course from last year as veteran racers. Mickle qualified to the NCAA Track Championships in the 10-kilometer race in the spring.
The individual competition is primed to be competitive and exciting as only one of the top-10 finishers from last year graduated. Abbey D'Agostino, the 2011 champion from Dartmouth returns, but she did not compete at the Adidas Invitational earlier in the season.
After Saturday's competition, the Bears will have two weeks to continue to prepare for the Northeast Regional Championships on Friday, November 9, that will be held at Hammonasset State Park in Connecticut.