Women’s Track-and-Field Team Earns Historic First

Columbia women's track and field team
The women's track-and-field team after their victory at the Ivy League Championships. (CU Athletics / Mike McLaughlin)

Columbia women took the team title at the Ivy League Heptagonal Indoor Track and Field Championships for the first time in school history on February 25 and 26.

Marvellous Iheukwumere ’14CC led the Lions with a win in the 200-meter dash and a second-place finish in the 60 meters. A native of Austin, Texas, Iheukwumere was on a roll, having set a school record in the 60 meters just three weeks earlier. (In March, she would be named the College Athlete of the Year by the Armory Foundation, a nonprofit that promotes track-and-field competitions in New York City.)

Other Lions women to win individual events at the Ivy Championships were Uju Ofoche ’13CC in the long jump, Monique Roberts ’12BC in the high jump, Nadia Eke ’15CC in the triple jump, Miata Morlu ’14CC in the 400-meter dash, and Waverly Neer ’15CC in the 3,000-meter dash.

“It sounds like a cliché, but it really was an overall team effort,” says Willy Wood, Columbia’s director of cross-country and track and field. “We couldn’t have asked for more from any kid on the entire team.”

The men’s team also performed well at the Heps, finishing third behind Princeton and Harvard, despite not competing in many of the field events and sprint events. Kyle Merber ’12CC took first place in the one-mile run and then ran the anchor leg behind Adam Behnke ’12CC, Byron Jones ’14CC, and Daniel Everett ’15CC to win the men’s distance-medley relay.