iHeps12 — Women’s Distance

Last year, as a high school senior back in Indiana, Columbia’s Waverly Neer set national high school records. She has only gotten better with time, as her season bests of 4:41.92 (mile) and 9:08.72 (3k) attest. But there is something keeping Neer from being the favorite in her favorite events — Dartmouth sophomore Abbey D’Agostino, who is building a resume and a case to become the greatest female distance runner in Ivy history. That isn’t said without a great deal of consideration, after all, world cross country champion and Olympic medalist Lynn Jennings went to Princeton. And then there was Honda Award winner Caroline Bierbaum. But D’Agostino broke on to the scene as a freshman and took third in the 5k at NCAA Outdoor and then did the same at the NCAA Cross Country Championships, firmly establishing herself as one of the best runners in the nation. This year she has run a converted mile time of 4:36.64 and posted a 9:02.15 in the 3k. She also took the Big Green from fifth to second in the championship distance medley relay at the New Balance Collegiate Invitational in The Armory earlier this month. And yet, Neer and D’Agostino are the ones to watch, but there is a deep stack of distance talent in Heps right now, including Princeton All-American Alex Banfich, Cornell’s Katie Kellner (who ran a 16:11.38 5k this year), Dartmouth’s Alexi Pappas and Columbia’s Caroline McDonough and Emily Lanois. We hope to see the meet’s mile record of 4:43.63 go down, not because we don’t like Cack Ferrell, but because we want to see a battle. — Brett Hoover

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