Four of the five sprint and hurdle champions from 2011 are back and prepared to defend their titles in Philadelphia. John Spooney of Brown was just a freshman when he won the 100m/200m double last year (with some breathing room between him and second place) in New Haven. This year, the races are going to be more challenging for him as he is ranked sixth in the 100m and in a battle for second in the 200m. Spooney is also ranked third in the 400m dash, but it would seem unlikely that he could attempt that triple.
In the 100m, three of the top six performances have been deemed wind-aided, signifying that the winds at their backs were above the allowable gusts of two meters a second. That said, each of those runners is well known for being fast. Dartmouth’s Connor Reilly finished third in the 2010 100m final while his freshman teammate Brett Buskey was both a high school state and New England regional champion in the 100m. Meanwhile, Cornell’s sprinting corp is a group with whom to be reckoned.
Chase Aaronson, Chris Bain, Kinsley Ojukwu and Jedidiah Adarquah-Yiadon are not just ranked in the top seventh of the event, but they are also the 4×100 relay squad that set a top-10 relay time in all of outdoor Ivy history earlier this year.
A lot of these athletes are expected to go head-to-head in the 200m. The shorter sprinters need to keep their eyes on longer sprinters of Tom Hopkins of Princeton and Matt Bieszard of Yale. Hopkins has the top times in both the 200m and 400m while Bieszard is also expected to score highly in both events. Hopkins has now run faster than acclaimed teammate Austin Hollimon, who is sitting out the school year in preparation of a run at the Olympics in the 400m hurdles.
Both defending champions in the hurdles are expected to defend their crowns. Cornell’s Dan Hagberg currently has a wind-aided event lead in the 110 hurdles. If teammate Nick Huber opts to compete in the 110 hurdles again this year in conjunction or instead of the decathlon, Cornell could get some major points as Hagberg and Huber are ranked 1-2 (albeit Huber’s time was converted from a hand-held time during a decathlon). Do not count out Harvard frosh Jarvis Harris as he has the fastest legal time in the event.
In the 400m hurdles, Cornell could go 1-2-3 as Kenny McClain defending champion Brian Freitas and Huber could replicate the event listing. However, Huber could focus on the decathlon instead of the hurdles and might not do this triple. Tim Carey of Penn would love to sneak in and grab the title. — Mary Boggs