It was Princeton’s Lauren Simmons that threw down the gauntlet in the women’s 800m run at Heps 10 years ago. After a decade of no one breaking 2:09 at the Championships, Simmons began a line of half-mile speedsters dominating the competition, including Olympic hopefuls Morgan Uceny and Kate Grace. The question is, after Grace’s Yale graduation, who will be next in line to pick up the torch.
At first glance, it looks like Princeton’s Greta Feldman — who has League bests in both the 800m (2:06.66) and 1,500m run (4:18.86) — is the obvious choice, but there is a steady stream of contenders for the crown. Dartmouth’s Christina Supino isn’t far behind while Columbia’s Madeline Rathbun is a close third. The top six in the 800 — including indoor champ Meghan Looney of Harvard — are each under the 2:09 barrier that runners in the ’90s found so elusive.
The 1,500m run is hard to pick because the field could include dominant distance runners like Dartmouth’s Abbey D’Agostino and Columbia’s Waverly Neer, neither of whom has put up a time this year. If Feldman were to focus on the 800 and relays and D’Agostino and Neer stay in the distance races, this could be a big event for the Cornell Big Red as Janel Parker and Alyssa O’Connor sit second and third on the ranked list. But don’t discount Yale standout Nihal Kayali. — Brett Hoover