The clear showstopper here remains Abbey D’Agostino of Dartmouth. Not only is she defending her 2011 5k title. Not only should she break the Outdoor Heps Championship record. Her best time of the season is a mere three seconds shy of the Olympic Games ‘A’ standard.
Yet D’Ag had a stunning experience at Indoor Heps, losing to Brown’s Heidi Caldwell by one-hundredth of a second. She clearly didn’t even know that Caldwell was zooming up the inside rail at Cornell. With that lesson learned, it would be hard to imagine that D’Agostino would not take the pace out somewhat hard and drop everyone else. After all, only Caldwell is within a minute of D’Agostino’s season best (15:23.35).
Cornell’s Katie Kellner shares a similar distance from the field in the 10,000m run. Her season best of 32:58.73 is 55 seconds faster than No. 2 Emily Lanois of Columbia. Trying to make history and break Caroline Bierbaum’s 2005 meet record would be the tallest of orders. After all, Lindsay Scherf was second to Bierbaum’s 32:44 despite breaking an American Junior record. Also, somewhere Waverly Neer of Columbia will be running at the front of the pack.
Dartmouth’s Alexi Pappas is the star of the steeplechase field, having broken 10 minutes this spring. But two Big Red runners from Cornell — Genna Hartung and Rachel Sorna — have put themselves into the League’s all-time top 10 this year. And potential further distance points for Cornell could await in the 3,000m run. The top two runners this year — Emily Shearer and Kellner — both hail from Ithaca. After that a group of Yalies, led by Melissa Chapman, are in the mix. — Brett Hoover