Most of the sprinting events are up in the air for the women as Columbia’s Sharay Hale has sat out the school year with an injury that hampered her chase at the NCAAs a year ago. Complicating matters is that many top performers have yet to reach their season peaks. Princeton’s Eileen Moran would love to defend her 100m title and add the 200m crown in her final Heps appearance. However, Cornell frosh Katie Woodford and Columbia sophomore Marvellous Iheukwumere are both eyeing those same crowns.
Woodford has the top 200m time (albeit wind-assisted) while Iheukwumere won the indoor 200m title and placed second in the indoor 60m dash. Cornell’s Melissa Hewitt could still try to regain the crown after suffering injury at last year’s Outdoor Heps, but she had a late start to her outdoor season. Never count out the Penn sprint force of Emily Townsend, Leah Brown and Gabrielle Piper — each a part of the fastest 4×100 squad this spring.
In the 400m, it could be a freshman affair as Harvard’s Gabrielle Scott, Brown’s Lauren Waterbury and Princeton’s Cecilia Barowski have been challenging each other all season-long. While each has run faster than 56 seconds, Waterbury was the fastest frosh during the indoor season, finishing second at Indoor Heps to the winner Miata Morlu of Columbia. However, it is Brown’s Colby Lubman who enters Heps with the fastest time this spring as she ran a huge personal best while competing in Florida earlier this season.
In the hurdles, Kyra Caldwell of Columbia could replicate her 2010 success and win both the 100m and 400m hurdle double again. But based on spring performances, a repeat of that appears unlikely. In the 400m hurdles, Molly Glantz of Cornell is the top returning scorer from 2011 and is nipping at Caldwell’s heels on the event listings. In the 100m hurdles, indoor high hurdle champion, Piper of Penn, has the speed to claim the crown as she is also ranked in the open 100m dash. Harvard’s Olivia Abbate, Cornell’s Taylor Baird and Brown’s Jordan DeLoach have posted the fastest times this spring, although Abbate’s and Baird’s times are wind-aided and DeLoach’s time had wind influencing it up to the legal limit. They could be in contention of the crown if they can replicate those wind-influenced performances. — Mary Boggs