Looking Ahead To Iowa, Back to Maine

There was a time when I’d have been ecstatic over Track & Field News picking the Ivy League for eight All-Americans, including two champions, at the NCAA Championships. But right now, as crazy as the concept might seem, I am hoping for more.

Okay, no surprise that T&FN has form charted Princetonians Donn Cabral and Conor McCullough for national titles. After all, Cabral has been a steeplechasing madman for years now, capped off by his amazing 8:19.14 American College Record at the Oxy High Performance meet on Friday night. McCullough has been just as impressive in the hammer, consistently banging out throws that are 10 feet longer than any one in Heps has ever thrown. We still think there is room for a stunner from him soon.

Here’s where I get a little greedy. Even if one of those Tigers is upset, is it possible to rule out Dartmouth’s Abbey D’Agostino and Alexi Pappas as well as Columbia’s Kyle Merber for national crowns? Sure AbDag would need to beat Villanova’s Sheila Reid in the 5k, which T&FN is projecting the other way.

Pappas — picked fourth for the steeple — has dipped below 10 a few times now and seems to be ready for another surge. And then there’s Merber, who broke the ACR in his event a week ago. T&FN thinks it an aberration, picking him seventh at NCAAs. Don’t know if you rule out a guy that was poised to run a 3:52 mile that night. We’ll wait and see. If you want to see some of Merb’s magical journey, you should tune into TheRealMaineMovie.com tonight at 6 pm. That’s when Erik Van Ingen’s doc-reality from the summer of 2011 will be released.

Others picked for All-America by T&FN include Cornell’s Katie Kellner in the 10k (seventh), Penn’s Maalik Reynolds in the high jump (sixth) and Princeton’s Joe Stilin in the 5k (ninth, but behind several foreign-born runners, which is a stupid distinction, but one used in All-American selections).

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