Penn sophomore high jumper Maalik Reynolds is the first Heps’ All-American at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, tying for sixth with a clearance of 7-4 1/4. It is the second All-America honor earned by Reynolds, who was seventh last year. Cornell sophomore Montez Blair cleared 7-0 1/2 to finish 14th in the event.
Elsewhere, Princeton junior Greta Feldman did it again, running a personal-best 4:12.73 in the 1,500m semifinal to advance to the national final in the event. Only one athlete in Heps history — Stephanie Best of Cornell (4:09.83 at the 1991 NCAAs) — has run faster.
Feldman will run again on Saturday, but none of the men’s three 1,500m qualifiers will. Columbia’s Kyle Merber was in decent position through 1,200m, but looked to labor through the final lap and finished more than 13 seconds behind his best time. Princeton’s Trevor Van Ackeren ran well (3:42.83), but missed qualifying by a tenth of a second. Sophomore Erik Berg of Brown was not a factor in the first semifinal, but gained great experience for the future.
“I walk away really disappointed,” said a philosophical Merber, still breathing heavily from his run. But he did see the bright side to the season after sitting out with injury as a junior, saying, “I got to enjoy the sport again.”
Princeton senior Donn Cabral will be making a bid for his first national title on Saturday after advancing to the steeplechase final with the best qualifying time of the evening (8:38.12). Cabral — the American College record holder in the event — will be joined in the final by Indiana’s Adrien Dannemiller, who last year ran for Cornell.
Despite having the top time, Cabral was far from satisfied. “My last two hurdles were horrible,” he said. “On the last water jump, I kept thinking, ‘What if I clip it?’ Thinking like that made me clip it. I stutter stepped the last hurdle. I have to clean my act up for the final.”
After a great day one in the decathlon, Cornell senior Nick Huber struggled a bit in day two. He was holding pace heading into the pole vault and performed reasonably well, clearing 14-5 1/4 but things fell off in the javelin as his best throw (148-5) yielded an event-low 519 points. Huber rebounded with a sub-4:30 in the 1,500-meter run to finish 11th overall with 7,616 points — just 16 shy of his school record.
The women’s 10,000-meter run ended the evening’s action as Cornell junior Katie Kellner finished 21st in 34:43.67, well off her personal best, and Brown junior Olivia Mickle was 23rd in 35:00.04.