You didn’t forget about Sharay Hale and Austin Hollimon, did you?
Well. Get ready to welcome them back, Hale in Morningside Heights and Hollimon in Princeton. Hale — who opted to sit out of school last year while rehabbing from injury — was making a quick dash at some long-standing League 400m records in 2011 before being slowed by an obviously nagging leg injury. Hollimon — a 400m speed demon and League champ — left school after the first semester last winter to focus on trying to make the U.S. Olympic team in the 400-meter hurdles, an event he has never run for the Tigers.
One of the quirks of the Ivy League is that once students graduate, it brings an end to their eligibility as an athlete. Graduate students are not welcomed in Ivy athletics, which is why you will see Kyle Merber in a Texas Longhorn uniform and Alexi Pappas in an Oregon Duck kit this fall. But to maintain eligibility at the Ivy school, an athlete must slow down their rate of academic progress to stay eligible, which often means withdrawing from school altogether. Yes, counterintuitive.
Anyway, Hale has run 23.33, easily a League record for 200 meters, and 52.40 for 400, behind only Harvard legend Meredith Rainey-Valmon (who ran 51.56 at the 1990 Outdoor Heps). She is back on the Lion roster.
Hollimon is not on Princeton’s 2012-13 roster. Yet. Because he was in school the first semester last year, he won’t again be eligible until last January, the end of Princeton’s first semester. The lingering question will be, will we see Hollimon on a flat track or trying hurdles. Already a League champ in the 400, he has run 46.47, indoors mind you, and could be in position to run sub-46. But he spent several months focusing on the hurdles leading up to the Olympic Trials. In April, his first such competition, he ran 50.61, earning a spot at the Trials.
His Olympic dream fell short when he clipped the seventh hurdle and went down on the Hayward Field track, but he has already made known his resolve to be in Rio in 2016. Oh, the intrigue.
UPDATE: Hollimon will be running the 400m hurdles outdoor this season. He was on a mid-49 pace when he clipped the hurdle at the Olympic Trials, which would put him among the nation’s top five. His goal is an NCAA title.
We are just happy to have them both back!