Athletes of the Week 2

Pat Melton Photo

Harvard junior Maksim Korolev (Harrisonville, Mo.) and Brown senior Kevin Cooper (Waterford, Ireland) share the award for leading their teams to victories. Korolev blazed past teammate James Leakos in the final strides to win the Harvard-Yale matchup at the Course at Yale on Friday. Korolev finished in 24:20.39, less than two second ahead of his teammate as the Crimson downed the Bulldogs, 21-38. Cooper led an impressive team charge at the Iona Meet of Champions in the fence-less Van Cortlandt Park on Saturday. Cooper was the fifth collegian across the line, finishing the 8k run in 25:36.38. Four other Bears were among the following 10 runners to give Brown the victory ahead of the likes of Boston College, Iona, Kent State, Army and Penn.

Penn rookie Brendan Smith (Fayetteville, N.Y.) becomes the second straight Quaker to win the award as he was the team’s top finisher at the Iona Meet of Champions at Van Cortlandt Park on Saturday morning. Smith finished his 8k rounds in 23:57.37, good for 12th place overall as his Quakers were sixth out of 14 teams.

Dartmouth graduate Ben True became the first repeat champion of Providence ‘s CVS Caremark Downtown 5k on Sunday in 13:52, charging past Andy Bumbalough in the final 50 meters. True also claimed $5,000 as the event also served as the USA 5k Championship.

Yale junior Liana Epstein (Springfield, Va.) and Penn senior Leslie Kovach (Irwin, Pa.) are co-recipients of the award this week. Epstein — a first-team All-Ivy runner last fall — led the Bulldogs to an emphatic victory over Harvard, 19-41, at the Course at Yale on Friday evening. Finishing in 17:24.78, Epstein held off Harvard’s Samantha Silva for the title. Behind Silva were five straight Elis who’d followed Epstein’s lead. Kovach — a multiple school record holder sidelined by injury much of last year — gave the leaders a run for the money at the Iona Meet of Champions at Van Cortlandt Park on Saturday. Kovach finished fourth among the collegians, completing the 6k jaunt in 22:40.07 as he Quakers were second of 12 teams.

Cornell rookie Caroline Kellner (West Windsor, N.J.) was a top-five finisher for the second straight weekend for the Big Red, claiming fifth place (21:20.6) in an easy victory at the 24-team University of Rochester Yellowjacket Invitational. Kellner is the younger sister of Cornell senior Katie Kellner.

Brown graduate Anna Pierce took third in the mile at the Great North CityGames in Newcastle and Gateshead. Her time was 4:36.44 was better than fellow finishers Jenny Simpson and Shannon Rowbury, each U.S. Olympians.

From the Bronx:
The Brown men won the Iona Meet of Champions in an impressive display of balance on Saturday as all five Bear scorers finished the 8k within a 30-second and 11-position spread at Van Cortlandt Park. Senior Kevin Cooper was the first Brown runner to trigger the timer, taking fifth among collegians in 25:36.38, less than four seconds ahead of teammate Erik Berg. The Bruins’ 44 points outpointed Boston College (69), Iona (84), Kent State (100), Army (122), Penn (138) and eight others. Said Coach Tim Springfield, “It was a solid opener for our veterans. They all ran significantly faster than they did a year ago on the same course. It’s nice to get a win, but we have a lot of work to do to progress to where we need to be for the larger meets.” Penn was led by freshman Brendan Smith, who was 12th in 25:57.37 while Columbia fielded a “B” squad which took seventh.

The Penn women gave quite a run at the Meet of Champions women’s crown, finishing second to Army, 63-76. Indiana of Pennsylvania was third followed by Iona, Kent State, a secondary unit from Columbia and six other teams. Quaker senior Leslie Kovach continues to look good in her comeback from an injury-plagued junior year as she finished fourth among the collegians in 22:40.07 for 6k. Penn junior Kersie Jhabvala was seventh (23:01.84) while the first Lion to cross — junior Molly Dengler — was 13th (23:26.53).

From Rochester, N.Y.:
Cornell had the first eight collegiate finishers in the men’s race at the University of Rochester Yellowjacket Invitational, easily winning the 8k competition over second-place SUNY-Geneseo, one of the nation’s top Division III teams. Sophomore Ben Potts was the winner (25:08.6), just ahead of senior Nick Wade (25:09.1). The Big Red women did it one better than the men at the Yellowjacket Invitational. Cornell had the first nine finishers, led by a likely pair — junior Rachel Sorna (20:47.3) and senior Katie Kellner (20:51.3). Division III power St. Lawrence was a distant second to the Big Red.

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