A Heps Baker’s Dozen

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The NCAA Championship fields have been decided and nine current Ivy Leaguers along with four Heps graduates will be making the trip to Fayetteville, Ark., to make a run for a title on Friday and Saturday.

The highest seed among the Ivy contingent is Dartmouth junior Abbey D’Agostino, whose time in the 3,000m (8:55.41) is No. 1 nationally. She is going to be pulling double duty as she is also entered in her outdoor specialty, the 5k, with a mark of 15:47.02 (No. 6 in the nation). She will not be alone, in Heps’ terms, in either race as former teammate Alexi Pappas, now an Oregon Duck, is the No. 12 seed in the 3,000 and Cornell junior Rachel Sorna is No. 11 in the 5k.

The highest men’s seed is the No. 2 of the Princeton entry in the distance medley relay. The veteran squad of Michael Williams, Austin Hollimon, Russell Dinkins and Peter Callahan ran 9:27.74 at Notre Dame over the weekend, the fourth-fastest time ever recorded by a college team.

But the Ivy champ Cornell men also have two individuals among the top five in the field events. Junior high jumper Montez Blair is No. 4 in a ridiculously strong field. He will need an extraordinary performance with the likes of Kansas State’s Erik Kynard and Indiana’s Derek Drouin in the field. Sophomore Stephen Mozia will need to return to his early-season form to be a factor in the shot put. He threw 65 feet early to earn the No. 5 seed, but hasn’t been in that neighborhood as of late.

Harvard — whose Coach Jason Saretsky was named the New England coach of the year today — will send three athletes to Arkansas. Freshman Martina Salander is the No. 8 seed in the pentathlon, sophomore Erika Veidis the No. 13 in the 800m run and junior Adabelle Ekechukwu the No. 15 in the weight throw.

The final current Ivy Leaguer heading South is Princeton junior triple jumper Damon McLean, who earned All-America status last spring.

Three graduates will be in the men’s distance fields with current Texas Longhorn Joe Stilin, forever a Princeton Tiger, in the mile run (3:58.66) along with Oregon Duck and former Dartmouth Big Green Matt Miner (3:59.01). Dan Lowry is following the same path as Anna Willard did a few years ago. After success at Brown, she became an All-American at Michigan. Lowry will look to do the same in the 5k (13:42.48).

While seven Ivy Leaguers have won NCAA national titles in the last 10 outdoor championships, the last indoor champion was Princeton high jumper Tora Harris in 2002.

ESPN3 will stream the meet live on Friday from 6:30 pm to 10:30 pm and March 9 from 7 pm to 9:30 pm. A tape delay of the championship will air Sunday, March 17 from 7 pm to 9 pm on ESPNU.

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