Doug Austin image
The Harvard women won their first Heps title since 2000, largely due to their sprinting and hurdles talent. The Crimson will be looking to those women again to see if it can claim the outdoor team crown for the first time since 1990. In the open sprints, Danielle Barbian, Ashley Collinsworth and the great Scotts (Gabrielle and Christi) are aiming for the first event titles for a Crimson woman since Brenda Taylor in 2001. In fact, no Crimson woman has ever won the 200m title. Meanwhile, Autumne Franklin is favored to sweep the hurdle titles to prove that she is one of the fastest freshman hurdlers of all-time. Add in Martina Salander and Olivia Abbate and you have a powerful sprinting and hurdling crew.
But we are not claiming them to be the ultimate sprinting/hurdling school for this year. Both Penn and Columbia can dominate the podium in these events. Penn’s Heather Bong, Gabrielle Piper and Nonyerem Onyeador have the marks and experience to bring them individual event titles AND the 4×100 relay. Meanwhile, Columbia not only has Sharay Hale come back to form, but the Lions can look to the 2013 indoor sprinting queen Marvellous Iheukwumere, newcomer Jaycee Parker and hurdlers Iris Chijoke and Susan Rodriguez for sprinting points.
Princeton’s Cecilia Barowski is the top returning finisher from the 400m last year and the current conference leader in the 400m (she got edged out for the indoor 400m title by Harvard’s Gabrielle Scott). If no one else steps up in the 400m finals, expect the title to go to Barowski.