oHeps13: Men’s Middle Distance

ht-peter-callahan
There is intrigue and mystery that has been the case over and over again. Will Princeton’s Peter Callahan run?

We thought we’d see him anchoring the DMR at the Penn Relays with the Tigers shooting for their fourth Championship of America in three years. But Princeton didn’t run the “A” team in that event, instead stacking the 4×400 with seniors Russell Dinkins and Austin Hollimon and advancing to the final. Word was that Callahan was sidelined with injury.

Callahan is an awesome, yet fragile, talent. He has been sub-four. Just two months ago he anchored the Tigers to an NCAA indoor championship in the DMR. If he had been healthy throughout his career, we might now be asking if he was the greatest distance runner in Heps’ history. Instead, we will wait to see if he is competing this year.

With or without Callahan, the 800 at Heps will be spectacular. There are eight guys who have run 1:50.2 or faster and none of them are seniors. Throw Callahan, Dinkins and Cornell senior Nick Wade into that mix and it could be an amazing final. Juniors Harry McFann of Columbia and Will Weinlandt of Cornell are at the top of the League’s ranked list this spring. Weinlandt perhaps didn’t get enough credit for carrying the Big Red to an indoor title in February. It should be interesting to watch two freshmen — Penn’s Drew Magaha and Brown’s Ned Willig — in their Outdoor Heps debuts.

The 1500 at Heps is just a strange event. The winning time has gotten slower each of the last six years, resulting in last year’s pedestrian 4:02 win for Kyle Merber. Will this be yet another sit-and-wait events? If so, there are more than a dozen runners within five seconds of the top time this spring (3:44.65 by Columbia junior John Gregorek). Among those who could break tradition and try to run toward a title are Gregorek, Yale junior James Shirvell, Columbia sophomore Daniel Everett, senior teammate Mark Feigen, Willig, Brown senior Erik Berg, Penn rookie Thomas Awad and several others. After all, more than 60 guys in the League have run faster than last year’s championship.

— Brett Hoover

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