Shazzguy is super excited about the women’s hammer throw, thanks to Princeton freshman Julia Ratcliffe, who is already on the brink of an all-time college top 10 mark. No one in League history is with 20 feet of her best mark of the season (225-9).
But first you need to know when and where. The women’s hammer is the first event of Heps, scheduled for 10 am at the Princeton hammer cage, which is across Carnegie Lake near the cross country fields. Here’s a little map. Princeton is also offering shuttle rides from DeNunzio Circle, just outside the Weaver Stadium entrance, from 8:30 am to 2:15 pm (every 15 minutes).
Given all that, Shazz sez that “there is ZERO reason to not come watch” Ratcliffe take down the championship record of 202-11 (Brynn Smith, 2011). Shazz is looking for 230 from the New Zealander. Brown senior Lacey Craker is looking to become the third Leaguer to reach 200 and is a solid choice for second. Harvard junior Adabelle Ekechukwu, who was the 2013 indoor weight champ, will be looking for third-place points with Columbia senior Nnenna Okwara.
The uber-consistent Craker is the favorite in the discus, but has been pushed by freshman teammate Kebbeh Darpolor this spring. Shazz wants more consistency from the rookie, but realizes that with another Bear — junior Victoria Buhr — in the mix, Brown could go 1-2-3. Harvard senior Shannon Watt, last season’s champion, will really need to pick up the pace to defend her title while two other seniors — Dartmouth Emmaline Berg and Cornell’s Victoria Imbesi — will be looking to split up the Brown points.
Imbesi is the favorite in the shot, but she has four freshmen trying to catch her. Darpolor and Penn’s Theresa Picciallo are currently 2-3 in the League rankings behind her, but Harvard multi-specialist Martina Salander is not far behind. Yale rookie Karleh Wilson is also in the scoring mix as youth is looking to take over.
Harvard’s Hannah Mayer, the 2011 jav champion, won’t be competing at Heps after ACL surgery and that leaves the door open for the Penn Quakers to score big points. Senior Morgan Wheeler and freshman Kaci Jones are the only Leaguers over 150 this year and rookie Kelsey Hay isn’t far behind. While Brown junior Niina Al-Hassan — last year’s champ — has struggled so far this season, Shazz sez that you shouldn’t count her out as the jav “can be a fickle mistress.”
— Brett Hoover (and Shazz)