Six Hit Oregon Trail

The Heps Nation experienced some great successes on Thursday at the NCAA Eastern Preliminaries in Greensboro, N.C., but there were also a number of “close-but-no-cigar” performances as well.

By the numbers, six Leaguers punched tickets to the NCAA Championships, set for Heyward Field in Eugene, Ore., in two weeks. Fourteen others positioned themselves just a step away by advancing to the quarterfinals.

The star of the day was Cornell senior Katie Kellner, who won a rainy 10,000-meter run in 33:17.39, more than three seconds ahead of runnerup Kayleigh Tyerman of Florida State and nearly 10 seconds clear of everyone else.

The men’s 10k turned out to be the land of plenty for the Heps Nation as four of the 12 runners earning a berth to nationals came from the Ivies. N.C.-Greensboro junior Paul Katam was the winner in 29:50.22, but not far behind — in fourth and fifth — were Princeton senior Michael Franklin (29:57.31) and his junior teammate Chris Bendtsen (29:59.15). Columbia senior Mike Murphy was eighth (30:00.54). The 12th and final spot belonged to Harvard junior Maksim Korolev in 30:02.08.

The sixth Ivy Leaguer to earn a trip to Oregon was Cornell sophomore Stephen Mozia, who took fifth in the discus throw with a heave of 57.73 meters (189-5). That event also caused the first Ivy heartbreak of the day as Penn rookie Sam Mattis was unluckily 13th in an event that advanced 12.

Of the 12 Leaguers who advanced to quarterfinals on Thursday, half were donned in Orange and Black. Senior Greta Feldman had an impressive run in the 1,500m, finishing in 4:19.17. That was third swiftest on the day. Other senior for the Tigers, Austin Hollimon, had his best 400m hurdles time as a Tiger, advancing in 51.31. Junior Tom Hopkins posted an early 46.63 in the 400-meter dash and had to wait to see if it held up as one of the non-automatic advancers, which it did.

Six Leaguers, three more Tigers, didn’t leave anything to chance in the 800-meter prelims. All six earned the automatic berths in the heats, led by Harvard sophomore Erika Veidis (2:04.69) and Princeton sophomore Cecilia Barowski (2:06.54) for the women and Tiger senior star Russell Dinkins (1:49.50) for the men. The other three men — Columbia junior Harry McFann (1:49.65) and sophomore Connor Claflin (1:49.66) along with Princeton soph Bradley Paternostro (1:49.79) — were within .30 of a second to Dinkins. Princeton’s Kacie O’Neil (2:07.06) missed the women’s quarters by a single place.

Yale junior James Shirvell drew the fast heat of the 1,500-meter run and responded with the fifth-best time of the day (3:43.43), just a tenth-of-a-second behind Notre Dame’s Jeremy Rae, who had the top time. Columbia senior Mark Feigen (3:48.33), Brown senior Erik Berg (3:48.61) and Dartmouth sophomore Silas Talbott (3:49.00) were all displaced from the bubble with that speedy final heat. Two other Ivy runners advanced in different colors out West as Oregon’s Matt Miner (a Dartmouth grad) and Texas’ Kyle Merber (a Columbia grad) each moved on in the 1,500.

The last two Ivy qualifiers of the day were 400-meter hurdles. Harvard freshman Autumne Franklin (58.30) and Dartmouth junior Megan Krumpoch (58.42) both moved on from the same heat.

Among the hard luck stories of the day were Brown junior John Spooney, whose 10.47 in the 100-meter dash was just shy; Cornell junior Steven Bell, who missed three additional long jump tries by a centimeter; and Harvard senior All-American Nico Weiler, who failed to advance.

Today in Greensboro a spot at Nationals will be on the line in the 100, 400, 800, intermediate hurdles, women’s hammer, men’s javelin, women’s vault, men’s shot and women’s high jump. The 200, high hurdles and steeplechase will also begin.

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