The final major weekend before the championship season is now complete. A lot of squads will be resting up before Heps XC on November 2nd at West Windsor Fields, Princeton N.J. In the next week, we will be sharing more information about Heps XC and our Heps team previews. But now, our athletes of the week.
Add another name to the pool of the potential 2013 Heps individual titlists – Harvard’s Maksim Korolev (Harrisonville, Mo.) has presented his strongest performance yet of his cross country career at the Wisconsin adidas Invitational by finishing 2nd with 23:14 in the high caliber field. Korolev was 2 seconds behind the winner, Kemboy Campbell of Arkansas. The defending NCAA XC champion, Lawi Lalang of Arizona, finished way back in 13th place. While we know his name and talent, Korolev surprised many other running outlets who wondered “Who is Maksim Korolev?” and “Who are these Harvard dudes?” Harvard finished 13th as a team at the invitational.
This week, two rookies get the award because if they were running on the same course, we’d have no idea who would necessarily be better. Columbia’s Jack Boyle (Avon-By-The-Sea, N.J.) continued to perform well on the national stage, being the top Ivy male rookie at the Wisconsin adidas Invitational and final scorer for Columbia with a 24:21. #8 Columbia finished 6th in the team standings. But back on the east coast, # 10 Princeton’s William Bertrand (Clarksburg, Md.) finished 19th at the Princeton XC Invitational in a time that was within 2 seconds of Boyle’s official time in Wisconsin, 24:23. They previously went head-to-head at the Notre Dame XC Invitational where Boyle finished 50 second faster than Bertrand. While comparing times at different cross country courses is like comparing a granny smith apple to a red delicious apple, it still makes us wonder how things will line up come Heps XC time…
Yes, this is getting repetitive, but #13 Dartmouth’s Abbey D’Agostino (Topsfield, Mass.) is having some cross country season. Not only did she best the field in Wisconsin, but she bested the course record by 2 seconds, finishing in 19:31. But that is not the only thing that was amazing for this meet for Dartmouth – Dartmouth’s 2-3-4 runners of Dana Giordano (Bernardsville, N.J.), Sarah Delozier (Nashville, Tenn.), and Allison Lanois (South Hamilton, Mass.), all bested 21 minutes on the 6-km course and their final scorer, Hannah Rowe (St. Johnsbury, Vt.), finished in 21:07. This strong five-some resulted not only in the highest scoring Ivy squad at the meet, but besting other nationally ranked squads from. It looks like another contender for the women’s team title at Heps. A chance for Dartmouth to make it to NCAAs? For that, we are awarding those five ladies with the athletes of the week honor.
#23 Princeton’s Megan Curham (Warren, N.J.) continues to prove that she is one of the most talented freshmen in the country due to her repeating strong performances at these national-caliber invitationals. She was the fastest freshmen at the Pre-Nationals meet at Terre Haute, Ind., finishing 15th overall in 20:32, helping the team finish 10th at the invitational. Unless something unexpected happens at Heps XC, we are expecting Curham to be the first freshman to cross the line…