We kick off our 2012-13 accolades with our Rookies of the Year awards.
Penn’s Thomas Awad (East Norwich, N.Y.) as he was the only male frosh to earn a berth to NCAAs as an individual, where he finished 18th in the outdoor 5,000m. But he was not done – at the USATF Junior Championships, he went out and won the Junior 5,000m race and earned a Team USA uniform by qualifying for the Pan American Junior Championships in Medellin, Colombia. Awad finished 3rd at the Pan-American Junior Championships in the event. At Heps, Awad finished 36th in cross country, 5th in the indoor 3,000m, and 4th in the outdoor 5,000m.
Harvard’s Martina Salander (Stockholm, Sweden) only needed one meet to reset the conference pentathlon record to 4,094 points, and that was just to qualify for NCAAs. She reset the league record again at NCAAs to finish 5th overall in 4,209, top freshman in the field. At Heps, she did not compete in the multis as she competed in 3 events to help out in the team scoring (2nd in the 60H, 6th in the shot put, and just missed qualifying for 60m dash finals). We can only imagine how well she would have done during the outdoor season had she not been injured.
Harvard’s Autumne Franklin (Owings Mills, Md.) claimed two of the 3 hurdles titles this year, running some of the fastest hurdle times in league history (including a new conference meet record in the 60H in 8.43). While she does have the short distance speed, she has a greater national presence in the 400H where she was one of four freshman to make it to NCAAs in the event (she finished 15th overall). She won the USATF Junior championships in the 400 hurdles in a Junior world-best and new personal best time of 57.10. She is also a talented sprinter, as she earned All-Ivy honors in the indoor 200m, indoor mile relay, and outdoor 4×400 relay.
Penn’s Sam Mattis (East Brunswick, N.J.) for winning the outdoor discus title in a new conference meet record of 191-5. He competed at the NCAA Regionals in the discus but missed qualifying for Nationals by almost 2-1/2 feet, finishing in 13th place (top 12 made it to Nationals).
Brown’s Neg Willig (Phoenixville, Penn.) won the indoor 1,000m event in 2:25.53 for what is likely the last time it will ever be contested at Indoor Heps. His 1,000m debut time of 2:22.96 is the 8th fastest time in conference history.
Princeton’s Julia Ratcliffe (Hamilton, New Zealand) won the hammer in a new conference record (218-2) and finished 2nd in the indoor weight throw. (We decided to give Julia something else instead)
Awad photo from Awad’s twitter account; Franklin and Salander photo from Doug Austin