Heps fans have learned to just trust it. No matter what the situation appears to be, once the bell rings, expect Dartmouth’s Abbey D’Agostino to be charging around the final turn and running away from her competitors for another national title.
She won her fifth NCAA Championship on the track Friday night (she also picked up an NCAA cross country title in the fall, giving her six altogether), claiming the 5,000-meter run at the Convention Center in Albuquerque, N.M.
Her winning time — 16:20.39 — was pedestrian by her lofty standards. In fact, afterward she said that the early pace was “a walk” until Michigan rookie Erin Finn decided to make a run for it. But no one followed. Finn led by perhaps 100 meters before the chase pack, paced by D’Agostino, began to close.
The group eventually swallowed up Finn and by the time the bell rang, D’Agostino was ahead and moving away from the field. With the victory, she joined Dartmouth skiing legend Chiharu Igaya (1955-57) as the only other Ivy athlete to win six individual NCAA titles. D’Agostino will be looking to pass Igaya Saturday night (9:55 pm) with a defense of her title in the 3k.
She was one of five Ivy League individuals or teams to earn All-America status on Friday night. Cornell seniors Montez Blair and Bruno Hortelano-Roig were joined by the distance medley relays of the Columbia men and the Dartmouth women as top-eight finishers.
Blair soared over 2.23 meters (7-3 3/4) to take fourth in an outstanding high jump competition while Hortelano — whose red Heps hair is gone — was the final qualifier to the 200-meter dash final, running an Ivy record 20.77 in the semis. Then, in the final, running out of the difficult third lane he lowered that mark to 20.75, which is also a Spanish national record. He finished eighth overall.
Columbia had a great showing in the men’s DMR as Brendon Fish gave the Lions an early lead, handing off to freshman Noah Lartigue for the 400m. While Stanford surged, Columbia stayed steady in second as Harry McFann handed to anchor Daniel Everett is second place. Everett ran most of his metric mile alone, well behind Michael Atchoo of Stanford, but well ahead of the chase pack.
But on the final lap, Everett was caught by his pursuers and crossed the line in fifth place. A remarkable showing for a team that entered with the 10th seed time.
Talk about remarkable, the Dartmouth women’s DMR earned All-America status without D’Agostino on the track (though she may have lost her voice in support). The first three legs — Megan Krumpoch, Jennifer Meech and Elizabeth Markowitz — simply held to the big pack while the big dogs ran free up front before sophomore Dana Giordano did some fantastic work on the anchor leg to get by Villanova for the eighth-place spot.
In addition to that enormous collection of success, seven more representatives of the Heps Naation will lay it on the line tonight. Cornell’s Stephen Mozia — a legitimate contender for a national crown — will kick things off in the shot put at 5:30 pm. Columbia triple jumper Nadia Eke will begin her pursuit at 8 pm as will both John Gregorek of Columbia and Will Geoghegan of Dartmouth in the mile. Those two advanced from Friday’s heats.
Dartmouth’s Krumpoch advanced to the national finals of the 800-meter run as well and will be looking to lock down even more points for the Big Green. That event, which starts at 9:30 pm, will be immediately followed by the men’s and women’s 3,000s and the League has a challenger in each — Harvard’s Maksim Korolev for the men and D’Agostino for the women.