oHeps14 – Men’s Sprints/Hurdles

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When you look through the Outdoor Heps recordbooks, you will only be able to locate two athletes who over their career have won a 100m, 200m, and 400m crown at Outdoor Heps. The first person to accomplish that was Penn’s Chris Harper (1994, 100m; 1995, 400m; 1993 to 1996, 200m).  The other? Cornell’s Bruno Hortelano-Roig. Many people have won the 100m-200m or 200-400m crowns, but winning across three different distances like that is a rarity.

Harper did not win all of those titles in a single weekend. But would Bruno consider it?  He’s the defending champion in both the 200m and 400m dashes, but has yet to run the open 100m this outdoor season. His best times in each of these events are in the Ivy sprint record books. His previous 100m rival, John Spooney of Brown who won this event three times, has not competed this year due to his declaration for the NFL draft. And lastly, it is Bruno’s final Heps.  Why not test the limits?

oHeps-jarvisWhile it would be nice for Bruno to be spread out across all of the sprints, the Big Red does not need him to do so.  The other members of the speedy Cornell 4×100 squad (Justin McCollin, Larry Gibson and Kinsley Ojukwu) can pick up those critical points in the open sprints. Cornell has their own hurdling horde, led by two-time Indoor Heps 60m hurdle champion Max Hairston, who is talented enough to score big points in both hurdle events (he’s currently ranked No. 2 in both). Meanwhile, there are a few Cornell freshmen (Austin Jamerson, Wynn Curtis and Jordan Sherwood) who are eager get onto that podium at their first Outdoor Heps. With these numbers, Cornell can easily either close the gap or expand upon a lead in the team battle. If you tally up the points in the performance listings, Cornell is dominating with 53 points, a good 15 point cushion over the next closest school — Princeton.

Princeton will be depending upon John Hill (100m), Tom Hopkins (200m, 400m), Daniel McCord (200m), and Greg Caldwell (110h) to score. However, they will need help from the other Ivies to break up the Cornell point spread.  Oh, those other Ivies will love to comply as they have a number of athletes who can make it onto the podium.

Dartmouth’s Edward Wagner currently leads the conference in the intermediate hurdles and is the top returning finisher in this event. Harvard’s Jarvis Harris wants to hold onto his high hurdle crown, while his teammates Andrew Ezekoye and Damani Wilson (a former Indoor Heps 60m dash champion) have eyes on that 100m crown. Columbia, Brown, Penn and Yale all also have athletes who can break up the Cornell and Princeton point grab in order to better their own cause.

Judging by the spring lists and typical intensity of Heps, these races will come down to the wire. There is no guaranteed victory in any of these sprints or hurdles. May the fastest runner (with the best-timed lean) win.

– Mary Boggs

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