Wandering Ivies, Near and Far

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Time to catch up with our amazing alumni.

Back on August 10th, Kyle Merber (Columbia ’12) and Kate Grace (Yale ’11) finished on the podium at the Michigan Track Classic in Saline, Michigan.  Grace finished 3rd in the inaugural SOS Rehydrate Women’s 800m race with a time of 2:01.22.  Ajee Wilson, who is the world leader in the 800m, won the event in 2:00.29.  Morgan Uceny (Cornell ’07) also raced well – even though she had finished 8th in 2:02.90, she was less than 1 second away from 4th place.  Merber and Liam Boylan-Pett (Columbia ’08) competed in the marquee event – the second edition of the Running Institute Ron Warhurst Men’s Mile.  Merber was with the leaders Nick Willis and Garrett Heath at the bell, but Willis and Heath had the better kicks of the day.  All three men broke the previous state mile record of  3:55.87, as Willis won in 3:53.50, holding off Heath (3:53.61) and Merber (3:55.08).  Boylan-Pett finished in 9th with 4:09.43.  A video recap of the event can be found here.

Merber turned the tables on Heath this past Saturday at the Falmouth Mile in Falmouth, Mass.  Merber won the annual track race in 3:56.36, the fourth time this summer he has run sub-4:00 (his personal best is 3:54.76, which he set on July 12th).  Donn Cabral (Princeton ’12) also competed in the men’s mile, finishing in 8th place (4:03.26).  Uceny competed in the women’s mile race, where she finished in 3rd place with 4:29.62.  Uceny was in the front pack for the entire race, but defending champion Katie Mackey controlled the race once the rabbit dropped and won the race in 4:27.79.

Also on Saturday, Sage Canaday (Cornell ’09) led Team USA to victory at the World Mountain Running Association’s Long-Distance Challenge at Pikes Peak Mountain, Colorado.  Canaday won the 13.32-mile & 7,800+-ft elevation change event in 2:10:47, earning his first world title.  Team scoring was based on the finish of the top 3 runners per team.  With Team USA securing 1st, 3rd (Andy Wacker), and 4th (Eric Blake), they dominated the team event with 8 points (runner-up Team Italy had 30 points, while Team Germany finished 3rd with 45 points).

Leaving the confines of the United States, Craig Kinsley (Brown ’11)  and Sean Furey (Dartmouth ’05) finished on the javelin podium at the Pan American Sports Festival in Mexico City, Mexico on Saturday.  Kinsley locked himself into the silver medal slot on his second throw, throwing 78.76m (258-05).  Furey unleashed a 77.23m (253-04) mark on his fifth throw to earn the bronze medal.

On the European continent, Lisa (Stublic) Nemec (Columbia ’06) came so close to winning her first European Championships medal in Zurich, Switzerland on Saturday.  Nemec finished 4th in the women’s marathon in 2:28:36, finishing 3 minutes away from the bronze medal.  Nemec had started in the lead pack (which consisted of 4 people) through the 20km point, but lost contact with them by the half-marathon point (1:12:43). She was as far back as  5th place through the 30km and 35km checkpoints, but she rebounded by the 40km checkpoint and held on to finish in 4th place.  The race was won by Christelle Daunay of France in a championship record of 2:25.14.

HepsNation alumni also raced well on Sunday at the 7-mile Falmouth Road Race.  In the men’s competition, Zachary Hine (Cornell ’09) finished 7th overall in 33:54.  The race was won by Stephan Sambu in 31:46, which was 45 seconds faster than the rest of the field.  For the women’s competition, Hilary Dionne (Dartmouth ’07) was the top Ivy finisher, completing the course in 40:30 for 17th place.  Dartmouth undergrad Dana Giordano got some good summer training in at the race, finishing in 23rd place in 42:43.  The women’s race was won by Betsy Saina in 35:56.

And lastly, we need to congratulate Courtney Jaworski (Penn ’06) on his new job – he’s the new head coach for the Dartmouth women’s cross country team, filling the vacancy left by Mark Coogan.  Dartmouth athletics announced Jaworski’s hiring last April, but I somehow missed the announcement (sorry).  “We are thrilled to welcome Courtney to the Dartmouth family,” Dartmouth Director of Athletics and Recreation Harry Sheehy said. “He brings a unique background as a Heps champion, an outstanding Ivy League student, and a coach at academically selective institutions. We look forward to him building on the success of our women’s distance program and bringing more individual and team titles to Hanover.”  Jaworski was previously the head coach for the cross country/track and field programs at Manhattanville College for the 2013-14 season.

photo from Photo Run

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