Wet, Wild HepsXC


Mother Nature tried her best to make this year’s HepsXC as miserable as possible for both the athletes and fans.  Yes, it was cold, wet, and muddy, but it did not dampen the excitement of the races and team battles.  The only real casualty of the day was of one of the men lost a shoe during his race – as of the end of the award ceremony, no one has yet to claim the shoe.

But let’s share the meet recap:

In the women’s race, a front pack quickly emerged in the first 1,500m: Cornell’s Taylor Spillane and Caroline Kellner, Princeton’s Megan Curham and Kathryn Fluehr, Columbia’s Olivia Sadler, Dartmouth’s Sarah Delozier and Dana Giordano, and Yale’s Kira Garry.  These eight ladies completed the first 1,500m in under 5:00, with Spillane and Curham co-leading the pack in 4:56.6.  Curham and Giordano would break away from this pack at the race halfway point, trading off the lead while maintaining a distance of about 10 meters ahead of Spillane.  Curham and Giordano continued to battle with each over the next 2,000 meters while Delozier, Garry, and Sadler formed a chase pack around 8 seconds behind these leaders.  But in the last quarter mile, Curham began to pull away from Giordano, so much so that she had about a 5 meter lead going into the final 100 meters of the race.  Curham would expand her lead over Giordano to almost 4 seconds to win her first ever Heps title.  Curham’s official finishing time was 20:24.3.  Dartmouth Big Green claimed the next two spots, as Giordano finished in 2nd place with 20:28.1 and Delozier got 3rd in 20:36.1, holding off Garry (who finished in 4th with a time of 20:37.0).  Curham’s 3.8-second margin of victory is the 10th closest victory in the women’s HepsXC history.  Sadler got her best cross country finish ever with 5th place (20:46.0) while Spillane had a great HepsXC debut in 6th place (20:56.9).  Curham got company among the top 10 finishers as her teammates Fluehr and freshman Natalie Rathjen finished 7th (20:58.0) and 8th (21:07.5) respectively.

Although Princeton got 3 of the top 8 scorers, Dartmouth defend the team title, winning over Princeton, 47 to 67.  Dartmouth’s win was boosted by getting four athletes among the All-Ivy honorees (Giordano and Delozier on First-Team All-Ivy, and Sarah Bennett (12th overall) and Reid Watson (13th overall) on Second-Team All-Ivy) and by having a 49.7 second scoring spread (5th scorer was Ellie Gonzalez in 17th place).  This is Dartmouth’s first time winning-to-back team titles since the mid-1990s, when they won four straight HepsXC titles (1994 to 1997).

The full women’s team results are the following: ht-dart-HepsXC

  1. Dartmouth, 47
  2. Princeton, 67
  3. Columbia, 95
  4. Cornell, 108
  5. Harvard, 119
  6. Yale, 130
  7. Brown, 153
  8. Penn, 178




For the first 3 miles of the men’s 8km race, the men raced in one big pack with various people alternating for the lead position.  The first mile was clocked in at 5:03.4 (with the top 9 racers running under 5:04.1).  At mile three, the top 8 runners were within 1 second of each other (there could have been more in this front pack, but it looks like the timing board did not pick up Princeton’s Sam Pons at mile 3). Going into the final straightaway, the leading pack had shrunk to three men: Princeton’s Michael Sublette and Sam Pons, and Penn’s Thomas Awad.  Sublette appeared to have the lead at the top of the stretch, but with less than 50 meters to go, Awad began to kick and flew away from the Princeton duo.  Awad crossed the finish line in 24:24.1, 1.1 seconds ahead of Sublette (24:25.2) and 3 seconds ahead of Pons (24:27.8).  Awad is Penn’s first Heps cross country champion since 1975 when Dave Merrick won the 5-mile championship in 24:15.4. Awad also earned a second record book entry – his 1.1 second margin of victory is tied for the 7th closest finish in HepsXC history.  Cornell freshman Dominic Deluca had a great HepsXC debut by finishing in 4th place (24:29.3).  Yale’s Kevin Dooney, who led the race at mile 3, would finish in 5th place (24:33.6), while Princeton rounded out the top 7 finishers with Eddie Owens (24:36.2) and Matt McDonald (24:37.2).

Princeton easily reclaimed the men’s team title with 30 points, which ties the 14th lowest winning Heps men’s team score in conference history.  All five of Princeton’s scorers earned an All-Ivy recognition, with four (Sublette, Pons, Owens, and McDonald) earning First-Team and one (Sam Berger, 12th) earning Second-Team.  Cornell earned their best finish since 2007 with their 2nd place finish, led by All-Ivy honorees DeLuca, Brian Eimstad (9th – Second-Team), and David Melly (13th – Second-Team).  Awad’s win helped Penn hold off Dartmouth for 3rd place (111 to 112), which is Penn’s best showing since 2007.

The full men’s team results are the following:ht-pr-trophy

  1. Princeton, 30
  2. Cornell, 74
  3. Penn, 111
  4. Dartmouth, 112
  5. Yale, 123
  6. Columbia, 123
  7. Harvard, 146
  8. Brown, 155

Full meet results can be found here.




Sami Aziz, who helped us with the HepsXC previews this past week, shot an assortment of photos from today’s competition.  We will share his photo album links once the album is ready for viewing.

Below is the full list of All-Ivy honorees from this year’s Heps Cross Country Championships.  First-Team honorees are the first seven finishers in each championship race, while Second-Team honorees are the eighth to fourteenth finishers in each championship race.

Princeton leads the way in total number of All-Ivy honorees, with 8 athletes earning All-Ivy honors (four men and two women on First-Team; one man and one woman on Second-Team).  Dartmouth had 6 honorees (two women on First-Team; two men and two women on Second-Team), followed by Cornell with 5 honorees (one man and one woman on First-Team; two men and one woman on Second-Team).

Men’s First-Team All-Ivy

Thomas Awad (JR), Penn
Michael Sublette (JR), Princeton
Sam Pons (SR), Princeton
Dominic Deluca (FR), Cornell
Kevin Dooney (JR), Yale
Eddie Owens (SR), Princeton
Matt McDonald (SR), Princeton

Women’s First-Team All-Ivy

Megan Curham (SO), Princeton
Dana Giordano (JR), Dartmouth
Sarah Delozier (SR), Dartmouth
Kira Garry (SR), Yale
Olivia Sadler (JR), Columbia
Taylor Spillane (SO), Cornell
Kathryn Fluehr (SO), Princeton

Men’s Second-Team All-Ivy

Tom Purnell (JR), Harvard
Brian Eimstad (JR), Cornell
Tait Rutherford (JR), Columbia
Silas Talbot (SR), Dartmouth
Sam Berger (JR), Princeton
David Melly (SR), Cornell
Tim Gorman (JR), Dartmouth

Women’s Second-Team All-Ivy

Natalie Rathjen (FR), Princeton
Leila Mantilla (JR), Columbia
Caroline Kellner (JR), Cornell
Lucy Van Kleunen (SO), Brown
Sarah Bennett (JR), Dartmouth
Reid Watson (JR), Dartmouth
Sami Glass (FR), Yale

– photos by Mary Boggs

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