Indoor ’15 Athletes of the Week #1

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After a season filled with plenty of distance-oriented action, the Ivy sprinters, jumpers, and throwers were eager to begin their collegiate seasons this past weekend. A few members did not wait too long to make their mark on this young indoor season.

Male Athlete of the Week:
We believe that Cornell junior Max Hairston must have “conference record” as one of his indoor season goals this year. At the Greg Page Relays on Saturday, the 2014 Outdoor Heps MVP easily won the 60m hurdles in 7.88, a new personal best that marks him as the 3rd best hurdler in conference history. He’s still 0.1 seconds away from Saidu Ezike’s conference record of 7.78 that the Cornell alum set in 1985. Hairston also finished 2nd overall and top collegian in the 300m dash (34.61) (which was won by recent Cornell graduate Bruno Hortelano-Roig in 33.58) and ran a 49.6 split on the team’s 4×400 relay.

Male Rookie of the Week:
Penn freshman Jeff Wiseman had a great collegiate debut at Lehigh’s Fast Time Before Finals meet on Friday afternoon. Wiseman won the fastest heat of the men’s 500m dash in 1:04.18, besting his teammate Tom Timmins by 0.6 seconds for the title.  Wiseman joined Timmins, Ian Parnell, and Kyle Webster on the 4×400 relay, where the team won the event in 3:20.86.  Both of these times current sit at the top of the conference listings.

Female Athlete of the Week:
Another athlete who has the conference record on her mind is Princeton junior Julia Ratcliffe. At Sunday’s Princeton New Year Invitational, Ratcliffe easily got the win in the weight throw (as expected), but she did so in what is a new personal best that betters her position as the 2nd best weight thrower in conference history. Her winning throw was 65-05 ½ or 19.95 meters – Ratcliffe is only 5 centimeters away from becoming the second woman in Ivy League history to surpass the 20-meter mark (the first was Harvard’s Adabelle Ekechukwu back in 2013, and who later set the current conference record of 68-04 ¼).

Female Rookie of the Week:
When I first looked through the Saturday meet results on Sunday afternoon, I had to do a double take on Columbia frosh Akua Obeng-Akrofi’s winning 60m dash time at the Manhattan Season Opener. Her winning time was posted as 7.30 – if this was a valid time, it would have easily bested the conference record by 0.14 seconds. She was a speedy sprinter back in high school, but this debut seemed a bit too good to be true without further validation.  Upon further research and later viewings of the conference rankings on Track and Field Results Reporting System, I learned that all times from that meet were actually handheld times. The general conversion from handheld to automatic times is by adding 0.24 seconds to the handheld time. With this adjustment, Obeng-Akrofi did not set a new conference record, but she is tied for being the fastest sprinter in the conference this season so far with a time of 7.54 HT. The two women she’s tied with – the current 60m conference record holder and her speedy teammate, Harvard’s Danielle Barbian and Ashley Collinsworth, who both ran a 7.54 at the BU Season Opener.

Weekend Result Links:

Brown – Alden Invitational (Providence RI) & URI Pentathlon (Kingston, RI)

Columbia – Manhattan College Opener (New York, NY)

Cornell – Greg Page Relays (Ithaca, NY)

Dartmouth, Harvard – BU Season Opener (Boston, Mass)

Penn – Lehigh Fast Times Before Finals (Bethlehem, Penn.)

Princeton – New Year Invitational (Princeton NJ)

Yale – Yale Season Opener (New Haven, Conn.)

Conference action will take a small break to honor the upcoming holiday season.  The season will resume in 2015.

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