Indoor ’15 Athletes of the Week #3


Female Athletes of the Week:

The Beantown Challenge really brought out some conference title contenders and changes to the recordbooks.  Cornell’s Udeme Akpaete was a double winner at the Challenge, winning the 400m (55.42) and 200m (24.44) in conference-best times.  Akpaete is the defending Indoor Heps 400m champion.  Meanwhile, Harvard’s Nikki Okwelogu set a new personal best in the shot put by nearly 2 feet, easily winning the event with the second furthest toss in indoor conference history (52-09 1/2).  Harvard’s Erika Veidis ran the 5th fastest 1000m time in conference history (2:46.71) en route to winning the event at the Beantown Challenge.Harvard won their fifth Beantown title in a row, holding off Cornell, 167 to 134.  Brown, led by the winning 4×880-yd relay team of Taylor Worthy, Natalie Schudrowitz, Jeanine Noordam, and Clare Peabody, finished 3rd in the team standings with 75 points.

Also on Saturday, Dartmouth hosted a quad meet against Maine, Vermont, and Colgate.  Junior Kaitlin Whitehorn was one of two double-winners of the meet in the 60m and high jump (the other double-winner Maine’s Grace MacLean in the 60 hurdles and long jump).  Whitehorn continues to demonstrate that she will be a force to reckon with in the 60m as she won in 7.65 while doubling back with a new season’s best in the high jump, 5-08 3/4.  The Big Green men and women swept the meet by large margins: the men won by 25 points while the women won by 38 points.

Male Athlete of the Week:

Cornell sophomore Grant Sisserson has officially joined the indoor 17-ft clearance club.  On Saturday, Sisserson won the pole vault event at the Beantown Challenge with a clearance of 17-03, besting Army frosh Lee Bares by 1 foot.  Not only is this clearance is a new all-time personal best for Sisserson, it also makes him the fourth best vaulter in indoor conference history.  As a freshman, his indoor best was 16-08 3/4 while his outdoor best was 17-01.  Sisserson’s individual win helped the Cornell men win their first Beantown team title over host Harvard, 184 to 100.5.  Brown, led by senior Peter Rhodes’ heptathlon win in the Harvard Multi-Event portion and Henry Tufnell’s win in the 1000m, finished in 5th place with 45 points.

Female Rookie of the Week:

Two Penn freshmen won individual sprinting titles at the Angry Bird Invitational on Saturday.  Taylor McCorkle won the 60m in 7.63 (putting her fourth in the conference event ranking), while classmate Candace Taylor won the 200m in 25.54 (when converted from flat to banked equivalent times, she’s ranked 10th in the conference event ranking with 25.15).  Taylor also anchored the women’s 4×400 relay to the win in 3:54.25.  These wins helped the Lady Quakers finish 3rd in the meet (131) behind host Lehigh (136) and Monmouth (143).

Male Rookie of the Week:

Harvard frosh Malcolm Johnson wasted little time making it into the Heps recordbook.  His 60m winning time at the Beantown Challenge ties him for the 3rd fastest in conference history (6.75).  The time is also the fastest 60m time in this young indoor season.  Johnson also won the 200m event in 22.14, which is the second fastest time so far this indoor season.

Penn frosh Jeff Wiseman used the Angry Bird Invitational to get to the top of the conference event listings in a second event.  Wiseman won the open 400m event in 49.02, which is the second fastest 400m time in the conference so far this season. But since Lehigh’s indoor facility has a flat track and the official conference listings on TFRRS converts all times to 200m banked equivalents, his 400m time converts to 48.25 and is recognized as the fastest 400m time in the conference.  Wiseman also is ranked at the top of the 500m conference listing.  The Quakers finished 2nd in the meet (132) behind Monmouth (179).

Other weekend highlights:

– Columbia sent a few athletes to compete at the NYC Gotham Cup on Friday.  For the women, senior Nadia Eke was the highest Columbia finisher as she finished in a tie for 3rd place in the long jump with a new indoor personal best of 19-0 3/4.  She was also the top collegian in the event.  For the men, the highest finisher was senior Kevin Boyd, who finished in 12th place in the 200m in 22.46.

– The Beantown Challenge had some other familiar faces competing while wearing different uniforms.  Damani Wilson (H ’14) and John Schilkowsky (Cor ’14) competed for Northeastern at the event.  Wilson finished in 2nd place in the 60m (6.88) while Schilkowsky finished 5th in the mile (4:19.19).

– Five Heps alumni earned Olympic Marathon Trial qualifiers on Sunday at the USATF Half Marathon Championships in Houston, Tex.  In the men’s race, Ethan Shaw (D ’12) was the top Ivy finisher with his 25th place finish in 1:03:41.  Jacob Sienko (Col ’14; 40th – 1:04:35) and Chris Bendtsen (Pr ’14; 41st – 1:04:43) also bested the 1:05:00 standard.  James Kelly (H ’06) finished in 70th place with his time of 1:07:15.  For the women, Sarah Cummings (Pr ’11) and Lindsey Scherf (H ’08) made the 1:15:00 standard, with their 20th and 24th place finishes, respectively.  Cummings ran 1:13:11 while Scherf ran 1:14:07.  Olivia Mickle (B ’13) also competed in the championship race, where she finished in 33rd place in 1:16:19.  If we missed someone, let us know through the “Contact” link.

photo by Doug Austin

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