Women’s 800m Trials – Saturday, 12:20pm | Finals – Sunday, 2:00pm
Women’s 1,000m Trials – Saturday, 12:35pm| Finals – Sunday, 2:20pm
Women’s Mile Trials – Saturday, 11:20am | Finals – Sunday, 12:00pm
The introduction of the women’s 1,000m and Distance Medley Relay makes the women’s middle distance portion of the meet much more substantial and inevitably more complicated. With three individual events (800m, 1,000m, and mile – all of which include prelims as well as finals) and two relays (DMR and 4x800m), teams will have their work cut out for them in terms of event coverage. As always, a tight schedule makes it difficult to handle multiple events, but rest assured, doubling and even tripling can and will take place.
For the majority of the season, Harvard senior Erika Veidis sat atop the 800m list with her 2:05.80 winning performance at the BU Terrier Invite. But last week at the Alex Wilson Invitational hosted by Notre Dame, Princeton junior Cecilia Barowski blasted a 2:05.00 to overtake the top spot. Two years ago, Veidis stormed to victory in the 800m in front of the home crowd, and after a runner-up finish a year ago to recent Dartmouth grad Megan Krumpoch, many expected her to reclaim her title. Barowski’s performance, now 5th all-time in the Ivy League and 10th in the NCAA, seriously shakes things up. On top of that, two other athletes have dipped below 2:10 so far this season: fellow Harvard senior and 800m first-timer Gabrielle Scott and recently burst-on-the-scene Penn sophomore Carey Celata. If all these ladies wind up entering, the Women’s 800m final could very well be the race of the meet.
As for the 1,000m, Veidis remains the top seed by 2 seconds heading into this weekend with her season’s best time of 2:46.71. Considering the Harvard women are the favorites to take the team title, entering her there may be their best chance at maximizing points. However, should she decide to run the 800m instead, the 1,000m will be wide open. The chance to be the first ever Women’s 1,000m Heps Champion could draw in a big crowd. If Celata decides to forgo the half, she could find herself competing for the win against fellow sophomore Taylor Worthy of Brown. Both have gone below 2:50 this season. Behind them a remarkable 6 other women have run between 2:50.10 and 2:50.83: Molly Renfer (Harvard), Emily Waligurski (Yale), Clare Peabody (Brown), Sarah Gillespie (Harvard), Zoe Sims (Princeton), and Kristen Niedrach (Cornell). With such an incredibly deep field, great things can be expected in this women’s event debut.
And in the mile, the graduation of Dartmouth sensation Abbey D’Agostino leaves the title up for grabs for the first time in years. D’Agostino’s former teammate and training partner junior Dana Giordano may just be up for the task. As the defending Outdoor 1,500m Champion and current conference leader (4:41.12), Giordano is in great position to compete for another Heps title. A win is anything but certain, though, as Columbia junior Olivia Sadler’s season best time is a only a half-second back (4:41.43). While those two dual it out up front, competition for coveted podium spots and, more importantly, team points, will remain fierce with Kira Garry (Yale), Paige Kouba (Harvard), Kaitlin Hanss (Princeton), and Natalie Schudrowitz (Brown) all potentially in the mix.
– Rachel Sorna (Cornell, ’14)
photo by Doug Austin