Men’s 3,000m Final – Saturday, 4:15pm
Men’s 5,000m Final – Sunday, 3:30pm
The men’s distance events should provide some spectacular performances this weekend. Less-than-ideal weather conditions in the Northeast this winter has made travel difficult to say the least, and the effects have been felt by the Heps Nation. The loss of opportunities for some athletes to compete in high-caliber races at big invitationals earlier in the season combined with the fact that this weekend is the deadline for NCAA qualifiers could provide enough incentive to make these distance races really hot.
Of course, points will still be the number one priority this weekend (after all, this is the Heps), but on a track as fast as Harvard’s, it may just be possible to kill two birds with one stone.
After the madness that was the men’s indoor 3,000m last year at Dartmouth (Columbia sophomore Tait Rutherford won at out of the ‘slow’ heat due a ridiculously tactical and sluggish first mile in the ‘fast’ heat), all signs point to this year’s 3,000m being a fast and honest race. Penn junior Thomas Awad won the ‘fast’ heat last year but only ended up taking 3rd overall, so he could be looking for some serious redemption this year. Although his best time of 7:54.81 is the best in the League by over 5 seconds, expect the competition for this title to be fierce. Dartmouth juniors Curtis King and Joey Chapin have both run 8:01 this season, and together they could help make the pace quick. Look for Brown senior Jordan Mann and Rutherford, who has dropped his PR by 13 seconds since his surprise title winning run a year ago, to also be in the mix of things.
And in the 5000m, the graduation of a number of big performers has left the event relatively open this year. Analyzing entries and making predictions is also further complicated when you consider the fact that in recent years, a number of athletes have debuted at this distance at the Heps. Mann is the conference leader heading into this weekend by almost 7 seconds with his career best 14:10.43 set two weeks ago at the Iowa State Classic. Behind him are fellow seniors Will Geiken of Harvard and Paul Ross of Columbia and sophomore Nathaniel Adams of Dartmouth. Columbia senior Ben Eversole, who is currently sitting in 5th on the descending order list, is the top returning athlete from last year’s race where he finished 12th. Regardless of who shows up in this race though, as the meet’s final individual track event, you can expect the athletes to put on a show and lay it on the line for their teams.
– Rachel Sorna (Cornell, ’14)
photo by Doug Austin