The women’s throwing event favorites are two women who have dominated their respective events this season – Harvard’s Nikki Okwelogu and Princeton’s Julia Ratcliffe. They both could easily win their events with their first throw of the competition.
Over the course of this past season, Okwelogu has improved her indoor shot put best from 50-02.75 (which won her the 2014 Indoor Heps title) to 54-02, a new Ivy League record and the 14th best throw in the country this season. She’s undefeated on the season and is aiming to continue that winning streak on her home oval. The conference meet mark (51-09.75 set in 2011 by Brown’s Brynn Smith) could easily fall on her first throw of the meet.
Meanwhile, Ratcliffe is looking for her first indoor throwing title after finishing as the weight throw runner-up for the last two years. Ratcliffe has the second best throw in conference history, 65-05.5, which she set in her first indoor meet in December 2014. She’s been consistently throwing over 63 feet this season – in comparison, no one else in the conference this season has thrown further than 56 feet.
Yale’s Karleh Wilson and Brown’s Michelle Bazile are the only two women who are in the top 6 in both throwing events. Wilson is looking to improve upon her 2014 Indoor Heps performances (3rd in the shot put, 14th in the weight throw). Her season’s best have her in good standing – #2 in the shot put and #3 in the weight throw (behind Ratcliffe and Harvard’s Taylor DuPont). Bazile is right behind Wilson in the standings. Bazile may only be a freshman, but she has been part of a strong Brown throwing trio with Josie Natrasevschi and Kebbeh Darpolor.
– Mary Boggs (Harvard, ’06)
photo from Princeton Athletics Communications