Fayetteville, AR— On the final day of competition, several Ivy athletes emerged All-Americans at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships, placing among the top eight in the nation in their respective events.
Sophomore Nikki Okwelogu (Harvard) had an outstanding conclusion to her indoor season capturing a sixth place title in the women’s shot put event. Okwelogu’s toss of 56-06 in the finals beat her previous Ivy League record of 56-02, which was set at the Indoor Heps. This sixth place finish ranks Okwelogu the 14th woman in Harvard’s program history to be named an All-American. Senior Stephen Mozia (Cornell) also competed in the shot put competition but failed to advance to the finals after fouling all three throws in the preliminary round.
In the triple jump, senior Nadia Eke (Columbia) tied her best indoor leap of 43-08.25 to grab the third place crown. Eke finished her final indoor season with a repeat performance as an All-American in the triple jump for the second consecutive year. Eke’s finish is the highest finish for a Columbian athlete ever at these indoor championships.
Sammy Silva (Harvard) represented New Mexico in the women’s mile besting four competitors to win sixth place in the final. This All-American accolade makes Silva the seventh female athlete in the New Mexico program history to earn this distinction. Her 4:35.44 in the event is the second best time in New Mexico and Mountain West history. In the highly anticipated men’s mile, John Gregorek (Columbia) edged out the field in 4:04.30, the fourth fastest time in the competition. He joined his fellow Ducks on the podium in a 1-4-6 representation.
Junior Dana Giordano (Dartmouth) recorded a 12th place finish of 9:16.20 in the women’s 3,000m. Giordano was seeded 13th going into the meet. Will Geoghegan (Dartmouth) was part of a three man sweep for the Oregon Ducks in the men’s 3,000m. Eric Jenkins won the race with a 7:58.81, Edward Cheserek placed second in 7:59.42 and Geoghegan held onto third running 8:00.44. This 1-2-3 finish broke the first place tie with Florida, helping the Ducks clinch the championship title for the second year in a row.
This wraps up the 2014-15 indoor track and field season. The outdoor season will begin over the next few weeks as the various schools travel for their spring break training trips.
– Nell Smith
photo by Tim Waterbury