Making It All Count, Part 1


This weekend had a flurry of Ivy League activity all across the country.  All eight Ivy schools competed this past weekend, showing their in-conference and national competition what is in store for this upcoming outdoor season.  We only have five weeks until the championship season starts, so the student-athletes will be making each weekend count.

Due to the sheer amount of data we are trying to recap for HepsNation, we will be breaking up the weekend recap into two entries for this week.  This post will focus on the Florida Relays and the Stanford Invitation, while part two will focus on the Sam Howell Invitational and the Wildcat Invitational.

Florida Relays (recap by Nell Smith)
The University of Florida hosted the Pepsi Florida Relays at the Percy Beard Track in Gainesville, Florida, April 2- 4. The three-day meet, attracted the nation’s top competitors, including a number of Ivy League athletes from Columbia, Harvard, Penn and Yale.

Columbia: In the first running event for the Ivies, junior Iris Chijioke opened the meet in the 100 meter hurdles in 14.33. Junior Ashley Cunningham and freshman Akua Obeng-Akrofi competed in the 100 meter dash, posting 11.89 and 11.99 respectively. Sophomore Brittney Wade had a strong showing in the women’s 800 meters, where she finished in the top 30 with a time of 2:11.70. Seniors Brendon Fish and Connor Claflin also secured top performances in the 800 meter run. Fish finished eighth in the event running 1:48.13 and Claflin ran 1:48.79 to finish 15th. On the field, senior Nadia Eke opened her outdoor season in the women’s triple jump with a new collegiate best leap of 43-06.50. The mark moves Eke from #7 to #3 in the all-time Ivy League record books for the outdoor event. Columbia’s 4×200 meter relay team consisting of Obeng-Akrofi, Chijioke, Cunningham and Jaycee Parker finished 10th in a field of 40 teams, running 1:36.59.

Harvard: The Crimson’s veteran women’s distance crew had a standout performance in the 1,500 meters. Senior Molly Renfer placed fifth overall in the event with a time of 4:22.48. Paige Kouba, a junior, finished behind her teammate in 4:25.66 for sixth and the sophomore of the pack, Sarah Gillespie, clocked a 4:26.49 to place 10th. Seniors Connor Reck and Nephat Maritim competed in the men’s 1,500 meters where the pair ran 3:49.39 and 3:52.91 respectively.  In the middle distance events, Harvard junior Kieran Gallagher ran 2:13.06 in the women’s 800 meters. Freshman Jonas Aranda passed the finish line in 1:51.94, besting his senior teammate Billy Looney who posted a 1:54.76 in the 800 meters. The men’s distance medley relay team of Aranda, Matthew Hurst, Maritim and Connor Reck grabbed the fourth place title in 9:59.35.

Hurst, a freshman, ran a 48.78 in the men’s 400m dash at the Florida Relays. Senior Jarvis Harris completed in the 400 meter hurdle event in 53.69 and posted a 14.05 in the 110 meter hurdles. Harris’ high hurdle time is the 10th best in conference history. Freshman Jay Hebert also competed in the 110 meter hurdles, running a 14.99 to finish the race. Malcolm Johnson, a freshman, ran 10.92 in the 100 meter dash.  Harvard’s 4×100 meter men’s squad featuring Harris, Hurst, Johnson and Alexander Moore posted a 41.84 in the event. Freshman Andrew Bolze joined teammates Hurst, Johnson and Moore as they returned to the track for the 4×200 meter relay where they recorded a 1:26.28.

Hannah Mayer a senior at Harvard threw a 159-02 in the javelin competition, which was good for sixth, among a field of over 20 athletes. Sophomore Raegan Nizdil cleared 5-06 in the high jump for a five-way tie for ninth. Andrew Roney, sophomore, also had a clearance in the men’s pole vault, 15-03.00, for 13th in the event.

Penn: Penn’s field athletes had an outstanding weekend at Florida Relays. In the men’s invitational discus, junior Sam Mattis earned a first place finish with a throw of 197-10, besting the second place finisher by over four feet. In the college discus, sophomore Noah Kennedy-White threw 173-06, which was good for third place. Sophomore Nailah Hill competed in the women’s discus finishing with a toss of 132-06. Marcus LaRoche a senior, placed eighth in the men’s shot put with a toss of 55-05.50 and junior Kelsey Hay finished 13th in the women’s javelin with a mark of 141-04. Michael Monroe and Thomas Pitt competed in the men’s high jump. Freshman Monroe tied for third place with a jump of 6-09 and junior Pitt placed fifth in 6-09. Noel Jancewicz a sophomore at Penn, cleared 5-06 in the high jump for seventh in the event.

Back on the track, Penn freshman Candace Taylor notched a 2:10.61 in the women’s 800 meter run, while sophomore teammate Carey Celata finished in 2:10.81. Both athletes placed in the top-25 for the event. Freshman Jeff Wiseman ran 1:52.52 in the men’s 800 meters. In the women’s sprints, junior Taylor Henning opened her season in the 400 meters running 55.69. Freshman Taylor McCorkle rounded out the women’s sprints for Penn in the 100 meter dash in 11.89. The women’s sprint medley relay was able to finish fifth in the event, with the quartet of McCorkle, Henning, Taylor and Celata running a 3:52.68. On the men’s side, Ben Bowers ran a 14.44 in the 110 hurdles. Senior Tom Timmons recorded a 52.73 in the men’s 400 meter hurdle event. Bowers and Timmons came back in the men’s sprint medley with teammates Wiseman and Drew Magaha where the squad earned the sixth place finish in 3:22.71.

Yale: A small group of Yale’s track and field team represented the Bulldogs at the weekend-long competition. In the 100 meter hurdles, junior Mackenzie Matthews posted a 14.90, while freshman Paedyn Gomes ran a 14.89 in the 110 meter hurdles. Sophomore Marc-Andre Alexandre competed in the men’s 400 meter dash where he finished with a final time of 48.08. In the women’s 400 meter dash, senior Emily Cable ran a 54.84.

Stanford Invitational (recap by Jenny DeSouchet) 

A sizable Heps crew composed of Penn, Columbia and Cornell athletes headed west to compete in the Stanford Invitational over two days, Friday, April 3 and Saturday, April 4. The meet was conducted in temperate Palo Alto conditions, producing successful results, including two Invitational overall wins, a number of top-10 all time performances for each school, a new entry in the Ivy League record books, and the smashing of many personal and school records.

For Cornell, throws enjoyed the greatest scoring of the Ivy League performances at the meet with senior Stephen Mozia coming away with two Invitational wins in the discus and shot put, and a 9th place finish in the hammer throw. Mozia threw 61-06 1/4 in the shot, 188-09 in the discus, and 180-01 in the hammer, solidifying his spot as one of the best collegiate throwers in the nation (20th in the shot put, 13th in the discus) and in Ivy League history. Freshman Jacob Shaffer earned a solid 5th place score in the Collegiate section of the discus throw with a mark of 167-09. Freshman Mark Zavrl crushed his first javelin competition with a throw of 194-04 in the Collegiate Javelin Throw, earning 4th place.

Jumpers soared into Collegiate and Invite scoring, starting with sophomore John Enkler, who jumped 46-04 1/4 for a 6th place in the Invite triple jump, joined by freshman Oseoba Airewele who jumped 44-07 in the Collegiate Triple Jump, also for 6th place. In the Invite High Jump, junior Stephen Afadapa jumped to a height of 6-09 for 6th place, while freshman Miles Lazarou gained 8th place with a jump of 6-07. Sophomore Wynndham Curtis produced impressive results in his 110HH and 400IH double, winning his prelim heat of the 110HH (14.73) to return to the final on Saturday, placing 7th overall (15.06). Curtis doubled in the 400IH, finishing with a time of 56.38. Teammate and fellow sophomore, Austin Jamerson also advanced to the finals of the 110HH, placing 9th (15.24).

The middle distance men competed outstandingly: 1,500m competitors sophomore James Gowen (3:46.88) and junior Ben Rainero (3:48.56) had strong performances. In the men’s 3,000m Steeplechase, senior David Melly and junior Connor Herr ran impressive times near the 9:00 barrier, finishing in 11th and 12th place (9:07.27 and 9:09.05, respectively).

The Cornell women had a number of top performances across the board. Junior Caroline Kellner began the excitement by finishing the stacked 10km section in 19th place amongst some of the world’s best distance women (2008 Olympic 10km bronze medalist, Shalane Flanagan), in a time of 33:32.07. Kellner was the 10th collegiate finisher in the race, and her time lies just outside of the top-10 Ivy League all-time.

Senior Elysse Wilkinson led the 800m women of Cornell on Saturday by finishing 5th in Invite Section 3 with a time of 2:09.77, followed by Shanon Hugard who came across in 2:11.99. Also for the middle distance women of Cornell, Kristen Niedrach and Marianna Collard competed in the Collegiate section of the 1,500m, finishing in 4:31.67 and 4:32.12.  Senior Bori Tozser had a strong showing in the Women’s 3, 000m Steeplechase (10:46.3) followed by teammates Claire DeVoe (10:49.25) and Carey Dowe (11:05.08).

Three upperclass women had strong showings in the 400m, starting with junior Udeme Akpaete who placed 7th (54.35), senior Zena Kollisuah in 9th place (54.42) and senior Katie Woodford 12th (54.78). The 400m hurdling duo of freshman Taysia Radoslav and senior Emily Woodford finished in 61.55 and 62.91 respectively, taking 4th and 3rd in their separate heats.

Cornell’s women field event athletes were on fire, with six finishing in the top 8 in their events. Elizabeth Crissy jumped 5-03 3/4 in the Collegiate Women High Jump for 5th place. Gaynelle Boham achieved a jump of 38-02 1/4 in the Collegiate Triple Jump, also taking 6th place, closely followed by Hillary Holmes in 8th place with a jump of 37-05. Eve Bishop, senior and standout pole vaulter, took 2nd place in Collegiate Pole Vault by clearing the impressive height of 12-6 ¼ . She was joined by her teammate, Alexis Bartholomew, who cleared the height of 11-6 ½ for 9th place. Women’s throws went far, with freshman Taylor Baker placing 4th in the Women’s Collegiate Discus Throw (148-07), alongside teammate, junior Camryn Goodman in 7th (144-11).

Columbia’s middle distance women had a particularly strong performance on Friday night. Junior Olivia Sadler had a spectacular race in Invite section 1 of the 1,500m, racing to a 5th place finish with a new PR of 4:19.72 (just outside of the all-time Ivy League record listing). Senior Aryn Foland also had a strong 1,500m showing, finishing in 4:29.35 in Invite Section 2. Junior Leila Mantilla competed well in the Invite section of the Women’s 3,000m Steeplechase, finishing in 10:47.96 for 16th place in her opening steeple this season.

Columbia’s long distance men also proved the trip to California was worth the commute, with both 10km men finishing in well under 30 minutes. In Invite Section 2 of the 10km, Junior Tait Rutherford came through in 21st with a huge PR of 29:29.17, followed by senior Ben Eversole who finished in 31st with an impressive time of 29:37.47.

In a field of professionals and collegians, junior Thomas Awad ran an impressive 13:33.29 for a 5th place overall finish (2nd collegian), with a time that breaks his own school record by 15 seconds. Awad came across ahead of many well established professionals, and earned a 2nd place all-time spot in Ivy League History.  In the longer distances, sophomore Brendan Shearn (29:47.99), earned 32nd in the men’s Invite 10km improving upon his personal best from last year’s Penn Relays.

In the Men’s 3,000m Steeplechase, Brendan Smith came across in 6th place for an impressive time of 8:55.47 followed closely by teammate, Nick Truck in a 9th place finish in 8:56.36.

Sophomore Cleo Whiting ran first on Friday evening in 5k, finishing with a PR of 16:26.42 and placing 16th in Invite Section 2. Penn’s middle distance women competed well on Saturday, with Ashley Montgomery finishing the 800m in 2:15.3, followed closely by teammate, Gabby Cuccia in 2:16.26.

Stay tuned for part two…

 top photo by Steve Dolan

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