Considering how we needed to break up the weekend recap into two entries, I guess it is acceptable to recognize ten athletes for their stellar performances this past weekend. Sure, it might seem like a lot, but when you read the information that goes with them, you probably can understand how it would be hard to narrow it down as we had our share of record book updates and national rankers from this weekend.
Male Athletes of the Week:
Last year, Thomas Awad (Penn) ran his 5,000m PR at the Raleigh Relays, winning the race in 13:48.90. It wasn’t quite fast enough to make it into the Ivy League record books, but it was fast enough to get him a spot in the NCAA preliminary round for the event. Last Friday night, we believe Awad booked his ticket for the preliminary round again. At the Stanford Invitational, Awad ran a 15 second PR in the 5,000m, running 13:33.29 to finish 5th overall and 3rd collegian in the loaded field. That time is the 2nd fastest in Ivy League history. In fact, the top three times in the NCAA D1 rankings all came from that race, as Lamar’s Sam Stabler won the event in a national leading 13:30.50.
Also at the Stanford Invitational, Cornell’s Stephen Mozia showed that he was the meet’s king of the throws. He won both the Invitational Shot Put and Discus Throw events. His winning shot put throw of 61-06 1/4 bested the collegiate field by over 4-feet and currently ranks him #1 in the Ivy listings and #19 in the NCAA. In the discus, he bested the field by almost 5-feet as he won with a toss of 188-09. He also competed in the hammer throw, where he finished 9th overall with a mark of 180-01.
Penn’s Sam Mattis, Mozia’s friendly in-conference rival (as shown in the image above, taken a few years ago), jumped a number of spots in the NCAA D1 rankings at the Florida Relays this weekend. Mattis won the discus throw event with a season’s best of 197-10, a mark that not only tops the Ivy rankings, but ranks him #2 in the NCAA. The next best thrower in the field was over 4-feet back. Mattis can go farther, as last year, he went 203-10 en route to making it to NCAAs. Last year at this time, he threw 198-06 at the 2014 Sam Howell Invitational.
Harvard’s Jarvis Harris entered the Ivy League record book for the outdoor events at the Florida Relays last weekend. In the 110m high hurdles, he ran a new wind-legal personal best of 14.05 to finish 25th overall in the event’s preliminary round (he has a lifetime best of 13.80 with a barely illegal +2.4 m/s wind from last’s year LSU Alumni Gold Meet). The legal time puts Harris in the record book as the 10th fastest all-time. Harris also competed in the 400m intermediate hurdles, where he finished 40th in the preliminary round with a time of 53.69, the second best time in the conference to date.
Male Rookies of the Week:
Brown has some speedy freshmen. At the Sam Howell Invitational, their rookies Oluwatosin Oyewole and Brian Pfaff ran the fastest times in the conference this season in the 200m, 21.78 and 21.82, to finish 3rd and 4th in the event. The times were wind-assisted as the wind speed was measured at 2.3 m/s. These two are also currently tied for 9th in the 100m conference listings, as both of them ran 11.12 at the Sam Howell Invitational by winning their respective heats (it should be noted that both of their 100m times are wind legal).
Female Athletes of the Week:
Columbia’s Nadia Eke eyeing a return to NCAAs, as the last time she made it to the outdoors edition was back in her freshman year (she finished 8th in 2012 triple jump final with a wind-assisted mark of 43-04 1/2). Last weekend at the Florida Relays, she got a new wind-legal personal best in her specialty – 43-06 1/2, good enough for 3rd overall and 2nd collegian in the field. The performance is currently the 3rd best in the NCAA, and it moves her into the #3 all-time position in the outdoor Ivy League record books (she was previously #7). She recently explained in a Columbia Spectator interview how she’s now trying to build up the strength in her left leg, which is her take-off leg on her last phase in the triple, which has yielded more consistent results. “I think I’m at that point with my consistency,” she said in the interview, “I’m just waiting for that big moment.”
Brown’s Kebbeh Darpolor also improved her mark in the Ivy League record books. She improved her 9th best performance standing in the discus throw with a new PR at the Same Howell Invitational of 165-10 (her previous best was 165-04). She finished 2nd in the event, less than 2 feet from the winner Chioma Onyekwere of Maryland and 8 feet ahead of her teammate Josie Natrasevschi (who is the current conference recordholder in the discus).
Making the Ivy League record books for the first time is Princeton sophomore Elizabeth Bird. In her second steeplechase race of the 2015 season, Bird won the Sam Howell Invitational event with a near 6 second PR, 10:08.62. The time is the 7th fastest performance in conference history, and as a bonus, ranks her 6th in the NCAA rankings. Bird finished 4th in this event at the 2014 Outdoor Heps championships.
Female Rookie of the Week:
Brown frosh Natalie Schudrowitz finished as the runner up to Bird in the Sam Howell Invitational steeplechase, finishing in 10:19.49. According to our online research, this was the first ever steeplechase race in Schudrowitz’ athletic career. Shemight not be entering the record books for this event quite yet, but she has entered the NCAA rankings. Her time ranks her 14th in the NCAA, making her the second fastest freshman in the event so far this year. Not bad for a collegiate event debut.