A lot of athletes made their outdoor debut this past weekend – two of which made enough of an impact to be recognized today for their performances. Meanwhile, two rookies continue to prove their worth for their team by setting new season’s bests that sit them among the top of the conference.
Female Rookie of the Week:
Penn’s Candace Taylor is having quite a spring. At the George Mason Spring Invitational, she won the 400m with a new season’s best time (and from our research, a new personal best) of 55.00. In fact, she bested some of her main Ivy competition (Dartmouth’s Jennifer Meech in 55.85 and Columbia’s Jaycee Parker in 55.87) in that same heat. Her time ranks her 5th in the conference and the top freshman. Her previous 400m season’s best was 56.78 from the Maryland Invitational at the end of March, while her previous personal best was 55.55 from high school. This is her third individual event win of the season, as she won the Maryland Invitational 400m and Philadelphia Classic 200m; however, this was the largest field that she won over (56 other competitors at the George Mason Spring Invitational).
Male Rookie of the Week:
Princeton’s Mitchel Charles threw two new seasonal bests at the Princeton Quad Meet on Saturday. His throws of 57-11 1/4 in the shot put and 168-00 in the discus were good enough to win those respective events, helping the Tigers beat Monmouth, Vermont, and Rutgers in their annual scored meet. These are the first event wins that Charles has had on the collegiate level (indoors and outdoors). Charles’ shot put throw is the second farthest in the conference so far this season, while his discus mark ranks him 5th. He is the top freshman male thrower in the conference so far this season. Since the start of the outdoor season, he’s improved his collegiate bests from 55-10 1/4 (shot put) and 156-03 (discus) that he threw at the Disney Track and Field Open.
Female Athlete of the Week:
Harvard’s Nikki Okwelogu did not need much time to update her spot in the outdoor conference record books. On her second throw of the Harvard/Yale dual meet (her season debut), Okwelogu threw 54-04 3/4 in the shot put, improving her outdoor personal best from 52-07 1/4 from last year’s Outdoor Heps. Her new mark moves her into the #3 all-time position in the outdoor record books, 0.25 of an inch away from the #2 spot held by Princeton’s Deborah St. Phard and 2.5 inches away from the Ivy record holder Amber Knighten of Brown. FYI – Okwelogu’s indoor personal best is 56-06… Okwelogu also won the discus throw with a toss of 150-04. These two event wins helped the Crimson maintain the Harvard/Yale dual crown for an eighth straight year.
Male Athlete of the Week:
This might be Rudy Winkler‘s first collegiate outdoor season for Cornell, but he is starting off on the right foot. In his season’ debut, he won the Bison Outdoor Classic hammer throw competition with a mark of 214-03 on his last throw. He beat the competition by over six feet. In addition, he threw himself into the #5 all-time Ivy record book position, 9th in the East Region, and 16th in the nation. Oh, and it’s a new Cornell school record. Quite a debut.
photo by Bill Shearn