For the first time in Heps history, the 3,000m will not appear on the schedule of events, leaving the middle-distance and distance women with an interesting “double” debacle. The efforts traditionally applied to the 1,500/3,000 double will be forced to disperse between other combinations, or allowed to make for even more competitive relays from the women with now fresher legs. There appear to be at least a few potential suitors for fast 1500/5km doubles, and there will inevitably be women that double with the 5km/10km as well.
The 800m has great potential for surprises, with many of the top returners of the event either missing in action, or not quite at their sharpest yet. This year’s indoor Heps Champ, Cecilia Barowski (Princeton) has bested a 2:07.23 so far this outdoor season, not yet attaining her indoor best of 2:05. This makes the race a bit tighter with at least three other women posting times close to a second off of Barowski’s season best. Shannon McDonnell of Yale has run 2:07.67, Brittney Wade of Columbia 2:08.10, and last outdoor Heps’ third place finisher, Elyse Wilkinson (Cornell) has run 2:08.97. Shannon Hugard of Cornell and Princeton’s Kim Mackay have dipped under the 2:10 barrier this outdoor season, posting times of 2:09.81 and 2:09.71 respectively. Penn’s Ashley Montgomery and Candace Taylor have both run 2:10 (2:10.46 and 2:10.61, respectively) putting them in contention for scoring places as well. Last year’s champion in the event, Erika Veidis (Harvard) has yet to be seen on the track this outdoor season, but with personal bests of 2:04.69 (8th fastest all-time Ivy League) and a runner-up finish at the Indoor Heps this year, she could very well make a surprise appearance and podium finish.
Columbia’s Olivia Sadler, last year’s third place finisher, has had a tremendous season, dropping her 1,500m PR down to 4:18.36, the 8th fastest Ivy League all-time performance. Sadler currently ranks 17th in the NCAA East Region. She does have company from Harvard’s duo, Molly Renfer (10th fastest all-time Ivy League) and Sarah Gillespie, who have both run low-4:20’s, with season’s best of 4:20.58 and 4:21.04 respectively. Both Renfer and Gillespie currently hold spots that will advance to the NCAA East Preliminaries. Our returning champion, Dartmouth’s Dana Giordano, has yet to run a 1,500 this season, but after winning the mile at Indoor Heps (time of 4:36), finishing 4 seconds ahead of Columbia’s Sadler, Giordano is likely to complete a 1500/5k double, chasing podium finishes in both events. Also in the mix are Penn’s Gabby Cuccia with a season’s best of 4:24,63, Dartmouth’s Elizabeth Marowitz with 4:25.38 and Yale’s Emily Waligurski with 4:25.47 this season.
– Jenny DeSouchet
top photo by Bill Shearn; photo of Sadler by Doug Austin