In the shot put, the clear favorite is defending champion Nikki Okwelogu (Harvard), who is having a phenomenal year. She leads the conference by over seven feet with her outdoor best of 55’ 0.75”, but we know that’s not all she’s got. She threw farther than that en route to her Indoor Heps title earlier this year, and even farther when she finished with All American honors at NCAA’s with 56’ 6”. Karleh Wilson (Yale) is ranked second and was the runner-up to Okwelogu indoors. She is the only other returning scorer from 2014. Wilson’s performances have been impressive as well, as she has more than a two-foot lead over third. Her throws throughout the season would all beat the third-place mark. She also has yet to surpass her indoor (and lifetime) PR of 48’ 0.5”. After Okwelogu and Wilson in the season rankings is a group of five freshmen, all within 2.5’ of each other.
The discus favorite is freshman Josie Natrasevschi (Brown) with a conference-leading mark of 183’ 9”, almost 13’ farther than second-ranked Okwelogu, last year’s runner-up. For each of these ladies, those marks are their most recent. Okwelogu’s best mark is 5’ farther than third-ranked Kebbeh Darpolor (Brown), third last year. Darpolor in turn is almost 14’ ahead of the fourth ranked, and from there, the performances even out, bringing an opportunity for Cornell to score double points in Taylor Baker and Camryn Goodman.
Julia Ratcliffe (Princeton) leads the hammer rankings by 41’ going into Heps. She is the two-time defending champion. Joanna Koronios (Columbia), two-time returning scorer and third in the weight throw indoors, is in second. She has had a strong season, consistently throwing in the 170’+ range, which historically puts her in scoring position. Taylor DuPont (Harvard), weight throw runner-up indoors and returning scorer, is ranked third. Natrasevschi and Wilson are also among the top ranked, and they have a good chance to score double points for their teams in this and discus.
The javelin will be a closer competition since there is no definite front runner with a big lead so far. Hannah Mayer (Harvard), a two-time scorer, leads the conference so far, but only by two feet. She is followed by a trio of Penn throwers that includes defending champion Kelsey Hay, currently ranked second with a mark from last weekend. Expect them to battle it out for first, as both of them consistently have produced marks that historically would win. Their lifetime bests are within 1 inch of each other – Mayer holds the conference record with 164-02 while Hay is on her heels with 164-01. Hay’s teammates Lisa Sesink-Clee and Serena Graf will be looking to back her up with more team points. The Dartmouth duo of Moriah Morton and Bridget Douglas will be trying for team points too.
– Susan Rodriguez
Natrasevschi from Brown Athletics; Mayer photo by Tim O’Dowd