EDITOR’S NOTE: Due to the expected high temperatures for Saturday, the women’s 10km final has been moved from 5:30pm to 9:00pm. The men’s 10km final has also been moved and will now race at 8:15pm.
At least eight women have accomplished times under 16:30 for 5,000m, and two have dipped under 16 minutes, making this event one of the fastest for the women. Princeton’s Megan Curham, (third place last year) and Dana Giordano of Dartmouth have both run 15:54 (now 7th and 8th fastest all-time Ivy League), and will likely pull away from the field for a battle of their own. The two rank 9th and 10th in the NCAA East Region currently. A strong second pack of women could likely follow close behind, potentially made up of Dartmouth’s Reid Watson who has run 16:17, Kathryn Fluehr of Princeton 16:23, Aryn Foland of Columbia also with a 16:23, and Penn’s Cleo Whiting with 16:26. Harvard’s Molly Renfer may likely show up in the 5,000m as well, she’s posted a season’s best of 16:25.83 that would put her in a great position to score in this event. Cornell’s Caroline Kellner should also be watched with a keen eye, she’s come in 4th the last two outdoor Heps, and made her way to a podium finish this indoor Heps with a 3rd place finish. She owns a PR of 16:23.34, and has run 16:37.55 so far this year.
Overlap from the 5km to 10km also makes interesting the potential for doublers, with Kellner as the strong favorite in 33:32.07. Curham has earned a season’s best of 34:07, with Fluehr shortly being in 34:30.74. Curham owns the 8th fastest all-time Ivy League time of 33:24.79 from the 2014 season and qualified for NCAAs last year in this event. Claudia Pham of Dartmouth may contend for a top spot in the race with a time of 34:40.55, also joined by Princeton’s Lindsay Eysenbach with a best of 35:15.5.
True to tradition, the women’s 3,000 steeplechase has had amazing top-ranking performances and we expect it will follow true to suit at this year’s championships, with the current top seven steeplers posting rankings in the top 43 of the NCAA East Region. This enormous depth of talent begins with Princeton’s Elizabeth Bird, who has a new PR of 9:58.33, putting her current ranking at fourth in the NCAA East Region. Bird ranks fourth on the Ivy-League top-10 performance list, and has progressively honed in on technique and fitness this season to make consistent improvements, making her a contender not only at Heps, but likely at the NCAA Championships as well. Yale’s Kira Garry follows with a best of 10:11.59, also a top-10 all-time Ivy performance and top 15 spot in the region right now. Natalie Schudrowitz, the “freshman phenom” from Brown, has accomplished a time of 10:18, followed closely by her teammate, Lucy Van Kluenen who has run 10:24.11. The group will likely be joined by Emily de La Bruyere of Princeton, with her season’s best of 10:24.5, as well as Penn Relay’s collegiate 3,000m steeplechase champion, Paige Kouba of Harvard, with her new PR of 10:26.93. Cornell’s Claire DeVoe battled with Kouba at the relays this year, finishing slightly back as the runner-up in her best of 10:29.08. Dartmouth’s Sarah Delozier placed fourth against Kouba and DeVoe at Penn Relays with a time of 10:32.93, but has run faster in prior seasons so we expect this the Heps to procure another top performance from her.
– Jenny DeSouchet
photos by Doug Austin