All of the 2014 Outdoor Heps scorers are back for this year’s competition in the women’s high jump. Upon first glance, it looks like the best clearances are not as high as they have been in the past. I think that is more due to the weather conditions from earlier this spring that due to the talent in the field. And besides, many athletes set their seasonal or personal bests at Heps. Take defending champion Kaitlin Whitehorn – going into the 2014 Outdoor Heps, her seasonal best was 5-08 ¾. She won Outdoor Heps with a height of 5-10, and that was her best clearance for the outdoor season. She’s approaching Heps this weekend on a similar path – her season’s best is 5-08 ¾ that she cleared early in April, but she’s been consistently above 5-07 throughout this season. Only three other jumpers have cleared 5-07 this season – Harvard’s Raegan Nizdil, Penn’s Noel Jancewicz, and Princeton’s Inka Buscak. There could be a number of Crimson and Orange athletes on the podium this year. There are three Harvard athletes in the top 10 – Nizdil, Ann Giebelhaus, and Allison Morrison. All three of them scored at Outdoor Heps last year with heights at least 2 inches higher than their current 2015 season’s bests. Princeton has Buscak and multi-eventer Taylor Morgan in good scoring positions. Buscak did not score last year, but she has the third best clearance this season with 5-07. Jancewicz has also cleared 5-07, as a part of a heptathlon. Jancewicz, Morgan, and Morrison will likely double up in the open high jump and heptathlon, which is a common double for the multi-eventers. Keep an eye on Brown’s Morayo Akande – she has the 2014 Indoor Heps title and personal best of 5-08 to her name. She will be aiming for a finish higher than her 5th place finish from last year.
Another Indoor Heps champion who is looking to improve her standing from 2014 is Cornell’s Eve Bishop. Last year, Bishop finished in 5th place in this event with a clearance of 12-01 ½. She’s improved dramatically over the course of this past year – she won the 2015 Indoor Heps title in this event, she has an all-time personal best of 13-01 ½, AND she’s coming in with the best height of the season of 12-11 ½. Only Harvard’s frosh Marlena Sabatino has joined Bishop at heights above 12-feet this outdoor season. Sabatino cleared 12-05 ½, which was the same height that won the 2014 Outdoor Heps. Three athletes are looking to break 12-feet for the first time during the outdoor season – Dartmouth’s Stephanie Brown, Penn’s Molly Minnig, and Cornell’s Alexis Bartholomew. They each have a seasonal best of 11-11 ¾. Columbia’s Grace Shadid is also back this season after scoring last year. Keep an eye on Princeton’s Allison Harris – she cleared 12-01 to score at Outdoor Heps last year, finished third at 2015 Indoor Heps, and has a lifetime PR of 12-11 ½. Harris opened her vaulting season only last weekend after running a lot of hurdles and sprints this outdoor season.
– Mary Boggs
Bishop photo by Cornell Athletics; Whitehorn photo by Doug Austin