The men sprint events at the Heptagonal Championships figure to be a close contest which could resemble the overall team championship. Last year, Cornell, the men’s champion, generated 30 points from these events. Meanwhile, Princeton (runner-up) earned 32 points and Harvard (3rd place) earned 22 points from these same events. This year, Brown, Princeton, and Harvard seem to be the teams with the potential for the most points, and therefore, one of them could be hoisting the team trophy in Franklin Field on May 10th.
The top placers in the men’s 60m in the Indoor Heps were the freshman duo of Malcolm Johnson (Harvard), followed by Carrington Akosa (Princeton). Even though Johnson has the top league time in the 100m of 10.50, its has an aiding wind of 5.5 m/s, while Akosa has run 10.75 legally for the 6th best league time. The most consistent 100m sprinter this outdoor season is arguably Brett Buskey (Dartmouth) who has run a wind-aided 10.51, along with wind legal times of 10.70, 10.72 and 10.74. Brian Pfaff (Brown) has the fastest wind legal time of 10.67 and should not be overlooked. Add Brailin Paulino (Cornell), a finalist in the 60m indoors and veteran John Hill (Princeton), the defending 100m champion, this could be the hardest race to predict the final result.
Ryan Kelly (Brown) is the only returning scorer in the men’s 200m and has the top time of 21.48 wind-aided. Frosh Matthew Hurst (Harvard) has run well with a 21.53w time and was 2nd indoors. Brent Albertson (Princeton) has the 4th best conference time and the fastest legal time in 21.66. Throw in freshman Oluwatosin Oyewole (Brown) and Akosa (Princeton-indoor champion) to the mix of possible contenders. A wild card to this event would be Yale’s Marc-Andre Alexandre who ran the 100m/200m double last year, and it is unknown if he will attempt a more customary 200m/400m double. If he does, he will figure into the scoring, having run the 3rd fastest league time.
Alexandre seems to be the favorite to win his first outdoor 400m title, even though he has the 3rd best time coming in. He has raced sparingly outdoors and has the fastest time in the IC4As, indoors or outdoors of 46.83. Tobenna Attah (Cornell) has the top time outdoors (47.94) after placing 2nd indoors, while veteran Kelly has been consistently great all year and could challenge for the 400m crown. A trio of freshmen, Jeff Wiseman (Penn), Michael Smith (Cornell) and Hurst all have run top times and should be in the scoring mix. Columbia’s Kevin Boyd and Yelnats Calvin could provide team points as both were finalists last year.
– Kelsey Armstrong
photos by Doug Austin