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Perhaps the decision to move the 10km races to the evening was a good idea by the meet officials as we have perfect long distance racing weather. Fortunately, many of the teams squads came back to the track and planned out their cheering locations before the gun went off.
The early laps featured a lot of switching of the race leading between Harvard’s Brendan Price and Dartmouth’s Peter Geithner and Brian Masterson. Five laps in 6:05; Nine laps in 12:02 with the bulk of started athletes in a main pack. The field began to thin out more starting at 14 laps in.
Harvard’s Brendan Price has been alternating leading the pack with Dartmouth’s Peter Geithner, but Dartmouth has four of their runners in the top 6 in the first 7 laps of the race. By the halfway point (16:13), Dartmouth was running 1-2-3 with Masterson, Nathaniel Adams, and Curtis King, followed by Columbia’s Tait Rutherford and Yale’s Kevin Dooney. By the time it was 6 laps to go, the lead pack was down to 8, featuring Adams, King, Dooney, Matt McDonald (Princeton), Sam Pons (Princeton), Brendan Shearn (Penn), Rutherford, and Chris Allen (Harvard). Dooney took the lead at 5 laps to go, and King sits back a few steps to lead Dooney take his turn in the lead. At 2 laps to go, the top 5 was Dooney, King, McDonald, Shearn, and Rutherford in that order. But at the bell lap, King makes his move and goes ahead of Dooney, but McDonald follows. King and McDonald battle for the next 300m but in the final stretch, McDonald proved to have the better kick and got the win and first Heps title in 29:50.09.
Men’s 10km result:
1. Matt McDonald (Princeton) – 29:50.09
2. Curtis King (Dartmouth) – 29:51.37
3. Kevin Dooney (Yale) – 29:56.76
4. Tait Rutherford (Columbia) – 30:00.48
5. Brendan Shearn (Penn) – 30:03.78
6. Nathaniel Adams (Dartmouth) – 30:09.15
Men Scores after Day 1: Princeton 46, Dartmouth 39, Cornell 26, Penn 14, Harvard & Yale 10, Brown 6, Columbia 4
While the men went out in a pack, the women got strung out rather quickly as Princeton’s Megan Curham and Cornell’s Caroline Kellner broke off from the start. By 3 laps, Princeton’s Kathryn Fluehr and Dartmouth’s Claudia Pham also had separated from the rest, running in 3rd and 4th respectively. By the 2km point (6:28), Curham’s lead had built to 40m over Kellner, who was 100m ahead of Fluehr. 3200m in 10:31, and Curham is only about 150m away from lapping people. It took Curham until a little after the 5k point to start lapping the field, where she ran it in around 16:50. By this point, Curham had a 100m lead over Kellner (2nd), while Fluehr was working on closing the gap between her and Kellner. But with 7 laps to go, Fluehr got caught by Courtney Smith & Whitney Thorburg (both of Harvard) and Pham, so it went Smith-Thorburg-Pham-Fluehr for 3 to 6 positions. By this point, Curham’s lead grew to over 150m ahead of Kellner, while Kellner was about 70m ahead of Smith. But it was just the Curham show this year as she powered her way to her first Outdoor Heps title in 34:08.99 (missing the meet top 10).
Women’s 10km results:
1. Megan Curham (Princeton) – 34:08.99
2. Caroline Kellner (Cornell) – 34:40.59
3. Courtney Smith (Harvard) – 34:53.67
4. Whitney Thornburg (Harvard) – 35:04.25
5. Claudia Pham (Dartmouth) – 35:09.45
6. Kathryn Fluehr (Princeton) – 35:18.94
Women Scores after Day 1: Princeton 39, Harvard 26, Columbia & Penn 24, Cornell 21, Dartmouth 9, Brown & Yale 6
And remember to call your mother tomorrow – it’s Mother’s Day.