Making their Marks

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Four weekends from now is the Indoor Heptagonal Games weekend.  These next few weeks are going to pass by so quickly.  Here’s our first part of the end of January weekend results to give you a taste of what is to come as many more athletes are making their season debuts or making their marks in the conference/national rankings, as well as the Ivy League record books.

Wesley A. Brown Invitational (Annapolis, MD) – L. Kelsey Armstrong

The Penn Quakers provided a tease of the strength of their program this weekend at the Wesley A. Brown Invitational, hosted by the Naval Academy. Competing as a complete team for the first time this season, both the men and women were impressive in a multitude of events.

The women seem to be on the right track for Heps, as they amassed ten event victories. Leading the charge was a pair of freshmen – Rachel Wilson (weight throw) and Nicole Macco (pole vault). Wilson broke her own school record set two weeks ago with a heave of 56-06 1/2 (2nd best in the conference). Teammate Nailah Hill came in second (50-05 1/4). Macco broke the pole vault school record also with a leap of 12-08 (3rd best in the league), dominating the competition by over 1.5 feet. Molly Minnig followed in fourth place with a 10-10 leap. Another winner was rookie Imani Solan in the 200m (24.53). Her time is tied for 4th best in the league. Taylor McCorkle was second in 25.06. Noel Jancewicz led a 1-2 finish in the high jump with a leap of 5-07 1/4, while Annie Peyton Malizia jumped 5-02 1/2. Ashley Montgomery led a top seven sweep of the mile with a 4:50.89 effort (9th in the conference). Abby Hong (4:51.75), Amy Darlington (4:52.42), Cleo Whiting (4:55.56) and Kylene Cochrane (5:03.10) completed the top five spots. McCorkle led a 1-2-3 finish in the 60m dash with a time of 7.60, followed by Solan (7.80) and Allysha David (7.90). Teammates Carey Celata (2:12.41), Ella Wurth (2:14.92) and Gabby Cuccia (2:16.84) finished 1-2-3 in the 800m, while Cora Butler and Devinne Miller triple jumped their way to a 1-2 placing with performances of 35-03 1/4 and 34-07 respectively. The 3000m race was also dominated by Penn with a top five sweep, with Elyssa Gensib (9:59.99), Olivia Ryan (10:11.48) and Isabel Griffith (10:15.08) garnering the top three places. Another winner was Serena Graf in the shot put. Her throw of 41-08 1/2 was followed by Taylor Hojnacki’s fourth place finish of 39-10 3/4. Other impressive performances included second place finisher Devinne Miller’s 17-8 distance in the long jump, Meghan Barnes (9.01) and Ariel Fieldman (10.21)’s 2-3 finish in the 60m hurdles, Rachel Hlatky finishing third in the 400m (60.19), and the 4x400m team placing second with a time of 3:55.66.

In contrast, the men had only three wins, but the most impressive performances were NON-wins. Chris Hatler powered his way to second in the conference with a 4:05.98 second place finish in the mile. He led his teammates to a 2 through 8 finish with Thomas Awad (4:06.05), Sam Webb (4:12.66), Nick Tuck (4:14.08) and Kirk Webb (4:15.22) leading the way. Brendan Smith also led a group of runners in the 3000m with a second place 8:10.46 performance (4th in the league). Brendan Shearn (8:22.18), Ross Wilson (8:25.07) and Keaton Naff (8:25.30) finished fifth, sixth and seventh respectively. Jeff Wiseman returned this week and ran a 48.57 second place finish in the 400m (5th best in the league). Sam Mattis set a personal record in placing second in the weight throw with his throw of 60-05, while Noah Kennedy-White placed fifth (52-08 1/4). The winners included Michael Monroe (6-08 1/4) leading a 1-2-3 sweep in the high jump with Ian Kirk (6-06 1/4) and Thomas Pitt (6-04 1/4); rookie Calvary Rogers sprinting to a 22.10 win in the 200m, followed by classmate Christian Kildal-Brandt (22.33) and Isaac Taylor in 22.62; and the fastest 4x400m of the year for the team (3:20.61). Other great performances include the 2-3 finishes of Billy Bishop (52-01 3/4) and Mattis (52-07 1/2) in the shot put, and Elias Graca (1:52.77) and James Buser (1:53.17) in the 800m. Ben Bowers came in second in the 60m hurdles with a time of 8.20, along with Jordan Palmer in the triple jump (45-04 1/2). There were two 4-6 finishes in the pole vault (Michael Benz – 15-03 and John Li – 14-09) and 60m dash (Wyatt David – 7.08 and Rogers – 7.12).

Kane Invitational (Ithaca, NY) – Becky Wexler

The Cornell men and women hosted the (non-scoring) Kane Invitational this weekend, welcoming teams from across the upstate New York area and neighboring states.

Cornell athletes won the majority of the events both on and off the track in the men’s competition. Freshman Zach Menchaca was a triple winner, taking the 60m and the 200m (6.84 and 21.76 [21.38c], respectively) and then running a leg of the winning 4x400m relay (3:26.31) with teammates William Gibson, Brailin Paulino and Alex Beck.

Other event winners included senior Max Hairston (60m hurdles, conference-leading 7.99), who was also second in the 500m (1:05.45 [1:04.46c]); sophomore Michael Smith (500m, 1:04.84 [1:03.86c]); freshman Matt McGowen (1000m, 2:28.50 [2:26.48c]; senior Matt Raniero (mile, 4:10.50 [4:07.35c]); sophomore Myles Lazarou (high jump, 6-10 1/4); freshman Andrew Barlow (pole vault, 16-02 3/4); sophomore Alex Rodriguez (long jump, 23-06); and junior Bobby Plummer (triple jump, 50-01 3/4).

Cornell had many event winners on the women’s side, too. In the 1,000m, Cornell went 1-5, with senior Sarah Holl leading the way in 2:57.57 [2:55.66c]. Other event winners included sophomore Erin McLaughlin (3,000m, 10:10.29 [10:05.11c]), senior Kayla Hong (60m hurdles, 8.91), sophomore Kate Gulbrandsen (high jump, 5-07), sophomore Claudia Dabrowski (long jump, 18-07, ranked second in the conference), senior Gaynelle Boham (triple jump, 37-10 1/2), sophomore Michaela Smith (shot put, 43-09 1/4), and freshman Leena Morris (weight throw, conference-leading 57-10 1/2).

Penn State National (State College, PA) – Mary Boggs

The PSU National meet was billed by many track & field reporting outlets as the place to be if you want to see top-tier collegiate middle-distance action, as competitors spanning across the country flocked to the land of the Nittany Lions to try to get national qualifying marks.  Representatives from Columbia and Cornell came down from New York to participate, resulting in some good conference marks.

The best Heps performance from the weekend actually did not come from the middle distance events, but from the heptathlon.  Cornell’s Austin Jamerson shattered his personal best in the event by over 400 points, having the second best heptathlon performance in conference history – 5,654 points.  He finished second in the event, behind Stanford’s Harrison Williams by only 36 points.  In setting this mark, Jamerson set four new personal bests – 60m (7.16), shot put (42-04 1/4), high jump (6-10 3/4), and pole vault (14-07 1/4).  It also broke the school record held by multiple Heps champion and All-American Nick Huber (’12) by 102 points, and Jamerson sits as the 11th best multi-eventer in the nation.  It should be noted that the top 16 performances qualify for NCAAs.

Another top-16 in the nation performance came in the men’s distance medley relay.  Columbia’s quartet of Rob Napolitano, Corey Hammond, rookie Alek Sauer, and Spencer Haik finished sixth in the competitive race on Friday night with a time of 9:43.74.  The performance is the 15th best in the nation.  Napolitano, Sauer, and Haik came back on Saturday to compete in the open 800m.  Napolitano won the event in 1:50.03, while Sauer finished third (1:51.67) and Haik in sixth (1:52.54).

Other PSU National competitors included Cornell’s James Gowan (800m Invitational – 12th in 1:50.98); Columbia’s Brittney Wade (800m Invitational – 12th in 2:10.52); Columbia’s Henna Rustami (3,000m Invitational – 11th in 9:45.92); and Columbia’s Marc Violone and Dustin Wilson (3,000m Invitational – 13th [8:20.70] and 23rd [8:33.65] respectively).

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