According to the conference rankings, these five events should be dominated by Princeton and Cornell. The seed times are so close to each other that it should be exciting battles throughout. Barton Hall’s flat track will definitely make these races even more interesting as the conference rankings have had many conversions from flat-to-banked equivalents so numbers could still be a bit deceiving.
The defending champion in the 60m, Harvard’s Malcolm Johnson, has not run this year. The 60m runner-up, Carrington Akosa (Princeton) seems a likely championship contender, along with rookie teammate Charles Volker who leads the conference with a 6.79 performance. Ryan Hynes of Cornell, who was third last year, leads a group of young Big Red sprinters able to to disrupt Princeton’s point total: Ryan Weigel, Zach Menchaca, Brailin Paulino and Alex Beck. This foursome are ranked second, third, fourth and fifth in the conference and are all capable to pull off the victory.
Menchaca also has shown great 200m running with a leading time of 21.38 (converted from flat to banked). He leads his teammates, Beck and Paulino (third last year) with a possible sweep. Akosa is the defending champion and could regain his title, while his teammate, Daniel McCord has also run well this year (#10 in the conference history with 21.61). Brown’s duo of Ryan Kelly and Oluwatosin Oyewole will attempt to break up this two team race and should provide points for their school. Kelly also has the distinctions of being ranked #9 all-time in the 200m (21.55) and the only person to run under 48 seconds in the 400m in this league (47.74). Placing third last year, he seems likely to gain his first Heps crown, especially since the defending champion, Marc-Andre Alexandre (Yale), has not raced the 400m at all this year. Tobe Attah of Cornell was the runner up last year and has the #2 seed time, followed by teammate Michael Smith. These three could decide the top three places. Princeton’s Ray Mennin and Joshua Freeman have also run well and should figure into the scoring along with Kelly’s teammate, Oyewole.
The defending champion in the 500m, Jeff Wiseman of Penn, has run better in the 400m this year and may opt for a scoring berth there. If Wiseman attempts to run the 500m, he will have to deal with Rutger Admirand (Cornell), the only athlete under 1:03 this year (1:02.67 – converted from flat to banked). Last year’s runner up, Brown’s Zachary Emrich, is also a major contender this year and should battle Admirand, along with Joshua Ingalls (Princeton) who has run the #2 time this year. Other potential scorers include Myles Marshall (Harvard), Amos Cariati (Dartmouth) and last year’s sixth place finisher, Corey Hammond (Columbia).
The top two performers in the 60m Hurdles from 2015 have graduated, leaving the top returner to be Greg Caldwell (Princeton). Two time Indoor Heps hurdle champ and conference record holder Max Hairston of Cornell has returned after not competing at Indoor Heps last year, and has the top conference time of 7.93. Penn’s Ben Bowers was fourth last year and has improved to a likely runner up. Austin Jamerson of Cornell may jump into this race, in addition to competing in the heptathlon, as he was sixth last year. His teammate, Wynndam Curtis, was a finalist last year and is ranked #3 this year, making him a viable scorer. The sophomore duo of Paedyn Gomes (Yale) and Jay Hebert (Harvard) have run well this year and should figure into the scoring.
– L. Kelsey Armstrong