The men’s pole vault has two reasonably fresh faces as the favorites for the conference title – Yale’s Brendan Sullivan and Princeton’s August Kiles. Kiles finished in a tie for 2nd place last year at Indoor Heps while Sullivan finished in 6th place. Both men have cleared 17 feet this year (a first for both). Sullivan has improved his lifetime personal best by 8 inches on the year, coming into Indoor Heps as the #1 seed with 17-04 ½. Kiles is ranked #2 with a best clearance of 17-02 ¾. They have gone head-to-head once this season so far at the Harvard-Yale-Princeton meet where Sullivan prevailed by 6 ½ inches over Kiles. Yale and Princeton will also be looking to the Bulldog rookie Austin Laut and Tiger Ben Gaylord to break into the scoring positions. Gaylord finished fourth in this event last year. Another athlete who has improved this year is Dartmouth’s Max Cosculluela. He’s broke the 5 meter barrier (16-04 ¾) for the first time this year back in December and he has continued to clear at least that in the competitions since. He’s aiming to improve his fifth place finish from last year. One name we need to keep in the conversation is Cornell’s Grant Sisserson. Sisserson is the defending Indoor Heps champion and the conference record holder in the event with 17-11 1/4, but his 2016 season has been somewhat subpar. This year, he’s seeded sixth with a season’s best that is over 1.5 feet away from his indoor personal best.
Over in the high jump, it will be a battle of the 2015 Heps high jump champions – Penn’s Mike Monroe and Cornell’s Myles Lazarou. Monroe won the indoor title last year with Lazarou finishing in fourth in Cambridge. At Outdoor Heps, Lazarou bested Monroe on his home jumping pit at Franklin Field to win that title as Monroe finished ninth. Can Monroe turn the tables on Lazarou on Lazarou’s home jumping pit? Monroe enters this weekend as the only athlete to clear 7 feet so far this season. Lazarou is one of four Cornell athletes to clear 6-10 ¾ this season, essentially sharing the #2 seed with his teammates – Stephen Afadapa, Jozef Mankovecky, and Austin Jamerson. Jamerson is a heptathlete who did not compete in this individual event last year, so it is uncertain if he will join the competition this year. Afadapa has improved his showing at each Heps championship he’s competed in, finishing in fifth place last year, but with this being his final Indoor Heps showing, he’ll want to walk away with at least an All-Ivy honor. Cornell is projected to get 20 points in this event so Princeton will need Xavier Bledsoe to try to break up that Big Red scoring block as best as he can in order to help the Tigers in the team race. Bledsoe is in the mix with the Cornellians, being the #6 seed with a season’s best height of 6-10 ¼. But high jump can be filled with plenty of surprises as champions are determined based on their miss record.
photo by Doug Austin
– Mary Boggs