A Tale of Two Weekends – Winter


Ok – we’re back from a brief spring break.  Time to catch up on the happenings of HepsNation.

These last two weekends of competition seem to have occurred during two different weather seasons. The weekend of April 8th and 9th was more in line with winter, while this past weekend was the more ideal spring conditions we expect for an outdoor track & field season.  We’ll provide recaps one weekend at a time – first up, the weekend of April 8th and 9th, or the “winter weekend”

Sam Howell Invitational – Mary Boggs

Princeton hosted their annual Sam Howell Invitational on April 8th and 9th, where Columbia, Yale, Harvard, and Dartmouth participated at the upcoming Outdoor Heps venue.  The meet was heavily impacted by the wintery weather on Day 2, resulting in all of the remaining field events to be moved indoors and six events were ultimately “not contested” (likely due to low entry participation due to the poor weather conditions).  Despite the varying weather conditions, HepsNation athletes claimed either the event win or were the top collegian in 23 of the contested events.

There was a great Tiger presence among the results since it was a Princeton hosted event.  Princeton’s Kaitlin Hanss was the top collegian in two events at the meet – she was the top collegian in the 1,500m Invitational run (4:33.29) with her third place finish, while she came back on Saturday to win the 800m in 2:15.63.  Meet records were reset in both pole vault competitions by Princeton athletes – Adam Bragg cleared 17-08 ½ for the men’s event while Allison Harris cleared 12-11 ½ to win the women’s event.  Rookie Adam Kelly set a new personal best in the hammer throw to win the event on Friday in 217-09.  Princeton athletes also won the women’s 10km (Kathryn Fluehr, 34:29.59), women’s hammer throw (Kennedy O’Dell, 169-10), men’s 10km (Chris Lucian, 30:06.43), men’s discus throw (Mitchel Charles, 169-08), men’s 400m (Josh Freeman, 50.51), women’s open 1,500m (Melinda Renuart, 4:39.17), women’s 200m (Elisa Steele, 25.78), men’s 100m (Josh Billington, 11.05), men’s 400m hurdles (Spencer Long, 56.11), women’s high jump (Taylor Morgan, 5-07 – done indoors), women’s 400m hurdles (Carly Bonnet, 64.38), and men’s shot put (Chris Cook, 56-10 1/4 – done indoors).  Alexandra Markovic was the top collegian in the women’s steeplechase, where she finished third overall with a time of 10:42.14.

Meanwhile, five other HepsNation athletes were either the top athletes or collegians in their respective events.  Columbia’s Jack Boyle was third in the men’s 5,000m run in 14:24.35 where he was the top collegian.  Dartmouth’s Reid Watson finished third in the 5,000m run on Friday night in 16:55.79 where she was the top collegian.  It should be noted that this race was won by Megan Curham, who is taking a year off from Princeton for an internship.  Curham won in 16:14.85.  Harvard’s Kieran Tuntivate (800m) and Gabe Montague (1,500m) both won their respective open events with times of 1:59.17 and 3:55.50, respectively.  Frances Schmeide had the top result for a Yale athlete, as she finished second in the 800m Invitational event with a time of 2:11.10.

Metropolitan Championships – Nell Smith 

Over the weekend, Columbia sent a small squad to the Metropolitan Outdoor Championships located at the Bauer Track and Field Complex on the campus of Rutgers University. Both the men’s and women’s teams finished sixth in this two-day scoring competition.

The women had a strong showing in the field events despite the total number of athletes competing for the Lions. Senior Grace Shadid won the women’s pole vault with a clearance of 10-08, setting the bar high for sophomore Abigail Sharkey who placed second with 10-04.  In the triple jump, senior Alexis Yeboah-Kodie captured the second place title with a leap of 36-04 1/4, while teammate Lauren O’Connor threw 119-02 in the javelin for second in the field.

Freshman Robert O’Brien had a champion clearance in the pole vault reaching 14-09 to win the event. On the track, junior Keenan Piper clocked a 4:06.30 at 1500m for second overall. In the Lions final running event, junior Alexander Freemantle, sophomores Tyler Otterstedt and Brian McGovern and freshman Johain Ounadjela posted 8:17.83 in the 4x800m claiming fourth place in the 3200m relay.

Cornell April Cabin Fever Indoor Invitational – Mary Boggs

The Cornell April Cabin Fever Indoor Invitational was probably one of the few meets that had entirely moved indoors due to April 9th’s wintery weather.  As a result of moving indoors, the performances cannot be used for NCAA qualification purposes and some non-traditional events were incorporated into the meet’s schedule.  Regardless, the Big Red showed their strength across the entire meet by winning 14 events and being the top collegian in a 15th event.

John Enkler and Logan Kreglow were the only Big Red athletes to win multiple events at the meet by both claiming a jumping event and then as a part of a relay.  Enkler won the triple jump in 48-08 ¾ while Kreglow won the high jump with a height of 6-06 ¾.  The two of them teamed together with Justin Love and Kelsey Nedd to win the 4×200 in 1:35.27.  Hillary Holmes (triple jump – 39-00 ½) and Stephanie Izard (high jump – 5-07) won the women’s editions of those events.  Other event winners included Leena Morris (shot put, 43-09 3/4), Claudia Dabrowski (long jump, 18-03 ¼), Jessica Elliot (3km, 10:10.21), Kristen Niedrach (600m, 1:34.87), Ross Clarke (800m, 1:54.10), Libby Nolan (800m, 2:15.03), Ben Rainero (1,500m, 3:51.81), and Michael Wang (2km steeplechase, 5:52.94).  Cornell alumna Genna Hartung – who is serving as an assistant coach for the Big Red this year – won the women’s 2km steeplechase in 6:42.30, while undergrad Briar Brumely was the runner up in 6:45.85.

Mark Young Invitational – Nell Smith

Yale hosted the Mark T. Young Invitational, honoring former coach Mark Young, who was instrumental in the early success of Yale’s track and field and cross country programs. The Brown Bears joined the Bulldogs for Yale’s first home meet of the season — both teams earning top performances and highlighting early strengths in various disciplines.

Freshman Austin Laut gained one of the victories for the Bulldogs with his 15-11 clearance in the pole vault. Another freshman from Brown, David Yoo finished eighth in the event with a final height of 13-05 1/4. Junior Austin Loewen of Yale was part of a two-man tie for first place in the men’s 110m hurdles. His time of 15.28 was shared with an athlete from Rhode Island. In the 400m, freshman Connor Hill set a career best of 48.89, shattering his previous record by almost a second, which was good for second place. Senior Max Payson also set a career best at 1500m, clocking a 4:03.35 to claim fifth in the event. The 800m event rounded out the running portion of the competition for the Bulldogs. Juniors Austin Puleo and Chandler Crusan ran 2:03.95 and 2:07.54 respectively. Cody Clements, a freshman at Yale, took third in the high jump with mark of 6-03 1/2. In the long jump, freshman Jimmy Shih and sophomore Carl Mansson leaped 20-10 3/4 and 20-09 respectively for fourth and fifth overall.

The Brown men dominated the throws securing top six places in each event. Junior Aaron Comery released a 54-08 1/4 throw in the shot put beating the field by over one meter to place first. Jacob Hoops, a sophomore from Yale hurled a 49-00 ¼ shot for fifth. The hammer throw proved to be Brown’s strongest throwing event of the competition. Freshman Owen Russell’s 192-07 throw won the event with a near three-foot margin over his competitors. Senior Matthew O’Hara took third in the hammer with a 180-09 toss, while Comery placed fourth with a 167-05 mark and senior Phuong Truong’s throw of 164-06 ranked fifth. Persichetti earned the highest place for Yale with a 147-09 mark in the hammer throw. Truong of Brown continued his momentum in the men’s discus where he earned the second place title with his 151-01 throw. Freshman Bulldog Marcus Downs was the next Ivy competitor to throw the furthest in the discus, launching 143-00. Freshman from Brown Nicholas Wignot was the next to finish sixth with a 138-07 release.

Freshman Evelyn Roberts was the highlight performance for the women Bulldogs. In her hammer debut, Roberts released a 158-11 throw which landed her a second place finish and ranks as the seventh best throw in program history. Brown sophomores Maxine Offiaeli and Michelle Bazile took third and fifth with marks of 156-10 and 146-10 respectively. Offiaeli also competed in the shot put finishing first with a mark of 41-11 1/4 while Bazile took third with a toss of 41-01 1/2. Junior Aubryn Samaroo was Brown’s single competitor in the discus. Her 110-08 was the fifth best throw of the meet.

Brown and Yale battled in the women’s high jump event for the top six spots. Senior Morayo Akande of Brown was the top jumper taking first in 5-07 1/4, freshman teammate Nicie Grier-Spratley was second with a 5-06 leap. Yale senior Megan Toon, the next Ivy jumper to place, recorded 5-02 1/4, while Brown juniors Erin Schaeffer, Samaroo, Bridget van Dorsten and Yale junior Lilian Foote tied for sixth at 5-00 1/4. In another vertical event, Brown sophomore Lily Hayes took second in the pole vault with a 10-04 clearance.

On the track, senior Shannon McDonnell came short of her career best in the 400m. Her 58.46 was good for second. The next Yale finisher was freshman Emma Lower who clocked 60.15 for third. In her 400m hurdle debut freshman Bridget Tobias posted a 63.30 for Yale, while Brown junior Safiya Walker ran 69.41 for seventh. Brown also posted top times in the 800m. Sophomore Alexis Van Pernus won the 800m running 2:14.34 across the finish line. Senior Charlotte Walmsley was the second finisher for Brown clocking 2:18.37 for eighth and sophomore Joelle Feinberg ran 2:19.60 for tenth. Freshman Emma Sloan won the 1500m for the Bears posting 4:36.45 to win. Yale’s freshman and sophomore duo Andrea Masterson and Kelli Reagan finished fourth and sixth, running 4:40.67 and 4:40.76 respectively.

George Mason Spring Invitational – Mary Boggs

The bulk of the Big Green were at the George Mason Invitational on April 9th, where the athletes had to battle the cool weather and windy conditions.  In the end, Dartmouth headed back to Hanover with seven event wins.  Jennifer Meech and Parker Johnson were both a part of two event wins.  Meech was the anchor of the victorious 4×100 relay (48.51) and claimed the open 200m title (24.90).  Meech was joined by Kaitlin Whitehorn, and sisters Sara and Anna Kikut on the relay.  Johnson was a member of the winning 4×400 relay (3:24.25) with Amos Cariati, Zachary Plante, and Ed Wagner.  In addition, Johnson won the 110m hurdles in a wind-aided time of 14.43.  Tim Gorman won the 1,500m in 3:52.56.  Corey Muggler continued to win in the long jump with a wind-legal distance of 22-11, while Molly Shapiro got a similar win in the triple jump with a 38-01 ½ distance.  Harvard alumna Nicky Grant won the hammer throw with a distance of 169-09.

Virginia Quad Meet & Lou Onesty/Milton G Abramson Invitational – L.Kelsey Armstrong

Penn and Columbia traveled down to Charlottesville, VA to take part in a meet called the Virginia Quad Meet.  Along with Maryland and host University of Virginia, the meet was scored as a dual meet, which means there was three team scores for every team.  The Penn women lost to Virginia and Maryland, but was victorious against Columbia, who lost to all three.  The Penn men lost to Virginia, but beat Maryland and Columbia (who also lost to all three).  Despite the team scores and rather cool and windy conditions, there were many winning and Ivy League top performances by both schools.

The highlight of the meet for the Penn men was again discus thrower Sam Mattis.  His winning throw of 213-08 is a meet and stadium record and is the second best collegiate throw in the country, behind his own.  His teammate, Noah Kennedy-White placed third in 169-03.  Calvary Rogers continued his impressive rookie campaign with a 48.17 winning 400m effort, 6th in the conference.  Michael Benz had a 15′ 1″ win in the pole vault, while frosh Lance Yassay was victorious in the high jump (6-04 3/4).  Other top performers include the second and third place finish by Billy Bishop (50-06 3/4) and Sam Kaplan (48-10 1/4) in the shotput, Kaplan’s third place in the javelin throw (173-05), right behind Tim Schanstra’ s second place 182-04 throw, rookie Peter Whiteneck’s third place in the 100m dash (11.06), Eric Sheng’s 172-09 second place heave in the hammer throw and Thomas Pitt jumping a windy 23-06 1/4 in the long jump for a second place finish.

The Penn women were highlighted by a personal record throw and win by Lisa Sesiak-Clee in the javelin (150-04 1/2).  Teammate Serena Graf followed with a fourth place effort (125-11).  Taylor McCorkle had her fastest legal time of the year in the 200m with a 24.15 second place effort. McCorkle also came in second in the wind-aided 100m (11.70), leading her teammate Imani Solan (11.99) who placed third.  Ashley Montgomery had a second place effort in the 1500m with a time of 4:24.90.  Ella Wurth had the 6th fastest conference time with a 2:10.73 third place finish.  The 4 X 100m team of Barbara Biney, Solan, Allysha Davis and McCorkle ran 47.75 to place third. A trio of fourth place finishes were earned by Taylor Hennig in the 400m (58.14), Emily Jiang in the long jump (18-01 1/2w) and Rachel Wilson in the discus throw (140-08 1/2).

The Columbia men had some great performances in the track, most notably Corey Hammond’s winning effort in the 400m hurdles (53.20) and rookie Alek Sauer running 1:49.77 for a win in the 800m.  Johanan Sowah turned in a third place in the 400m with a 48.54 time, followed by fourth place finisher Yelnats Calvin in 48.61. Rob Napolitano dropped down to the 800m and contributed a third place effort in 1:52.01.  Ben Ritz came in second in the 1500m (3:52.21), while the 4 X 400m team of Ronald Busby, Calvin, Sowah and Hammond ran 3:19.77 for third place.

The Columbia women had two wins, Sarah Hardie in the 800m and Libby Kokes in the 1500m.  Hardie’s time of 2:08.46 as she led her teammates of Olivia Sadler (2:09.80) and Brittany Wage (2:11.07) to second and fourth place finishes. Jaycee Parker came in second in the 400m with a 56.79 run, followed by Mariella McCormack in third place in 57.24. Iris Chijioke also came in second with a wind-aided 14.20 effort in the 100m hurdles. Akua Obeng-Akrofi ran 24.28 to come in fourth in the 200m, while the 4 X 100m team of Aminat Iriafen, Parker, Obeng-Akrofi and Ashley Cunningham came in second in 46.75.

The Lou Onesty/Milton G. Abramson Invitational was hosted by University of Virginia the following day.  Various Penn athletes either doubled back from the previous day or competed for the first time.  Billy Bishop and Noah Kennedy-White both doubled back with a pair of second place finishes in the shot put (50-02) and discus throw (175-08) respectively.  Rachel Wilson also competed on the second day, but this time in the hammer throw, where she place tenth in 143-05.  Abby Hong was the only winner with a 4:39.67 run in the 1500m, followed by Elyssa Gensib in second place (4:40.02).  Jack Huemmler came in fifth in the 800m (1:55.75). Cora Butler jumped 35-07 1/4 in the triple jump for seventh place, and the same women’s 4 X 100m doubled back to run 48.00 for third place.

Hurricane Alumni Invitational – L. Kelsey Armstrong

Harvard traveled to Miami to run at the Hurricane Alumni Invitational this weekend.  The warmer weather garnered some great performances in a number of disciplines as the team garnered a number of national rankings, conference leaders and lifetime bests.

Usually the women’s sprint/hurdle crew steals the spotlight of every meet.  But this time, Nikki Okwelogu changed the focus to the throwing circle.  Okwelogu had a pair of impressive wins in the shot put (56-00 1/2) and discus (179-05). Her heave in the shotput is the conference leader and the 7th best collegiate throw, while her discus throw is a new school record, second all-time in the conference and 16th nationally.  Autumne Franklin and Jade Miller were fantastic in both hurdle disciplines.  Franklin won the 400m hurdles in a personal best time of 56.19, which is the fourth fastest collegiately.  Also she placed seventh in the 100m hurdles (13.64). Miller was just behind with a second place 57.74 400m hurdles performance, tenth best collegiately and ran 13.80 for ninth place (#7 all-time in the conference) in the 100m hurdles. Also, Madison Hansen ran 14.08 for eleventh place and a fourth place ranking in the conference.  Allison Morrison also competed well in two events, fourth place in the high jump (5-07) and a second place in the long jump (18-06 1/2).

Rookie Gabrielle Thomas continued her stellar performances with a seventh place 100m run in 11.49 and a second place 200m run in 22.86.  Her only competition in both races were the entered professional athletes.  Classmate Ngozi Musa also did a 100m/200m double, placing in tenth (11.74) and eighteenth (24.55) respectively.  Christi Scott also ran the 200m in 24.53, placing sixteenth overall.  The team of Musa, Miller, Franklin and Thomas paired up for a 44.77 second place finish in the 4 X 100m, while Thomas, Franklin, Scott and Miller also came in second in the 4 X 400m (3:32.87).  The 4 X 400m “B” team of Morrison, Modesett, Sylvia Deppen and Hansen ran 3:49.43 for seventh place.  Also of note is Lexie Schachine’s third place in the pole vault (11-07 3/4) and Florine Kameni’s eighth place in the triple jump (37-03 3/4).

Julian Nunally had a good double in the throwing circle for the men.  He placed seventh in the shot put with a 49-04 1/4 heave and second in the discus with a great 172-10 toss.  Efe Uwaifo finished in third place in the triple jump with 51-00 1/4.  Max Mondelli and Matthew Hurst both did sprint doubles: Mondelli ran 10.79 in the 100m (eighteenth place) and 21.55 in the 200m (fourteenth place), while Hurst ran a 22.13 200m (thirty-ninth place) and a 49.22 400m (thirteenth place).  The long jump duo of Malcolm Mason Rodriguez and Mark Hill jumped 23-03 and 23-01 ¼, placing twelfth and thirteenth. Rookie Ian West impressed with a third place personal best in the pole vault (15-07), while Jay Hebert ran 14.61 in the 110m hurdles for fifteenth place.

image from Zeb Lang

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