Photo: Columbia Spectator
Three women — Harvard sophomore Gabrielle Thomas (Florence, Mass.), Columbia junior Akua Obeng-Akrofi (Lawrenceville, Ga.) and Brown senior Shanelle DeJournett (Knoxville, Tenn.) — are sharing the first award of the new year. Thomas ran 7.42 for 60 meters as her Crimson hosted the Beantown Challenge, a mark bettered by just two Heps sprinters — Harvard’s Danielle Barbian (7.40) and Thomas herself (7.38). Obeng-Akrofi (pictured) was the top collegian in the 500-meter dash at the Great Dane Classic at Staten Island’s Ocean Breeze Complex, running 1:12.89 behind Olympian Ajee Wilson. And DeJournett did something stunning while scoring 3,640 points in the Beantown Challenge pentathlon. She became just the ninth Hepster to leap higher than 5-11 in the indoor high jump with a clearance of 1.81 meters (5-11 1/4).
It looks like Dartmouth freshman Cha’Mia Rothwell (Durham, N.C.) will earn a number of these honors this year. She not only posted a school record in the 60-meter hurdles (8.46) at a weekend quad-meet, she matched the third-fastest time in League history. The previous weekend she leapt 5.95 meters (19-6 1/4) at the Dartmouth Relays, the best long jump around Heps this year.
After this weekend, we are expecting a Heps’ showdown between the week’s triple-jumping awardees — Cornell senior Bobby Plummer (Scarsdale, N.Y.) and Princeton sophomore Stefan Amokwandoh (South Croydon, Great Britain). Plummer started with two fouls at the Nittany Lion Challenge in State College, Pa., but popped a 15.62 meter leap (51-3) as he found his rhythm. Amokwandoh did the opposite, with a 15.54 meter effort (51-0) in his first jump at the Towson Tiger Invitational. The head-to-head will be fun to watch.
While Dartmouth has a dominant women’s rookie hurdler, Princeton has one for the men as freshman Joey Daniels (Kitchener, Ont.) lowered his season best to 8.00 at the Towson Tiger Invitational. Daniels, who won silver at the IAAF World Youth Championships in Colombia last summer, picked Princeton over Texas A&M and UCLA.