iHeps17 – Women’s Middle Distance

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Yale senior Frances Schmiede (Pymble, Australia) is probably the top middle distance runner in the conference this year. She enters Indoor Heps with the fastest times in the mile (which is No. 3 all-time) and 1,000m (conference record) and she’s one of seven women who have run faster than 2:10 in the 800m. You could say that Schmiede would be the “event favorite” if she races either the mile or 1k (it would be tough, likely improbable, to do both as there is less than two hours between each final on Sunday). Yale is not just reliant on Schmiede as the Bulldogs also have seniors Emily Waligurski (Hurley, N.Y.) and Meredith Rizzo (Bronxville, N.Y.) to pick up points with Schmiede in any of these events.

Dartmouth senior Helen Schlachtenhaufen (Lake Forest, Ill.) earned that mile win last year over Schmiede in a slow, tactical race where the top four finishers were separated by a quarter second. This year, she has improved her mile best by almost eight seconds to give her one of the top mile times of the year. Dartmouth has other strong middle distance runners in senior Aliyah Gallup (Springfield, Ore.), junior Bridget Flynn (Margate City, N.J.), and junior Bridget O’Neill (Oakville, Ont.). Gallup and Flynn — both under 2:10 this winter — are contenders for scoring in the 800 while O’Neill is one of four sub-2:47 athletes in the 1,000. Those points will be valuable in the overall team competition.

Another strong middle distance program is Columbia with the likes of senior Brittney Wade (Bethesda, Md.), junior Sarah Hardie (Eastport, N.Y.), senior Devon Towell (West Chester, Pa.), and (potentially) senior Henna Rustami (Syosset, N.Y). In the 800, Wade — who enters Indoor Heps with the top time by almost two seconds on the field — is hoping to improve on her sixth place finish from last year and collect her first indoor title on her home track. Hardie is the two-time defending champion in the 1,000, which has gotten stronger with its championship inclusion. Last year, Hardie improved her season’s best by six seconds at Indoor Heps to defend her title, but now many others in the chase. Towell is strong in both the 800 and 1,000, while Rustami may just focus on the longer distance events to help maximize her team’s contributions as the middle distance field is so loaded.

Other faces to keep on an out for? Cornell junior Shannon Hugard (Middletown, R.I.) — the top returning scorer from last year’s 800 final — is a sub 2:10 runner while Penn freshman Mikayla Schneider (Villanova, Pa.) is the fastest rookie in the event. Princeton senior Kaitlin Hanss (New York, N.Y.), Brown junior Clare Peabody (Aptos, Calif.) and senior Taylor Worthy (Medfield, Mass.) are all potential scorers in either the 1,000 or mile events. The Bears also have junior Natalie Schudrowitz (Milwaukee, Wis.) with a speedy mile time, but we expect her to join Rustami in the longer distance events. — Mary Boggs

800m run

Trials: Saturday, 1 pm
Finals: Sunday, 12:30 pm

Heps Record
2:02.77 — Meredith Rainey (Harvard, 1990)

Championship Record
2:04.58 — Morgan Uceny (Cornell, 2007)

2017 Top 10
2:06.49 — Brittney Wade (Columbia)
2:08.02 — Mikayla Schneider (Penn)
2:09.34 — Emily Waligurski (Yale)
2:09.42 — Bridget Flynn (Dartmouth)
2:09.49 — Aliyah Gallup (Dartmouth)
2:09.61 — Shannon Hugard (Cornell)
2:09.84 — Frances Schmiede (Yale)
2:10.08 — Devon Towell (Columbia)
2:10.13 — Ella Wurth (Penn)
2:10.22 — Claire Dougherty (Dartmouth)

1,000m run

Trials: Saturday, 1:15 pm
Finals: Sunday, 12:50 pm

Heps Record
2:44.10 — Frances Schmiede (Yale, 2017)

Championship Record
2:47.67 — Sarah Hardie, (Columbia, 2016)

2017 Top 10
2:44.10 — Frances Schmiede (Yale)
2:46.20 — Kaitlin Hanss (Princeton)
2:46.48 — Clare Peabody (Brown)
2:46.61 — Bridget O’Neill (Dartmouth)
2:47.83 — Devon Towell (Columbia)
2:48.15 — Emily Waligurski (Yale)
2:48.51 — Sarah Hardie (Columbia)
2:48.77 — Bridget Flynn (Dartmouth)
2:49.08 — Alie Fordyce (Princeton)
2:49.18 — Zoe Sims (Princeton)

Mile run

Trials: Saturday, Noon
Finals: Sunday, 11 am

Heps Record
4:28.31 — Abbey D’Agostino (Dartmouth, 2014)

Championship Record
4:32.42 — Abbey D’Agostino (Dartmouth, 2013)

2017 Top 10
4:34.54 — Frances Schmiede (Yale)
4:40.79 — Helen Schlachtenhaufen (Dartmouth)
4:42.54 — Natalie Schudrowitz (Brown)
4:43.43 — Henna Rustami (Columbia)
4:43.51 — Meredith Rizzo (Yale)
4:43.86 — Judy Pendergast (Harvard)
4:44.38 — Elizabeth Bird (Princeton)
4:44.40 — Kaitlin Hanss (Princeton)
4:46.94 — Taylor Worthy (Brown)
4:47.43 — Ellie Atkinson (Yale)

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