iHeps17 – Women’s Long Distance


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It is always tricky to do the event previews for the long distance events as not every school has their distance programs compete in the 3,000m or 5,000m prior to Heps. This year, only half of the schools have had their athletes compete in one of these events as of now.

If the season performance lists are how the 3,000- and 5,000-meter results will look at Heps, then Columbia should be deemed the “distance school” of the conference. The Lions have four different women ranked in the top six of both events and was given a ‘rank’ by USTFCCCA of having the seventh-fastest 3k quartet in the nation with senior Henna Rustami (Syosset, N.Y.), senior Natalie Tanner (Rye, N.Y.), junior Nell Crosby (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and sophomore Emily Acker (Rexford, N.Y.). Rustami (1), Tanner (3), and Crosby (6) all sit in the top conference’s top six in the 3k while freshman Abigail McLaughlin (Waldwick, N.J.) has the No. 2 time in the 5k. Rustami — the runner-up in the 2016 Outdoor Heps 5k — qualified individually for last fall’s NCAA Cross Country Championships while Tanner made the NCAA Outdoor finals in the 10k last spring.

What about Harvard, the Heps XC champions? The Crimson should factor in both events. The face of the Crimson will likely be rookie Judy Pendergast (Naperville, Ill.), who leads the League in the 5,000-meter run with her 15:52 clocking. Also among the top six in the 3k, she could be joined by fellow Heps XC scorers — freshman Lisa Tertsch (Darmstadt, Germany), junior Elianna Shwayder (Saline, Mich.) and sophomore Erin Dietz (Bedford, Mass.) — on the starting line. Junior Heps cross champion Courtney Smith (West Chester, Pa.) is redshirting the indoor season according to TFRRS.org, but she sent out a cryptic Instagram post on Tuesday that leaves us wondering if she might join the chase.

Brown junior Natalie Schudrowitz (Milwaukee, Wis.) — the defending Indoor 5,000m champion — looks like she has working on her speed this indoor season as she has the No. 2 3k mark and is among the top three in the mile. She can be a formidable threat in the final laps of these distance races. Princeton senior Lizzie Bird (St. Albans Herts, U.K.) — who also possesses good foot speed — is a returning scorer from last year’s 3,000. If she’s healthy this weekend, she could help Princeton gather valuable team points as it is unlikely junior Megan Curham (Warren, N.J.) will continue to recover from injury. Yale freshman Gemma Shepard (Yatesbury, U.K.) is one of the athletes who has competed the 3k in sub-9:30 this year while Penn will be looking to their Whiting twins (Delta, Colo.) — seniors Cleo and Clarissa — and junior Abby Hong (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) to aid the Quakers’ team total. Cornell junior Jackie Katzman (Albuquerque, N.M.) — who scored in the 3k last year — can contend for points again. — Mary Boggs

3,000m run

Finals: Saturday, 1:30 pm

Heps Record
8:51.91 — Abbey D’Agostino (Dartmouth, 2014)

Championship Record
9:09.49 — Jenny Stricker (Harvard, 1983)

2017 Top 10
9:10.56 — Henna Rustami (Columbia)
9:11.61 — Natalie Schudrowitz (Brown)
9:23.41 — Natalie Tanner (Columbia)
9:25.16 — Judy Pendergast (Harvard)
9:25.18 — Gemma Shepherd (Yale)
9:28.55 — Nell Crosby (Columbia)
9:32.75 — Clarissa Whiting (Penn)
9:33.15 — Melinda Renuart (Princeton)
9:34.89 — Lizzie Bird (Princeton)
9:36.28 — Jackie Katzman (Cornell)

5,000m run

Finals: Sunday, 1:30 pm

Heps Record
15:28.11 — Abbey D’Agostino (Dartmouth, 2013)

Championship Record
15:47.02 — Abbey D’Agostino (Dartmouth, 2013)

2017 Top 10
15:52.64 — Judy Pendergast (Harvard)
16:54.38 — Abigail McLaughlin (Columbia)
17:01.50 — Olivia Lantz (Dartmouth)
17:22.92 — Julia Stevenson (Dartmouth)
17:23.27 — Erin McLaughlin (Cornell)
17:24.00 — Diana Vizza (Dartmouth)
17:25.73 — Jessica Elliott (Cornell)
17:37.58 — Taylor Knibb (Cornell)
17:54.93 — Victoria Ingram (Columbia)
17:57.06 — Audrey Huelskamp (Cornell)

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