Time to Cross Fingers

The Indoor Heps championships not only determined who the best in the Ivy League is, but it also served as the final chance for athletes to get a NCAA qualifying performance. Each individual event only has 16 slots and only 12 relay teams get to travel to College Station, Texas, for the NCAA Championships on March 10th and 11th.

With the qualification window now officially closed, there are 22 Ivy performances that are ranked within the top 30 of their respective events.

Of these 22 performances, nine of them are ranked in the top 16 of their respective event. Some of these performances are in events that are not recent staples of this conference — the weight throw, 200m, and multi-events. There has never been a top-eight finish in an event shorter than 400m for the women. It’s been more than 25 years since the Ivy League has had a top-eight finish in the weight throw and more than 16 years for a top-eight finish in the heptathlon.

Only three athletes of this group have competed at the NCAA indoor championships before.  Rudy Winkler of Cornell and Frances Schmiede of Yale hope to make the finals of the weight throw and mile run, respectively, after coming up short last year.  Meanwhile, Nikki Okwelogu of Harvard wants to earn her third First-Team All-American honor in the indoor shot put.  She finished sixth in 2015 and third last year.

Barring any illness or injury, the following athletes will make the trip to NCAAs:

  • Rudy Winkler (Cornell) – weight throw, 23.32m (3rd)
  • Gabrielle Thomas (Harvard) – 200m, 22.88 (7th)
  • Adam Kelly (Princeton) – weight throw, 22.62m (7th)
  • Judy Pendergast (Harvard) – 5,000m, 15:52.6 (10th)
  • Allison Harris (Princeton) – pole vault, 4.27m (10th)
  • Frances Schmiede (Yale) – mile, 4:34.5 (11th)
  • Zoe Hughes (Harvard) – pentathlon, 4,093 points (13th)
  • Austin Jamerson (Cornell) – heptathlon, 5,756 points (13th)
  • Nikki Okwelogu (Harvard) – shot put, 16.84m (16th)

Three field athletes are on the bubble, as they will need at least three athletes who have better performances to scratch.

  • Efe Uwaifo (Harvard) – triple jump, 15.82m (19th)
  • Shanelle DeJournett (Brown) – high jump, 1.81m (20th)
  • August Kiles (Princeton) – pole vault, 5.42m (20th)

The remaining 10 performances are going to need at least 5 scratches in their events in order to advance to NCAAs.

  • Myles Marshall (Harvard) – 800m, 1:48.2 (21st)
  • Yale women Distance Medley Relay – 11:15.8 (21st)
  • Gabrielle Thomas (Harvard) – 60m, 7.29 (22nd)
  • Henna Rustami (Columbia) – 3,000m, 9:10.6 (22nd)
  • Chris Hatler (Penn) – mile, 3:59.2 (23rd)
  • Natalie Schudrowitz (Brown) – 3,000m, 9:11.6 (24th)
  • Anna Williams (Columbia) – triple jump, 12.99m (24th)
  • Julia Ratcliffe (Princeton) – weight throw, 20.45m (25th)
  • Simi Fajemisin (Harvard) – triple jump, 12.96m (26th)
  • James Gowans (Cornell) – mile, 3:59.88 converted (29th)

The middle to long distance events have traditionally had a lot of scratches during the declaration process, as athletes who are ranked in multiple events decide to only focus on one.  We will have to see though.  We did a quick comparison between the middle and long distance events for possible doublers.  There are eight men in the mile who are also ranked in the top 20 of the 3,000m, but there are no possible 800m-mile doublers.  Meanwhile, there are seven women who are ranked in the top 20 in both the 3,000m and 5,000m and five women who are in the top 20 in both the mile and 3,000m.

The NCAA entries will be announced later this week.

photo by Bill Shearn

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