She’s back. Princeton senior Julia Ratcliffe (Hamilton, N.Z.) — back throwing her mighty hammer — won the Sam Howell Invitational with a heave of 68.05 meters (223-3) on Saturday. Only Maggie Ewen of Arizona State has thrown further this year. This is not an exaggeration, Ratcliffe — the 2014 NCAA Champion in the event — has at least the top 112 hammer throws in League history. One meet her sophomore year did not show a full series and a mark from another meet was not marked properly (unless someone actually measured a six-meter throw).
Dartmouth’s Julia Valenti (North Reading, Mass.) and Penn’s Nia Akins (San Diego, Calif.) share the award this week. Valenti cleared a League-best 3.85 meters (12-7 1/2) in the pole vault at the Sam Howell Invitational while Akins ran a speedy 2:08.07 for 800 meters at a quad-meet at the University of Virginia. For comparison, neither recent Heps Olympians Anna Willard nor Morgan Uceny ran that fast as a freshman.
Cornell junior Myles Lazarou (Summerfield, N.C.) became the first Ivy Leaguer to clear the seven-foot barrier in the high jump, matching his career best of 2.14 meters (7-0 1/4) at the Rafer Johnson/Jackie Joyner-Kersee Invitational in California. Lazarou’s previous seven-foot clearance was at the 2016 Outdoor Heps.
Three international freshman produced League season bests on Saturday and they share the award. Yale’s Bruno Jednacak (Zagreb, Croatia) leapt 7.17 meters (23-6 1/4) to win the long jump as Yale and Harvard took on Oxford and Cambridge in New Haven. At the same meet, Harvard’s Will Battershill (Devon, U.K.) finished the steeplechase in 9:06.96. Princeton’s Joey Daniels (Kitchner, Ont.) won the high hurdles (in 14.29) at the Sam Howell Invitational.