oHeps17 — Men’s Middle Distance


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I know that the pedestrian 1,500m final has become a tradition at Outdoor Heps. No one has run under 3:44 in the last quarter-century and the only reason some broke 3:45 was because of the great debacle of 2005, when 4:15 claimed the title. Finishing deep in that field was Dartmouth great Ben True, who decided not to allow that to happen again, so he ran 3:44 to win each of the next two finals. Since then, the average winning time has been about 3:55.

This year’s final could be so good, that I hope someone opts to actually run fast and gets beyond the cat-and-mouse typically reserved for a velodrome. Yes, I am editorializing. But there are five guys who have run 3:43 or faster this spring alone and for of them are members of the sub-4 club. Those four — Yale’s James Randon (New Canaan, Conn.), Penn’s Chris Hatler (Sparta, N.J.), Cornell’s James Gowans (Mexico, N.Y.) and Columbia’s Rob Napolitano (Brick, N.J.) — are all seniors and it would be awesome to see them go out with a bang. But it is Princeton senior William Paulson (Tetbury, U.K.) who has the fastest time of the spring at 3:42.23, just a tenth faster than Randon.

Throw in Princeton juniors Noah Kauppila (St. Louis, Mo.) and Garrett O’Toole (Weston, Mass.) along with Columbia sophomore Sam Ritz (Philadelphia, Pa.) and you have the makings of an extraordinary race. But someone might think that there are more secure points at a different distance. O’Toole, when healthy, should be considered in the elite group as he ran a 3:39 — which is an equivalent to a sub-4 — last summer outside of the collegiate season. One final runner to watch is Dartmouth rookie Henry Raymond (Fort Collins, Colo.), who has the talent to be the League’s next sub-4.

The 800 is expected to be taken by Harvard uber-talented sophomore Myles Marshall (Kingwood, Texas), who was a global gold medalist in the event when he was 16. Marshall — whose parents ran the 800 at Villanova — was tripped up in a pre-Heps race indoor at the Armory and learned the lesson to run out front at the championship. As a result he won with the second-fastest time in meet history. His father, John, had a 1:43.92 personal best at the 1984 Olympic Trials while he mother, Debbie, ran sub-2 at the 1988 Trials, but didn’t make Team USA.

We’d be surprised to see Hatler in the 800, but scoring big points in either the 800 or 1,500 will be tough. Hatler’s 1:48.88 is the second fastest in the League this year and his coaches will need to assess the best chance for point yield. Columbia’s Napolitano is in that same boat.

Others that could dip under 1:50 at Heps include Columbia sophomores Alek Sauer (Yardley, Pa.) and Josiah Langstaff (Portland, Ore.), Princeton junior Joshua Ingalls (Snellville, Ga.), Brown junior Zack Emrich (North Kingston, R.I.) and Columbia rookie Willie Hall (Davis, Calif.). Emrich has demonstrated that he is a winner as he claimed the indoor 500 each of the last two years. — Brett Hoover (live from rainy New Haven)

800m run

Trials: Saturday, 3:55 pm
Final: Sunday, 2:05 pm

Heps Record
1:45.30, Trinity Gray (Brown, 2000)

Championship Record
1:46.07, Trinity Gray (Brown, 2000)

2017 Top 10
1:47.79 — Myles Marshall (Harvard)
1:48.88 — Chris Hatler (Penn)
1:48.95 — Alek Sauer (Columbia)
1:49.36 — Joshua Ingalls (Princeton)
1:49.57 — Rob Napolitano (Columbia)
1:49.85 — Josiah Langstaff (Columbia)
1:50.17 — Willie Hall (Columbia)
1:50.28 — Zachery Emrich (Brown)
1:51.20 — Zachary Lanigan (Brown)
1:51.63 — Elias Graca (Penn)

1,500m run

Trials: Saturday, 3:05 pm
Final: Sunday, 12:50 pm

Heps Record
3:35.59, Kyle Merber (Columbia, 2012)

Championship Record
3:42.09, Rick Wemple (Yale, 1991)

2017 Top 10
3:42.23 — William Paulson (Princeton)
3:42.33 — James Randon (Yale)
3:42.89 — Chris Hatler (Penn)
3:42.90 — James Gowans (Cornell)*
3:43.50 — Rob Napolitano (Columbia)
3:45.06 — Noah Kauppila (Princeton)
3:45.63 — Sam Ritz (Columbia)
3:46.37 — Chase Silverman (Cornell)
3:46.62 — Henry Raymond (Dartmouth)
3:46.65 — Trevor Reinhart (Yale)
Gowans’ mark is a converted mile time

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