An Impressive Double Double

It would be no easy task to identify, not even just select, the greatest single-day sprint doubles in Heps history. But Friday in Lexington, Ky., we were provided with two performances for consideration.

Harvard sophomore Gabby Thomas qualified for NCAA Nationals in the 100-meter dash in 11.44 (a mark better in League history by only herself) before running the fastest 200 dash in the first round (22.60).

But also consider what Columbia junior Akua Obeng-Akrofi managed. First she just missed a trip to Oregon for Nationals in the 400-meter dash with a time of 52.47. Just .06 away from advancing, that time is third-best in Heps history behind Meredith Rainey and Sharay Hale. Obeng-Akrofi then returned to advance to Saturday’s quarterfinals in the 200, running 23.36. Only Thomas and Hale have run faster.

In all, eight Leaguers — Thomas included — punched a ticket to Nationals in Eugene, Ore., on Friday.

Harvard senior Jade Miller ran the second-fastest 400-meter hurdle time of the day (56.17) to advance along with Cornell junior Taysia Radoslav (57.54).

Columbia sophomore Nell Crosby grew stronger and faster as the steeplechase wore on and finished second in her heat in 10:02.02 — a 16-second personal best — to confirm a spot at Nationals.

Harvard senior Nikki Okwelogu — who’s strongest event is Saturday’s shot put — tossed the discus a personal-record 55.56 meters (182-3) to take second as move on to the national semis in Eugene. Brown senior Shanelle DeJournett cleared 1.79 meters (5-10 1/2) in the high jump to book a West-bound trip as well.

On the men’s side, two pole vaulters advanced. Penn freshman Sean Clarke continued his steady improvement by clearing 5.35 (17-6 1/2), which is not just a personal best, it is now No. 5 all-time outdoor for the League. Princeton junior August Kiles also advanced by getting over 5.25 (17-2 3/4) with fewer misses than other vaulters.

Dartmouth freshman superstar Cha’Mia Rothwell advanced to Saturday’s quarterfinal by posting a 13.43 in the 100-meter hurdles. She faces a tough challenge to get to Oregon, but her heat has a number of competitors — Rothwell included — capable of sub-13.20.

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