Ratcliffe Podiums for Third Time

After Day 2 of the NCAA Championships, HepsNation athletes had one top-8 finisher and two athletes advancing to their event finals that will be held on Saturday.

In one of the few finals of the day, Julia Ratcliffe returned to the scoring podium in the hammer throw.  The Princeton senior entered the competition as the #2 seed in the nation with a season’s best distance of 227-02.  She had a slow start in the first round where she threw 202-09 that placed her ninth overall.  She got better with each throw, where by the end of the preliminary throws she sat in fifth with a 212-01 mark.  If she wanted to return to the top of the podium, she would have needed to throw a new NCAA record as Arizona State’s Maggie Ewen did that on her third throw – 240-07.  While Ratcliffe did improve her mark, she ultimately finished sixth overall with a 214-01 mark.  This is the third top-8 finish for Ratcliffe in her collegiate career, joining Dartmouth’s Abbey D’Agostino, Harvard’s Dora Gyorffy, and Army’s Diana Willis as women who have earned at least three top-8 finishes at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the same event.

Ratcliffe’s teammate Allison Harris had a rough day over in the pole vault final.  Harris was one of six women who was not able to make the opening height of 13-01.5.

Columbia’s Natalie Tanner competed in the only track final of the day – the 10km run.  She finished 22nd overall with a time of 34:26.83.  Tanner’s championship meet is not done, however, as she is slated to run the 5,000m final on Saturday night.

Harvard’s Jade Miller and Gabrielle Thomas will get the chance to earn another top-8 finish on Saturday.  Miller – who finished 5th in the 400m hurdles in 2015 – earned an automatic berth in the intermediate hurdle finals by placing second in her heat with a time of 56.98.  Miller’s time was the 6th fastest of the day.  Less than 20 minutes later, Thomas won her 200m semifinal heat with a well-time lean to advance to that final.  Her time of 22.83 was the 5th fastest of the day.  Thomas finished third in this event last year.  Earlier in the day, Thomas competed in the 100m semifinals, where she finished seventh in her heat and 22nd overall in 11.54.

Yale senior Frances Schmiede was somewhat in a cruel spot.  Her 1,500m semifinal time of 4:15.90 was the ninth fastest of the day among all competitors, but she did not advance to the finals.  The top 5 in a given heat and then the next two overall fastest times advanced, and unfortunately for her, Schmiede was ninth in her heat and the two time qualifiers were the 6th and 7th finishers in her heat.  Meanwhile, Dartmouth senior Helen Schlachtenhaufen – who was the #3 seed – was not able to replicate her Regional success as she finished 16th overall with a time of 4:20.43, and Cornell junior Shannon Hugard finished 23rd overall with a time of 4:23.82.

This time last year, Columbia’s Nell Crosby was wrapping up her lacrosse season.  Yesterday, she ran her second fastest time of 10:05.84 to finish 16th overall in the steeplechase semifinals and earn Second-Team All-American honors, five seconds away from qualifying for the finals.  Not a bad way to finish up your first full year focusing on running.

Cornell junior Taysia Radoslav earned Second-Team honors for the second straight year in the 400m hurdles as she finished 15th overall in the semifinals with a time of 58.99.

The only HepsNation athlete competing today will be Harvard senior Efe Uwaifo in the triple jump.  Uwaifo will start jumping at 8:40pm ET tonight as he is the first competitor in his flight.

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