After the runners in the second heat of the 1,500-meter run jogged through the first half of the race, Columbia soophomore Kyle Merber helped push the pace into the final lap and then sprinted home in a sub-55 final 400 meters to win the heat in 3:50.99.
With Merber’s victory and Princeton sophomore Trevor Van Ackeren taking fifth, both runners advanced to the NCAA Championships, two weeks from now in Eugene, Ore. In the end, the first 10 runners in the first heat all had a better time than Merber, but the set up of the quarterfinals awarded competition, giving automatic slots to the top five finishers.
Then in the men’s 5,000-meter run, Princeton junior Kyle Soloff (14:11.02) won his heat while teammate Donn Cabral earned his second spot in Eugene by finishing fifth (14:13.68) about 11 hours after running the second-fastest steeplechase time in Ivy League history.
Princeton sophomore Alex Banfich took third in the 5,000-meter run (16:16.14), leading two other Ivy Leaguers — Columbia freshman Caroline McDonough and Harvard junior Claire Richardson — into the national final in two weeks.
The Ivy League pushed its total of Championships qualifiers to 23 with those performances:
800: Chris Labosky, Yale
1,500: Kyle Merber, Columbia; Trevor Van Ackeren, Princeton
5k: Kyle Soloff, Princeton; Donn Cabral, Princeton
10k: Duriel Hardy, Brown
Steeple: Donn Cabral, Princeton
High jump: Justin Frick, Princeton
Discus: Bryan Powlen, Brown
Javelin: Craig Kinsley, Brown
400: Sharay Hale, Columbia
800: Kate Grace, Yale; Kim Standridge, Cornell
5k: Alex Banfich, Princeton; Caroline McDonough, Columbia; Claire Richardson, Harvard
10k: Sarah Cummings, Princeton
Steeple: Ashley Higginson, Princeton; Stephanie Pancoast, Cornell; Anne Lovelace, Yale
Shot put: Danielle Grunloh, Brown
Hammer: Brynn Smith, Brown
Javelin: Victoria Imbesi, Cornell