Archive for August, 2010

Confession time. Right before Outdoor Heps, I was running a series on Heps’ most unbreakable records. Things got really busy and I never finished it. Then I just ignored it, like it never happened. I had 10 of the 12 done, but never wrote about high-jumping legends Dora Gyorffy of Harvard and Tora Harris of Princeton. So…. now that I discovered the polling feature on here, I opt to give you the final say.

By the way, that’s Tora in the middle in this photo. I was on hand in 2002 to watch him as a storm was rapidly approaching Outdoor Heps in Annapolis. Word came to me that a timers’ cable was laying inside of Tora’s approach path, so I wandered over to see for myself. It was true, but I didn’t want to disrupt his preparations. I was in discussion with the timer, pointing to the cord, when Tora walked passed and said, “It’s fine.” About 20 seconds later he cleared 7-7. So I vote for that!


2010 Heps Cross Country

Posted: 16 August by Brett Hoover in Uncategorized
Tags: ,

September 10
• Cornell at Army

September 11
• Dartmouth & Yale at the Dartmouth Invitational
• Penn at the Fordham Fiasco (Van Cortlandt Park: New York, N.Y.)
• Princeton at the Spiked Shoe Invitational (University Park, Pa.)

September 12
Columbia at Vermont with Lipscomb

September 18
• Brown, Columbia, Harvard & Penn at the Iona Meet of Champions (Van Cortlandt Park: New York, N.Y.)
• Cornell at the Colgate Invitational
• Yale at the Quinnipiac Invitational

September 24
• Harvard at Yale

September 25
• Penn at the Delaware Invitational

October 1
• Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Penn & Princeton at the Paul Short Invitational (Bethlehem, Pa.)

October 2
• Harvard & Princeton at the Wisconsin Adidas invitational
• Dartmouth at the Keene (N.H.) Invitational

October 8
• Columbia at the Metropolitan Championships (Van Cortlandt Park: New York, N.Y.)

October 9
• Brown, Dartmouth & Yale at the New England Championships (Franklin Park: Boston, Mass.)

October 16
• Columbia, Dartmouth, Harvard & Princeton at the NCAA Pre-Nationals (LaVern Gibson Course: Terre Haute, Ind.)
• Cornell, Penn & Yale at the National Invitational (University Park, Pa.)
• Brown & Harvard at the inaugural Rothenberg Race (Goddard State Park: Warwick, R.I.)

October 22
• Cornell hosts the Reif Memorial Run

October 23
• Yale at the Central Connecticut State Mini Meet

October 24
• Dartmouth & Harvard at the Mayor’s Cup (Franklin Park: Boston, Mass.)

October 29
••• Ivy League Heptagonal Championships (Van Cortlandt Park: New York, N.Y.)

November 13
• NCAA Northeast Regional Championships (Madison, Conn.)
• NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional Championships (University Park, Pa.)

November 20
• IC4A/ECAC Championships (Van Cortlandt Park: New York, N.Y.)

November 22
• NCAA Championships (LaVern Gibson Course: Terre Haute, Ind.)

In February Fast Company ranked Quantcast — a media analytical tool for the web — as the third-most innovative company on the web, behind only Facebook and Google. So I decided to use it and see how the audience stood against other websites.

Get this, you are more educated than MENSA’s audience and wealthier than that of Forbes. In fact, this website’s visitors beat every site I looked at in things like percentage of college attendees, grad school attendees, those making $60,000 a year and those making $100k. And you are also younger than the audiences of the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and even ESPN.

Here’s what I did. For the education and income measures, I removed the visitors who were below legal age and adjusted the percentages to reflect ‘of-age’ visitors and then compared them with ‘of-age’ visitors to other websites. You will see a table below that shows the comparison.

Here are some facts. More than 60 percent of the visits to this website come from regular visitors (which stacks up very favorably with other similar websites). For those of you who are 18 or older, eight-in-nine have been to college and nearly one-half of you haul in $100,000 annually. Very close to half of you are men (53 percent) and below the age of 35 (52 percent). A whopping 21 percent of you aren’t yet 18.

I look at other websites with similar traffic and weaker demographic data — like the Hockey Journal, the Baja Times and the Laguna Journal — and realize monetizing the site remains a viable option. So if you want to throw money my way, I will listen! Email me.

< 35
Heps Track
Official Ivy Universities
New York Times
Wall Street Journal
Official BCS Conferences
Forbes Magazine

Key — College (College attendee), Grad (Graduate school attendee), >$60 (Making more than $60,000), >$100 (Making more than $100,000), < 35 (Under 35 years old)

* By the way, if you have no clue about the title of this post, click here.

While Samyr Laine, representing Haiti, and Muhammad Halim, wearing the colors of the U.S. Virgin Islands, were squaring off in the triple jump at the North America, Central America and Caribbean Championships, another Ivy League leaper was competing a world away.

Seven-time Heps champion and former NCAA All-American Tuan Wreh, who graduated from Penn in 2002, took sixth in the triple jump at the All Africa Games in Nairobi, Kenya, on July 31. His best leap — 53-0 3/4 — came in the face of a strong wind (+3.80 meters per second).

Wreh has been a long-time representative of Liberia, competing for the nation in three African Outdoor Championships since graduation.

While you could fill dozens of libraries with things that I didn’t know, I was surprised that I didn’t know about the existence of Van Cortlandt Stadium. There it is, right across from the end of the subway line that I have taken several times, but I never noticed it.

I found it on the new website for the Van Cortlandt Park Conservancy, a non-profit organization begun in 2009 to sustain and enhance the park. The 3,000-seat Stadium itself was a development project of the Works Progress Administration following the Great Depression. The 1939 opening ceremonies of the Stadium were overseen by then-NYC Mayor Fiorello La Guardia.

As I further explored the Conservancy’s website, I discovered that Yale standout and former world recordholder Wendell Mottley is a member of the board of directors for the organization. Fellow Olympian and Ivy League Meredith Rainey Valmon featured Mottley a few years ago in the League’s 50th anniversary celebration.

So I called Margot Perron, the administrator of Van Cortlandt Park, to talk about the Stadium and the Park’s initiatives. The track was resurfaced about 10 years ago and a new synthetic turf infield was installed just last year. But the 71-year-old grandstand is in desperate need of repair, which has become one of the focuses of the Conservancy’s fundraising.

The track itself could benefit from smoothing its tight turns and would need additional lanes to be put to use for any kind of championship event. Yet it seems that it could host a non-championship event, potentially as a fund and awareness raiser.

The Wendell Mottley Invitational, perhaps?

UPDATE: Shortly after putting this story online, I received an email from Princeton Coach Fred Samara, who wrote that the Stadium (along with McCombs Dam Park, next to Yankee Stadium) hosted most of the AAU development meets of the 1960s and 1970s. Samara, who had his long jump PR of 24-11 at VCP Stadium, recalled:

Most of the New York City track and field athletes competed at both venues at one time in their careers. I competed against John Carlos in a handicap 100 yard race during my frosh year in high school, 1966. Handicap races were very unique in that you registered your best time and were given a lead in yards in front of the starting line, where the top runner had to start from. I think I had a five or six-yard handicap! I led the race for about 90 yards and then Carlos passed me like a bullet. It is a good memory.

How Low Can She Go?

Posted: 8 August by Brett Hoover in Alumni, Cornell

For those who watched Morgan Uceny of Cornell effortlessly dominate the 800-meter run at Heps a few years back, we probably all thought that she had a lot more left in the tank.

She proved us right on Sunday. Running in the Luzern Spitzenleichtathletik in Nottwil, Switzerland, Uceny beat a strong field with a personal best 1:58.67. Right behind her was Beijing Olympic finalist Kenia Sinclair of Jamaica (1:58.78) and European Championships finalist Jemma Simpson (1:59.34).

Both Uceny and former Brown star Anna Pierce have run under 1:59 this summer and are strong contenders to represent the United States at the London Olympics in 2012.