Archive for December, 2010

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In New York,
Concrete jungle where dreams are made of,
Theres nothing you can’t do,
Now you’re in New York,
These streets will make you feel brand new,
The lights will inspire you,
Lets here it for New York, New York, New York

Yup, 148 of the athletes on Heps rosters this academic year are from New York, three dozen more than No. 2 New Jersey. Another way to look at it, if you were to hit a golf ball into the nearly 1,000 Heps athletes, you’d have a one-in-six chance of hitting someone from the Empire State. And then you’d have a problem on your hands.

The single-most impressive performance by one of the many Heptagonal New Yorkers last year was the record-breaking sub-four mile turned in by Kyle Merber (Dix Hills) at the New York City Armory after the Heps Championship. Merber, who won the indoor 3k and the outdoor 1,500, was one of five Empire State champions in 2010. The others? Princeton’s Reilly Kiernan (Pelham), Dartmouth’s Connor Reilly (Niskayuna), Cornell’s Gary Jones (Webster) and Columbia’s Monique Roberts (Cicero).

Getting to know New York a bit more:

The folks in the City probably don’t even realize that the state touches two Great Lakes and two Canadian provinces, but it does. The invention of toilet paper? That came from Joseph Gayetty of New York City in 1857. Glad we weren’t around to see what they were doing before that. For every mile of subway track in New York, there are nearly 100 miles of rivers and streams. More than half of the households in New York City do not own a car. About 1 billion people around the globe will watch the ball drop in Times Square tonight.

The 148 Ivies from New York are listed after the jump.

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Outside of my home state, I have spent more of my life in New Jersey than anywhere else. I moved there twice and spent eight years in my second stint. So in praise of my second home, I love its public transit system. Seriously. The Northeast Corridor train was almost always on time, it ran frequently and the much-maligned conductors were usually nice to me. It made me wonder why anyone would drive to New York. First, it cost toll money to leave the state (but it is free to enter). Parking is hard to find since Manhattan during the daytime has 800,000 cars in it and only 200,000 parking spaces. And the traffic is a nightmare. Use public transportation, people.

I would bet that most of the 112 Jersayans competing in Heps this year use public transit, but some of them made a very short trip. That because Princeton has taken the greatest advantage of its home-grown talent. Last year six individual titles went to Jerseyites representing the Tigers, including three from now-senior Ashley Higginson (Colts Neck), the League recordholder in the steeplechase. She won the indoor mile and the outdoor 3k and steeple. Princeton shot put extraordinare Eric Plummer (Plainfield) sweep the event indoor and outdoor while Tiger high jumper Justin Frick (Freehold) again won outdoor. In addition, two young guns won Heps titles in their championship debuts — Penn’s Tim Carey (Sewell) in the indoor high hurdles and Cornell’s Victoria Imbesi (Estell Manor) in the javelin.

Getting to know New Jersey a bit more:

For reasons unknown, New Jersey is one of the few states without an official song. And that doesn’t sit well with an 86-year-old named Red Mascara, who wrote his “I’m From New Jersey” anthem about 50 years ago and has been lobbying the state legislature to make it official ever since. Here is his website and you can take a look at a video about Mascara produced by the Newark Star Ledger. The title of his song reminded me of another memorable mention of being from New Jersey. So if Mascara’s song doesn’t pan out, we offer this as an alternative. And, please, no more Snookis.

The 112 Ivies from New Jersey are listed after the jump.

Catching up with TigerBlog today, I learned that one of Xavier’s star basketball players, Mark Lyons, was stranded because of deep snow in his hometown Schnectady, N.Y., with no way to get back to Cincnnati for his team’s Tuesday night game.

But, it turned out, the team the Musketeers were scheduled to host was Albany. And, like Lyons, the Great Danes couldn’t fly out for the game either. So they got a bus and let Lyons make the 12-hour journey with them.

“He was no different than any one of our guys,” Albany coach Will Brown said. “The minute he got on the bus, he put his head phones on and whipped out his phone and within an hour he was out cold.”

HepsTrack tips its cap to Coach Brown [a former Ivy Leaguer, see note below] for this show of sportsmanship. He said that he felt that any coach in a similar situation would have done the same, but I am cynical enough to think that isn’t true.

Lyons didn’t give his travel partners a break come game time, as the sophomore guard drained a career-high six three-pointers and X downed Albany with ease.

[Note: I met Coach Brown when he was an 18-year-old kid out of Long Island. He had enrolled at Penn and joined the basketball team as a high-scoring recruit, but he struggled to adjust to the Division I game and wound up transferring to Dowling College in Oakdale, N.Y. He had a great career there.]

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The nation’s most-populous state sends 100-plus athletes more than 3,000 miles to their respective Heps institutions. If the average student-athlete makes two round trips per school year, that comes to more than 1.2 million sky miles from just these folks. Without question, some airline should come to and lavish us with big money for advertising space. Come on, ad-placement folks at the airlines, do your jobs. Call me.

Ivy Leaguers from California asserted themselves at Outdoor Heps in 2010. Princeton’s Conor McCullough (Canoga Park) broke a long-standing championship record in the hammer throw before winning the world juniors in Canada over the summer. Yale’s Kate Grace (Santa Monica) won yet another 800-meter crown and Californians took the women’s distance runs, the 5k going to Brown’s Ariel Wright (Oakland) and Princeton’s Sarah Cummings (Newport Beach). Cummings comes from the most prolific producer of Hepsters in the nation — Corona del Mar High School.

Getting to know California a bit more:

Los Angeles County — nearly twice the size of America’s second-largest county — has more people than 42 U.S. states. It had about four million people in 1950 before ripping the heart out of Brooklyn by stealing its beloved Dodgers. Now it has more than 10 million residents (yet still no NFL team). Searching through the state symbols, you will find that California does not just have an official gold rush ghost town (Bodie), but also an official silver rush ghost town (Calico). Where is the official bronze rush ghost town?

The 102 Ivies from California are listed after the jump.


Saying Goodbye to 2010

Posted: 28 December by Mary Boggs in Alumni, Brown

Anna Pierce — the former Brown star now at the forefront of a U.S. middle distance resurgence along with training partner Morgan Uceny — had something of a quiet year in 2010.

She recently sat down with Runner Space and opened up about her plans for 2011, which include a focus on the 1,500-meter run and some new ideas for hair coloring. Pierce, who has run sub-4 in the 1,500 and sub-2 in the 800, looks to contend for a medal at the 2011 Worlds and the 2012 Olympics. Click here for the video (which is mismatched with the audio, at least when I played it).

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Many a transplant to Boston knows that the city and state shut down on the third Monday of April and most assume it is part of the Boston Marathon festivities. Wouldn’t that be great. Pennsylvania should surely shut down during Penn Relays, but the real reason is that the Marathon falls on the state holiday of Patriots’ Day, commemorating the anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord. At least in the mind of HepsTrack, never was the Marathon more worthy of commemoration than in 1971 when its champion was Ivy Leaguer Jon Anderson of Cornell.

Not just the Marathon and Patriots’ Day, Massachusetts is home to 87 Heps athletes and five Heps individual champions from 2010. The since departed Erik DePalo, a Yale pole vaulter, and Duane Teixeira, a Cornell long and triple jumper, won’t return to defend titles. But three others will. Columbia’s Jeff Moriarty (Westwood) won the outdoor 800 while Princeton’s Mark Amirault (Walpole) took the outdoor 5k. Dartmouth junior Priscilla Trojano (West Bridgewater) is the reigning multi-event champion, both indoor and out.

Getting to know Massachusetts a bit more:

Driving in Boston is never fun as the road system was designed by people wearing powder wigs and riding horses. But it was astonishingly less fun before the Big Dig, a $2.5-billion project that the Boston Globe concluded would have an actual cost of $22 billion and wouldn’t be fully paid until 2038. Massachusetts congressman Barney Frank once joked, “Wouldn’t it be cheaper to raise the city than depress the artery?” In 2006, Christy Mihos made a failed independent run for governor with ‘Big Dig’ accountability high on his list of issues. Check out his fantastic commercial.

The 87 Ivies from Massachusetts are listed after the jump.