HepsTrack’s Weekly Awards, Vol. 2

Posted: 11 December by Brett Hoover in Alumni, Announcement, Cornell, Harvard, Princeton
Tags: , , , , , ,

Female Athlete of the Week
Princeton senior Thanithia Billings (Carrollton, Ga.) opened the 2010-11 campaign with a stunning performance, breaking the all-time Heptagonals record with a weight throw toss of 19.21 meters (63-0 1/4) at the Princeton New Year Invitational. A six-foot personal best for the 2010 Indoor Heps champion in the event, it broke the 2005 Heps record of Cornell’s Sheeba Ibidunni (62-10). As if that performance wasn’t enough, Billings also won the shot put with a best toss of 46-11 3/4. Thanithia wrote us about the experience — “I was really shocked truthfully. I’d been throwing around 60 all week in practice, and that was my goal for the meet. My first two throws were right at 60, but I felt like I wasn’t being aggressive. So, I decided to up my speed a little, and when I released it, I knew it was going far but not that far. It was literally the best feeling when I heard the mark. It makes all the hard work worth it.”

Female Rookies of the Week
A pair of outstanding high school 800-meter runners — Harvard’s Alaina Murphy (Seymour, Wis.) and Princeton’s Kristin Smoot (Bernardsville, N.J.) — share the rookie award after strong collegiate debuts. Murphy — a Wisconsin state 800m champion — moved to the mile at the Harvard Open and finished second overall out of 65 runners (5:02.86) while Smoot — who ran a 2:10.8 anchor on a 4×8 at the New Balance Nationals this summer — won the 600-meter run in 1:35.08 at the Princeton New Year Invitational on Saturday.

Male Athletes of the Week
Harvard junior Darcy Wilson (Stratford, Ont.) and Princeton junior Austin Hollimon (Decatur, Ga.) share the final weekly award of 2010 following superb performances in large multi-team invitationals at home. Wilson ran the fastest time of 92 runners in six sections at the Harvard Open on Saturday, finishing in 4:17.21, while Hollimon — a former Heps champion sprinter — broke his own school record in the 300-meter dash at the Princeton New Year Invitational with a time of 33.68, two-tenths faster than his previous mark.

Male Rookie of the Week
Princeton’s Tom Hopkins (Haverford, Pa.) had a pair of close seconds in his collegiate debut at the Princeton New Year Invitational in Jadwin Gym. He posted a long jump of 23-6 1/4, two inches behind rookie teammate Damon McLean, and ran 33.82 for 300 meters. That time was superior to the previous Princeton school record, but teammate Austin Hollimon ran a bit faster for the win. Anyone who has seen Hopkins run wouldn’t be surprised. As a high schooler he clocked 10.65 in the 100 and 21.56 in the 200 while long jumping 23-9.

Alumni News
HepsTrack has dutifully covered the triple-jumping exploits of Muhammad Halim at the Cornell Relays last week (including this video by Aaron Gadson), but we have one more nugget of information. That’s because the Virgin Islands Daily News has featured Halim in recent days and the 2008 Cornell graduate said of breaking the Barton Hall record:

“I’ve been trying to get that record ever since I went to school there. Doing it with my old track coach and some other alumni there made it extra special. That’s why I went there. It was sort of a reunion for all the Cornell track and field guys, but I wanted that record.”

Mascot News
HepsTrack has determined that the Princeton Tiger got the best of the UConn Husky in this exchange:

  1. Greg Page says:

    Brett, thanks for starting the Athlete(s) of the Week feature. It’s nice to get The Word on some of the league’s top performers, and to get an early look at the promising rookies. I’m sure there’s a lot of work (and second-guessing) involved–appreciate your efforts.

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