Archive for the ‘Alumni’ Category

Former Harvard standout Lindsey Scherf was the early news at the 2011 USA Half Marathon Championship in Houston, Texas, over the weekend. Not content to let the field relax, Scherf took off on a 5:17 first mile to set the pace and would hold on for a seventh-place finish (1:13:40).

The event — which served as a preview of the course being used for the U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon next January — was won by Mohamed Trafeh on the men’s side and Jen Rhines on the women’s.

Both Scherf and former Columbia star Loretta Kilmer finished below the Olympic Trials’ qualifying standard of 1:15. Kilmer cut it very close, finishing 11th in 1:14:59. On the men’s side, Princetonian David Nightingale was 11th as well, beating the men’s qualifying standard by 31 seconds (1:04:29).

Here’s a post-race interview with Scherf.

Also in Heps’ alumni news, I just noticed that two former Heps champions and Olympians were among the top 20 quotes from 2010 as selected by LetsRun.com readers.

A year ago, talking about the experience of competing at the Millrose Games, Dartmouth graduate Adam Nelson said, “It’s definitely a circus, and we’re the big animals that people come to see.”

Brown grad Anna Pierce, after winning the USATF 1,500m final, talked about finishing eighth earlier in the season. “Sometimes I think maybe it’s good to get your a** kicked.”

If you are digging out of more than a foot of snow in New York or Philadelphia today, you may not even imagine that we are still in the midst of the outdoor running season. And, as always, the Heps Nation is well represented.

At least four former Leaguers will be running in Saturday’s USA Half Marathon Championships, which will be contested as part of the Aramco Houston Half Marathon in Texas. The former Hepsters are Army’s Dan Browne (U.S. Army), Columbia’s Loretta Kilmer (RIADHA), Princeton’s David Nightingale (unattached) and Harvard’s Lindsey Scherf (unattached). [That’s Browne pictured at an Army 10-mile run in D.C.]

Then there are at least eight Hepsters readying to run in the USA Cross Country Championships, schedules for Feb. 5 at Mission Bay Park in San Diego. This race will serve as the trials to determine Team USA for the IAAF World Cross Country Championships, which will run in Punta Umbria, Spain, on March 20.

Those we know:

Princeton’s Alexa Glencer (Impala Racing Team); Princeton’s Reilly Kiernan (New York Athletic Club); Cornell’s Max King (Bowerman Athletic Club); Navy’s Aaron Lanzel (U.S. Navy); Penn’s Chris Lundy (Impala Racing Team); Princeton’s Catherine Mullen (New Balance Silicon Valley); Cornell’s Stephanie Pancoast (New Balance Silicon Valley) and Dartmouth’s Jarrod Shoemaker (Saucony).

By the way, those in New York City — battling 19 inches of snow — can still think about cross country, specifically at Van Cortlandt Park, today.


Former University of Delaware runner Jeff Pearlman, now at Sports Illustrated, isn’t satisfied with his alma mater placing blame on Title IX as the reason for bringing the axe down upon the men’s 100-year-old track-and-field program.

In the official press release, David Brond, vice president for communications and marketing, tries to make the University’s scapegoating of women’s athletics sound heroic, claiming, “This action demonstrates the University’s commitment to the equity principles embodied in Title IX.”

It should also be noted that the action makes room for the football team to pick up a 17th defensive back for next year.

Sad to report that both the president and athletic director at Delaware are former Ivy League athletes. President Dr. Patrick Harker was a football player at Penn while AD Bernard Muir played basketball at Brown.

Last week, former Columbia star Liam Boylan-Pett won the 800-meter run at the inaugural Hoya Spiked Shoe Club Invitational in Bethesda, Md. Next Thursday he will move up the coast to New York City to serve as a pacesetter in the New York Road Runners Men’s Distance Challenge two-mile run at the 104th Millrose Games. Boylan-Pett will be leading Galen Rupp and Anthony Famiglietti through their paces at Madison Square Garden.

Dartmouth graduate Adam Nelson will face off in the shot put with his traditional rivals Christian Cantwell and Reese Hoffa. Next year Nelson will be looking to compete in his fourth Olympic Games!

And in some other national news, Track & Field News has released its current U.S. indoor rankings (not limited to collegians) and Cornell’s Kim Standridge is third in the 1,000-meter run (2:46.48) while Big Red sophomore Nick Wade is fourth in the same event for the men (2:23.66). Penn’s Maalik Reynolds is tied for fourth in the high jump (7-3).

Attention Alumni Groups

Posted: 20 January by Brett Hoover in Alumni
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As you make plans for receptions, after parties, soirees, bashes and dance battles, the best place to spread the word is right here at HepsTrack.com.

As of this moment, we have shared the details about just one alumni event (Penn), but we hope that we will soon have information on many more. Click here for the alumni events page. As you know, Indoor Heps is coming to New York City on Feb. 26-27.

And remember that being on Facebook and signing up for information about Indoor Heps is the easiest way to stay informed. Even your grandparents can do it. Click here to sign up for Indoor Heps, and while you are at it, you might want to sign up for the Penn Relays as well.

And, no, Mark Zuckerberg did not run, hurdle, jump, vault, put or throw in the Ivy League, but he did, while at Harvard, build a multi billion-dollar empire so we could talk about it.

No Spain, No Gain

Posted: 18 January by Brett Hoover in Alumni, Cornell
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Sarah Spain was the captain of the Cornell Big Red in the early 2000s when the Ithacans began to dominate the Heps Championships like no team before. She has since waded into the male-dominated sports talk business, now serving as a SportsCenter anchor on ESPN 1000 in Chicago as well as a reporter for ESPNChicago. She also recently wrote a piece for espnW which linked to HepsTrack. That’s how we tracked her down and subjected her to our five questions. It was actually seven, but we bill it as five.

Since graduating from Cornell you have worked yourself into a role as one of the only female voices in the Chicago sports world. Why so few women talking about sports?

Well, there are more male than female sportscasters and writers in general, and Chicago isn’t any different when it comes to that.  One reason, and this was true for me, is that a lot of women grow up without seeing a career in sports as a viable option. Growing up, the few women working in sports were sideline reporters, something I’ve never been much into because it’s such a limited role–not much time to be funny or creative. After college, when I realized I could combine my interest in TV hosting and improv comedy with my love of sports, I suddenly saw an opportunity to do something different and sort of break through traditional barriers. Most color commentators on television and radio are former players who draw from experiences in the NFL, MLB, etc. to do their jobs, so that’s nearly half of the major broadcasting gigs right there. There are other reasons, some of which are antiquated and hopefully on their way out (i.e. men preferring to get their sports from just men).  It can be an intimidating field; you have to be confident, hard-working and have very, very thick skin if you want to hang in there with all the men.

What is the latest controversy in Chicagoland and where do you stand on it?

Seems to be a new one every day! Recently ESPN’s Rick Reilly wrote an article damning Bears quarterback Jay Cutler for being an unfriendly, closed-off guy. After the piece came out I found myself defending Cutler a lot more to fans on Twitter or Facebook who hate the guy’s smirks and shrugs. While it would be nice for Chicago to have a funny, media-savvy guy like Peyton Manning, I just want our QB to go out and win games. We haven’t had someone as talented as Cutler at the quarterback position in such a long time, I don’t think we should complain about how friendly or unfriendly he is, just cheer for him as he’s leading us to Dallas.

What is the single dumbest thing a caller, co-host or guest has said?

Oh man, there are too many. I think the one that I get the most often that really chaps my hide is people who hear that I work for ESPN and ask “Oh, so you do like sports?” Definitely not something a male sportswriter or radio personality has ever heard!

You once showed up at Indoor Heps with a red racing stripe down your leg. How did that come about?

There are a lot of things I did in college that are really inexplicable, and that is one. Ha! To be honest, I don’t remember how or why we hatched the plan to draw the stripes (and fake heart tattoos on our biceps!) but it stemmed from our excitement heading into our first Heps. My teammate Betsy and I were both competing in the hurdles and I think we thought it’d be intimidating or something. Ah, misguided youth.

You were the team captain as a senior and you took the squad to an Indoor team championship. What do you remember about that?

Indoor AND outdoor! In fact, the Cornell women won 12 in a row beginning with the indoor games my senior year! It was an incredible feeling, particularly because track is such a team sport despite being so dependent on individual performances. We had such a fantastic group that year and I took a lot of pride in being named a captain. It was bittersweet for me too, though. I tore my Achilles the week before indoor Heps my junior year so senior year, unable to compete as a heptathlete anymore, I ended up becoming a javelin specialist. I still played a big leadership role on the team, but it was tough to be limited to just one event after perfecting the whole “jack of all trades, master of none” thing!

What would be your ultimate job? Voice of the Bulls?

Actually, I’d like to host “The Daily Show” for sports. It doesn’t exist yet, but I’d like to create it. I like to work at the intersection of sports and entertainment, so a show that would combine sketch comedy, improv and satire with real sports news and knowledge would be my dream. (It’s a little late for this, but a cast member on SNL wouldn’t be half bad, either!)

If folks from the Heps Nation want to hear you talk about Chicago sports, can they do so online? When and where?

Absolutely. I’m a regular writer for ESPN’s new national website geared towards female athletes and fans, espnW.com, I do 2-3 interviews and other video pieces a week for ESPNChicago.com and I’m a SportsCenter Anchor for ESPN 1000 in Chicago 9am-1:30pm Central Monday-Friday.  I report scores, trades and news and often jump on during the show to chat about current topics with the hosts.