Archive for the ‘Announcement’ Category

Celebrating History

Posted: 1 February by Brett Hoover in Announcement
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Fifty-one years ago today four freshmen from North Carolina A&T University — Franklin McCain, David Richmond, Ezell Blair Jr. and Joseph MacNeil — launched a new form of protest in the South by taking seats at a Woolworth lunch counter in Greensboro, N.C.

In 1960 the act of four black men sitting at a ‘whites-only’ counter in the South was enough to cause the citizenry to recoil in a combination of fright, guilt and anger. Twelve days later, at a McCrorys’ lunch counter in Rock Hill, S.C., more sit-ins began, causing Gov. Ernest F. Hollings to say that the act of ordering lunch was designed “purely to create violence and not to promote anyone’s rights.”

That Rock Hill McCrorys is now the Old Town Bistro, which I frequented when I moved to the Palmetto State in 2008. The original lunch counter is still there, underneath a new one, and the row of counter stools have nameplates to commemorate the nine original protestors from nearby Friendship Junior College.

Note that it was college students who pushed the movement. Greensboro and Rock Hill 50 years ago. Tiananman Square 20 years ago. Egypt today. As a college student, you don’t have to wait for someone to make a change. You are, in fact, the “canary in the coal mine” when it comes to societal shift. You have the power to force the difference and, in the process, make the adults better.

Black History Month isn’t just about honoring history. It is about making history. Below are a collection of stories of the Ivy League that illustrate just that. May you join them down the line.

Albert Bigelow, Harvard University
Theodore Boyd, Harvard University
David Dawley, Dartmouth College
Lucy Diggs Slowe, Columbia University
John Doar, Princeton University
The Granger Brothers, Dartmouth College
Levi Jackson, Yale University
Ben Johnson, Columbia University
Stephen Machooka, Cornell University
Gregg Morris, Cornell University
Chris Ohiri, Harvard University
Fritz Pollard, Brown University
Kurt Schmoke, Yale University
John Baxter Taylor, University of Pennsylvania
Roosevelt Thompson, Yale University
Art Wilson, Princeton University
The Black Quarterbacks of the Ivy League
Blackball: The Story of the Ivy Baseball Before Jackie Robinson

We warned you we were going to do this after the weekend. We took the updated performance lists, applied Ivy scoring in the events that will be contested at Indoor Heps and now we are giving you the results.

First, yes it is too early to do this because not everyone has competed in some of the less-frequently contested events. Yes, there are athletes racking up points that they couldn’t compile in a single meet. Yes, some athletes have yet to peak. Yes, it is unfair to compare because the teams have been competing on differing tracks that yield different results. Yes, apples are not oranges.

We agreed with all of that and, yet, it does not stop us from doing it. And, in brief, make your plans for the Armory now because it will be fiercely competitive. (By the way, 500 people have said they are coming, when will you join them?)

On the men’s side, thanks to a remarkable weekend for the Princeton Tigers, there has been a flip at the top. Heading into the weekend, Cornell had a wide margin, but now Princeton has shuffled the deck. Here are the new men’s pre-Heps results as of the end of January:

1. Princeton, 200; 2. Cornell, 183; 3. Dartmouth, 85; 4. Penn, 49; 5. Columbia, 23; 6. Yale, 22; 7. Brown & Harvard, 13.

For the women, we reported last week that it would be close. We know that Princeton will dominate the distance races and, possibly, the throws, but will Columbia be able to outbattle Cornell in the sprints and jumps to claim its first title? Will Cornell find enough points across the board to upend both of them? Here’s how it looks today:

1. Princeton, 129 3/4; 2. Columbia, 128; 3. Cornell, 107 1/4; 4. Dartmouth, 51; 5. Brown, 46; 6. Harvard, 26; 7. Penn, 20; 8. Yale, 19.

Flame away!

From Cornell assistant coach Artie Smith: “The Cornell men will compete in the 104th Millrose Games tonight at Madison Square Garden. The Big Red will race in the Gotham Cup Challenge College Men’s 4×400 at 8:20 pm and will also line up a competitive squad in the Byron Dyce Men’s College 4×800 at 8:44 pm. The meet will be televised live on ESPN2 from 8 to 10 pm tonight. Entries and other information can be found at

The fields for those races have not yet been posted online and HepsTrack has reached out to sources for more information. Hope to bring it to you soon.

The Weekend, Then The Returns

Posted: 27 January by Pat Melton in Announcement, Athletes

It might be too early for this. And, in fact, there may never be an appropriate time for this. But after this weekend’s action, we will be breaking down the season performance list — Heps scoring style — and seeing where things shake out.

If we did it now, you’d see that on the women’s side it is a tight battle between Columbia and Princeton with Cornell not too far behind. On the men’s side, the superior depth of the Big Red has Cornell with a substantial lead over Princeton. But we will wait through the weekend to gather that data as we will finally be heading into Heps month.

Because of conflicting information online, here is my best stab at putting together this weekend’s schedule:

Dartmouth, Harvard and Yale at the Terrier Invitational (Boston U. Track Center: Boston, Mass.)
Harvard hosts Dartmouth at the Harvard Multi-Meet (Gordon Track: Cambridge, Mass.)
Columbia and Penn at Penn State National Invitational (Ashenfelter Track: University Park, Pa.)
Brown at the Boston Collegiate Indoor Games (Reggie Lewis Center: Boston, Mass.)

Dartmouth, Harvard and Yale at the Terrier Invitational (Boston U. Track Center: Boston, Mass.)
Harvard hosts Dartmouth at the Harvard Multi-Meet (Gordon Track: Cambridge, Mass.)
Columbia at Metropolitan Championships (The Armory: New York, N.Y.)
Columbia and Penn at Penn State National Invitational (Ashenfelter Track: University Park, Pa.)
Penn at Wesley Brown Invitational (Wesley Brown Field House: Annapolis, Md.)
Cornell and Princeton at NYRR Saturday Night at the Races II (The Armory: New York, N.Y.)

By the way, that is a great photo from the great Dan Grossman from the Harvard Challenge last weekend.

The Fastest Ivy?

Posted: 25 January by Brett Hoover in Announcement
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Call me crazy, but I think Heps should take a lesson from the Millrose Games when it comes to the Super 60 event it has established and will run Friday. The USATF press release explains:

All-stars, gold medalists and hometown heroes will be among the eclectic group of accomplished professional and Olympic athletes to contest the “Super 60 II” at the 104th Millrose Games.

Launched in 2010, the Super 60 II is a 60-meter proving ground for stars to showcase the universal component of speed in all sports, and to help determine which sport has the most potent combination of power, speed and acceleration.

I propose that Heps put out the call to all athletes around the League to figure out who is the fastest non-trackster, one male and one female, on each campus and bring them to Heps for an exhibition. Hockey, football, sailing, basketball, tennis. Whatever.

Don’t think that there is time in the schedule? Well, I guarantee that there is!

In the last five years at Indoor and Outdoor Heps, there have been 55 preliminaries scheduled in the sprints and hurdles. How many of them have actually been contested? Drumroll, please….. THREE!

All three have come in the women’s indoor 200-meter dash (2006-07-09) and that trio of first rounds eliminated a grand total of seven athletes. That also means that not a single Outdoor prelim has taken place since 2005, when the women’s 100-meter dash had a false start in the first heat and every competitor advanced, regardless of time. Those holes in the schedule will provide ample time for an exhibition, something that would both attract and please spectators.

So let’s get this done — the Ivy Open Challenge — a 60-meter dash at Indoor Heps and a 100-meter dash at Outdoors. Who’s with me? We’ll chat about the Alumni Mile later.

[By the way, that’s Green Bay’s B.J. Raji, who scored a sloooow touchdown over the weekend against the Bears, at the 2009 NFL Combine.]

I think had I ever done it, I might have been a decent shot putter. I say that because running and jumping were never in my repertoire, so if I had to choose, it would have been easy. I’d have been a thrower.

I used to lift weights regularly and discovered that I had a strong upper back… and shoulders. Working out in the fitness center at Dillon Gymnasium on Princeton’s campus, I used to find myself sharing the downstairs Hammer Strength equipment with several Tiger athletes. What made them struggle on the seated row machine and the military press came easy to me.

Already in my 30s, it made me wish I’d been a thrower in my youth. I was at Barton Hall one year, the afternoon before Indoor Heps. No one was in the cage and a shot put was just laying there. So I gathered it up and without any rotation, wearing a dress shirt and boots, flung it with most of my might. And it wasn’t too bad. One of the Heps’ coaches, and I can’t recall whom, witnessed it and was impressed. Even wondered if I’d thrown in college.

Unfortunately, I didn’t really find track and field back then. It found me. I took a job at Penn 20 years ago and became embedded in the Penn Relays. And I have loved track and field ever since. I love that whatever your starting point, you get out of it what you put into it.

I wish more kids found their way to the nearest track coach. That’s why I love what has happened at the Armory in Washington Heights, where next month’s Indoor Heps will take place. That building, the vision of Dr. Norbert Sander, has propelled thousands and thousands of kids to find the nearest track coach. Thanks to the Armory, track and field participation has grown exponentially in New York City in the last two decades. I plan to write more about the facility in the coming weeks.

And I am also pleased to report that track and field — known as athletics elsewhere on this planet — is the biggest growth sport in all of England. Not by a little either. Check out this piece from Andy Haylett, a research manager at Ipsos.

Hopefully the surge will uncover the next great thrower.