Archive for the ‘Columbia’ 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.”

MALE ATHLETE OF THE WEEK
Wow. Princeton junior Austin Hollimon (Decatur, Ga.) produced the most stunning of a series of stunning marks from the Tigers at the Armory’s NYRR Saturday Night at the Races. His winning 400-meter dash time of 46.47 was two seconds clear of the field and the fourth-best in the nation this winter. It was also the second-fastest indoor 400m in Heps history, just .13 behind Erison Hurtault’s 46.34 in 2007. Hollimon wasn’t done. He also anchored the Tigers to a winning 3:11.63 time in the 4×400-meter relay, breaking the school record and placing third all-time in Heps’ history. Princeton claimed the team title on Saturday as well.

2010-11 Athlete of the Week winners
Dec. 5 — Nick Huber (Cornell)
Dec. 12 — Darcy Wilson (Harvard) & Austn Hollimon (Princeton)
Jan. 9 — Bob Belden (Cornell) & Russell Dinkins (Princeton)
Jan. 16 — Maalik Reynolds (Penn)
Jan. 23 — Marty Evans (Yale)
Jan. 30 — Austin Hollimon (Princeton)

MALE ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
Dartmouth’s Jalil Bishop (Twinsburg, Ohio) had a sensational 200-400 double over the weekend at the Terrier Classic at Boston University, recording top-five times in the League in each event. His 22.03 in the 200-meter dash is the second-fastest overall, although three other freshmen are within .12 of his time! His 49.38 in the 400-meter dash is fifth overall and tops among first years.

2010-11 Rookie of the Week winners
Dec. 5 — Chris Bain (Cornell) & Kinsley Ojukwu (Cornell)
Dec. 12 — Tom Hopkins (Princeton)
Jan. 9 — Damon McLean (Princeton)
Jan. 16 — Maalik Reynolds (Penn)
Jan. 23 — John Spooney (Brown)
Jan. 30 — Jalil Bishop (Dartmouth)

FEMALE ATHLETES OF THE WEEK
Things have gotten kinda tough for the selection committee. And when times get tough, the selection committee wilts, naming three women as this week’s top athletes — Columbia junior Sharay Hale (Detroit, Mich.), Cornell junior Melissa Hewitt (Brampton, Ont.) and Princeton senior Ashley Higginson (Colts Neck, N.J.). Hale was a second faster than any collegian in an elite 400-meter field at the Penn State National Invitational, winning in 53.77, a time that is ninth nationally. She also ran a personal-best 24.15 in the 200, the second-fastest time in League history. Hewitt simply dominated at the New York Road Runners’ Saturday Night at the Races held in the NYC Armory. She won the 60- (7.46) and 200-meter dashes (24.55) as well as the long jump (18-10 1/2) as the Big Red held off Princeton and Villanova for the team title. Her 60m time is one-hundredth of a second behind Jeomi Maduka’s all-time Heps record. Higginson put down a remarkable 3k time at the Armory, winning in 9:14.47. That is the sixth fastest time in the nation this winter and has been bettered, indoor or outdoor, by only four Ivy Leaguers — Jenny Stricker, Lynn Jennings, Kate O’Neil and Cack Ferrell.

2010-11 Athlete of the Week winners
Dec. 5 — Kate Grace (Yale) & Brynn Smith (Brown)
Dec. 12 — Thanithia Billings (Princeton)
Jan. 9 — Thanithia Billings (Princeton) & Melissa Hewitt (Cornell)
Jan. 16 — Kim Standridge (Cornell) & Sharay Hale (Columbia)
Jan. 23 — Kate Grace (Yale)
Jan. 30 — Sharay Hale (Columbia), Melissa Hewitt (Cornell) & Ashley Higginson (Princeton)

FEMALE ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
Columbia’s Tara Richmond (Long Beach, Calif.) has taken honors for the second straight week, clearing 1.75 (5-10 1/2) in the high jump and bounding 11.92 (39-1 1/4) in the triple jump at the Penn State National Invitational. The high-jump mark places her in the League’s top 10 all-time, but it came with a lot of suspense. She missed twice at 5-8 3/4 before clearing and then missed her first try at 5-10 1/2. Richmond is now tied for 15th nationally in the event.

2010-11 Rookie of the Week winners
Dec. 5 — Colby Lubman (Brown) & Gabrielle Piper (Penn)
Dec. 12 — Alaina Murphy (Harvard) & Kristin Smoot (Princeton)
Jan. 9 — Kristin Smoot (Princeton) & Katelyn Walker (Dartmouth)
Jan. 16 — Marvellous Iheukwumere (Columbia)
Jan. 23 — Tara Richmond (Columbia) & Monica Adler (Dartmouth)
Jan. 30 — Tara Richmond (Columbia)

And for the stat-minded among us:
Princeton, Cornell and Columbia at the NYRR Saturday Night at the Races (New York, N.Y.)
Brown and Yale at the Boston Indoor Games (Roxbury, Mass.)
Dartmouth at the Terrier Classic (Boston, Mass.)
Penn at the Wesley A. Brown Invitational (Annapolis, Md.)
Harvard and Dartmouth at the Harvard Multi-Meet (Cambridge, Mass.)
Columbia at the Metropolitan Championships (New York, N.Y.)
Updated Heps Performance Lists

FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE WEEK
Yale senior Kate Grace (Santa Monica, Calif.) looks poised to complete her Yale career with a bang in 2011. She didn’t just post the fastest 800-meter run (2:11.88) in the League Saturday night at the New York City Armory in a triangular meet with Dartmouth and Columbia, Grace also legged out on the top times in the mile run (4:54.85) as well. The All-American won both events.

2010-11 Athlete of the Week winners
Dec. 5 — Kate Grace (Yale) & Brynn Smith (Brown)
Dec. 12 — Thanithia Billings (Princeton)
Jan. 9 — Thanithia Billings (Princeton) & Melissa Hewitt (Cornell)
Jan. 16 — Kim Standridge (Cornell) & Sharay Hale (Columbia)
Jan. 23 — Kate Grace (Yale)

FEMALE ROOKIES OF THE WEEK
Columbia’s Tara Richmond (Long Beach, Calif.) and Dartmouth’s Monica Adler (Manchester, Mass.) share the award this week. Richmond won the high jump at the annual triangular meet with Dartmouth and Yale at the New York City Armory on Saturday, clearing a League-season-best 5-8 3/4. RIchmond beat teammate and defending Heps champion Monique Roberts, who cleared the same height but with more misses along the way. A product of the famed Long Beach Poly program, Richmond leapt 5-11 in the high jump and 40-9 in the triple as a senior. Adler kept pace with Yale’s Kate Grace on Saturday at the Armory in New York City, crossing the tape within a second of the All-American (2:12.52). Her time is the second-best in Heps this winter and fifth among all ECAC runners.

2010-11 Rookie of the Week winners
Dec. 5 — Colby Lubman (Brown) & Gabrielle Piper (Penn)
Dec. 12 — Alaina Murphy (Harvard) & Kristin Smoot (Princeton)
Jan. 9 — Kristin Smoot (Princeton) & Katelyn Walker (Dartmouth)
Jan. 16 — Marvellous Iheukwumere (Columbia)
Jan. 23 — Tara Richmond (Columbia) & Monica Adler (Dartmouth)

MALE ATHLETE OF THE WEEK
Yale senior Marty Evans (Charlotte, N.C.) was a close second in the 200-meter dash at Outdoor Heps last spring, but now he is showing that he will be searching for an outright Indoor title at the Armory next month (ed. note: but not in the 200 as it isn’t contested at Indoor Heps). On that same Championship track at the Armory, Evans steamrolled to victory in the 200 in the triangular meet with Dartmouth and Columbia, completing the sprint in 21.87, easily the swiftest in the League this season. For good measure he also threw down a 49.49 in the 400, also among Heps’ top five.

2010-11 Athlete of the Week winners
Dec. 5 — Nick Huber (Cornell)
Dec. 12 — Darcy Wilson (Harvard) & Austn Hollimon (Princeton)
Jan. 9 — Bob Belden (Cornell) & Russell Dinkins (Princeton)
Jan. 16 — Maalik Reynolds (Penn)
Jan. 23 — Marty Evans (Yale)

MALE ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
Brown’s John Spooney (Northfield, Ohio) claimed the title in the 200-meter dash at the Harvard Challenge in Cambridge on Saturday, posting a time of 22.12. That was the fastest in the League this winter until Yale’s Marty Evans went even faster (21.87) later that evening in New York. Spooney, an All-Ohio performer in the 100-meter dash last spring, is also one of seven freshmen listed among Heps’ fastest 14 in the 60-meter dash.

2010-11 Rookie of the Week winners
Dec. 5 — Chris Bain (Cornell) & Kinsley Ojukwu (Cornell)
Dec. 12 — Tom Hopkins (Princeton)
Jan. 9 — Damon McLean (Princeton)
Jan. 16 — Maalik Reynolds (Penn)
Jan. 23 — John Spooney (Brown)

And for the stat-minded among us:
Yale, Dartmouth & Columbia at the Armory Triangular Meet (New York, N.Y.)
Brown & Harvard at the Harvard Challenge (Cambridge, Mass.)
Princeton at the Princeton Relays (Princeton, N.J.)
Penn at the Albany Great Dane Classic (New York, N.Y.)
Cornell at the Upstate Challenge (Ithaca, N.Y.)
Updated Heps Performance Lists

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).

Male Athlete & Rookie of the Week
It didn’t take long for Penn freshman Maalik Reynolds (Atlanta, Ga.) to earn his way into the Heps record book and make a splash in New York. He did so by easily winning the high jump at the New York Road Runners Saturday Night at the Races at the New York City Armory in Washington Heights. In fact, he didn’t just win, he soared over 2.21 meters (7-3), becoming the first Penn Quaker — indoor or outdoor — to ever clear that height. With that jump he became the 10th person in Heps history to clear 7-3, the fifth to manage it indoor. See the list below. When Reynolds joined the competition, the bar was at 2.00 meters (6-6 3/4) and 13 of the 17 competitors were already on the sidelines. He sailed through 2.16 (7-1) without a miss, but knocked the bar down on his first two tries at 7-3. Reynolds — who represented the U.S. at the World Juniors in Canada last summer — cleared his third attempt and moved the bar to 2.26 (7-5), a height cleared by only Tora Harris in Ivy League history (Navy’s Leo Williams has done it as well). But 7-5 will need to wait another day.

2010-11 Athlete of the Week winners
Dec. 5 — Nick Huber (Cornell)
Dec. 12 — Darcy Wilson (Harvard) & Austn Hollimon (Princeton)
Jan. 9 — Bob Belden (Cornell) & Russell Dinkins (Princeton)
Jan. 16 — Maalik Reynolds (Penn)

2010-11 Rookie of the Week winners
Dec. 5 — Chris Bain (Cornell) & Kinsley Ojukwu (Cornell)
Dec. 12 — Tom Hopkins (Princeton)
Jan. 9 — Damon McLean (Princeton)
Jan. 16 — Maalik Reynolds (Penn)

Female Athletes of the Week
Seems like everyone was after Morgan Uceny this weekend and, for their efforts, Cornell senior captain Kim Standridge (Randolph, N.J.) and Columbia junior Sharay Hale (Detroit, Mich.) have earned Athlete of the Week status. Standridge — who earned All-America accolades in the 800 last June in Eugene, Ore. — broke Uceny’s League record in the 1,000-meter run at the Nittany Lion Challenge in State College, Pa., on Saturday. Her time of 2:46.48 was four-hundredths swifter than Uceny’s 2007 mark. Meanwhile, Hale shattered the 24-year-old 500-meter dash school record of Heather Ruddock, running 1:12.49 at the NYRR Saturday Night at the Races at the Armory. It was also the closest threat to Uceny’s record in that event since she ran 1:11.72, also in 2007. Hale also anchored the Lions to an impressive victory in the 4×400-meter relay (3:45.02), handling the likes of Morgan State, UConn, Temple and Villanova. Since I will likely screw this up in the future, note that Hale’s hometown is now listed as Detroit, Mich. She moved to Milwaukee as a high schooler and became a Wisconsin state champion.

REWIND: As it turns out, Hale already has this mark, having posted a 1:11.24 last year! It doesn’t change the fact that she had a great weekend, it just means that I screwed up.

2010-11 Athlete of the Week winners
Dec. 5 — Kate Grace (Yale) & Brynn Smith (Brown)
Dec. 12 — Thanithia Billings (Princeton)
Jan. 9 — Thanithia Billings (Princeton) & Melissa Hewitt (Cornell)
Jan. 16 — Kim Standridge (Cornell) & Sharay Hale (Columbia)

Female Rookie of the Week
Make way for the pure speed of Columbia freshman Marvellous Iheukwumere (Austin, Texas) who posted the second-fastest 60-meter dash time in school history on Saturday night at the New York City Armory. Her 7.64 time was third overall. Iheukwumere — who also clocked a 25.71 in the 200m on Saturday — ran 11.77 in the 100-meter dash as a Texas high schooler. According to the Austin American-Statesman, her Nigerian last name means “a big thing has happened.”

2010-11 Rookie of the Week winners
Dec. 5 — Colby Lubman (Brown) & Gabrielle Piper (Penn)
Dec. 12 — Alaina Murphy (Harvard) & Kristin Smoot (Princeton)
Jan. 9 — Kristin Smoot (Princeton) & Katelyn Walker (Dartmouth)
Jan. 16 — Maevellous Iheukwumere (Columbia)

*Note, in respect to Maalik Reynolds’ performance, here is a list of the top performers in Heps high jump history. This is a combined list of both the indoor and outdoor seasons.

7-7, Tora Harris (Princeton, 2002)
7-6, Leo Williams (Navy, 1983)
7-4 1/4, Terrance Ferguson (Brown, 1991)
7-3 3/4, Mel Embree (Harvard, 1976)
7-3 3/4, Jay Richards (Princeton, 1993)
7-3 1/4, Charles Forlidas (Princeton, 1989)
7-3 1/4, Charles Allen (Columbia, 1979)
7-3, Dave Arundel (Brown, 2001)
7-3, Garrett Huyler (Cornell, 2009)
7-3, Maalik Reynolds (Penn, 2011)

Nine different Ivy Leaguers have been named to Track & Field News‘ year-end national rankings, including three that the ‘Bible of the sport’ considers to be in the top 10 in the world.

Ageless Adam Nelson of Dartmouth, a three-time Olympian, was Heps’ top-ranked athlete on the world stage, tabbed seventh globally in the shot put (third in the U.S.). Two other former Heps champions — Anna Pierce of Brown and Morgan Uceny of Cornell — were ranked eighth and ninth in the world in the 800-meter run. Each was ranked in the top 10 in the U.S. in both the 800- and the 1,500-meter runs. Pierce was second in the 800 and sixth in the 15 while Uceny was third in each.

While not ranked in the top 10 in the world, Dartmouth’s Sean Furey was the only Heps athlete to hold down a top spot in the U.S. in his specialty, the javelin throw. Brown senior Craig Kinsley, the NCAA champion in that discipline, is ranked third nationally.

Kinsley is one of three active Hepsters to be ranked, joining a pair of Princeton steeplechasers. Junior Donn Cabral is ranked eighth among the men and senior Ashley Higginson fifth for the women.

The final two Ivy Leaguers in the rankings are each multiple League champions — Princeton high jumper Tora Harris (fourth) and Columbia steeplechaser Delilah DiCrescenzo (ninth).