Archive for the ‘Cornell’ Category

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

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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 millrose-games.com.

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.

No Spain, No Gain

Posted: 18 January by Brett Hoover in Alumni, Cornell
Tags: , ,

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.

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)

The Gift of Gold

Posted: 15 January by Brett Hoover in Alumni, Cornell
Tags: , , ,

Charlie Moore, the Cornell standout who twice won NCAA championships in the early 1950s, has donated his 1952 Olympic gold medal to his high school, Mercersburg Academy in Pennsylvania. In October he called his experience at the school “the turning point” of his life.

Moore — who also served as the Director of Athletics at Cornell in the 1990s — claimed the medal at the 1952 Helsinki Games, when he nearly set a world record in the 400-meter hurdles.

Amazingly, his Mercersburg Academy has produced 54 Olympians, including 20 who claimed medals. That list includes Penn gold medal winners Ted Meredith and Bill Carr.

Moore continues to serve as the executive director of the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy.

It is very early in the indoor season, maybe too early to take much from this, but nine of the 12 Heps individuals and relays that are ranked among the nation’s top 10 so far come from Princeton University.

Here is a rundown across Heps.

Cornell junior Nick Huber has the best heptathlon score (5,370) in the nation at this point, the only Ivy League to top an event.

Princeton freshman jumper Damon McLean is second in the land in the triple jump (50-10) while sophomore teammate Russell Dinkins is fourth in the 400-meter dash (47.95).

Princeton sophomore Mel Newbery leads the way among the women with a fifth-place showing in the mile (4:52.83). Brown’s Samantha Adelberg is 10th in that same event (4:57.60). Staying in the mile, the Tigers have a pair of senior runners in the top 10 nationally with Trevor Van Ackeren (4:11.28) in seventh and Brian Leung (4:11.49).

The remaining two individuals among the rankers are both from Princeton and each is ranked ninth in their specialty — sophomore Peter Callahan in the 800-meter run (1:51.43) and senior Thanithia Billings in the weight throw (63-0 1/4).

Three relays are also ranked. The fifth spot in the distance medley relay is held down by Ivy Leaguers on both the men’s and women’s sides. The Tiger men have been clocked in 10:13.79 while the Cornell women crossed the line in 12:13.58. The Princeton men’s 4×400-meter relay (3:14.07) is currently listed 10th.

To see the updated Ivy League ranked list, please click here.