Track & Field: Men go for fourth straight Heptagonals title
In the field events, Cornell looks to have the edge in the throws, but Princeton is expected to perform well in the jumps. Junior Damon McLean is the favorite in the triple jump, and there is a good chance that his closest challenger will be a teammate, sophomore Nana Owusu-Nyantekyi. McLean won the triple jump at the HYP meet on Feb. 9 and placed third in the long jump, an event won by junior Tom Hopkins.
Cornell usually has a handle on the 60m, but freshmen Lavondre Nelson and John Hill could help Princeton’s point total. The two have the fifth- and ninth-best times in the Ivy League, respectively. Brown’s John Spooney is the favorite to win, as his 6.79 time is the best in the league so far this season.
The 60m hurdle race looks promising for the Tigers — sophomore Rob Mohr ran a 7.91 earlier this season, the best time the league has seen this year.
With the fastest time in the league so far this season, Hopkins has an excellent chance to win the 400m for a second straight year. In other middle distance races, Columbia will be stiff competition. Brown’s Ned Willig will pose a significant threat in the 1000m, but again, Princeton can still pick up points. Junior Michael Williams could post a solid time in the 1000m and will also be a runner to watch in the 800m.
Senior Peter Callahan was All-America in the mile last year and has run it in under four minutes. If Callahan participates in the mile as well as the 800m, he will certainly help the Tigers in both events.
The 3000m will be crucial for Princeton. Junior Jonathan Vitez, senior Michael Franklin and sophomore Sam Pons have three of the top four times in the league this season, and each will need to have a good day to help make up for the points that defending champion, John Bleday of Dartmouth, is sure to take out of the event. The 5000m is a bit of an unknown, since few Tigers have run it during the regular season. Princeton will suffer from the loss of Olympian Donn Cabral ’12, but Vitez should turn in a respectable time — he placed fourth in the 5000m at Heps last year.
The women’s team will try to improve upon last year’s sixth-place performance. This will take a full team effort, but the Tigers have the talent.
They are led by senior Tory Worthen, who was named Most Outstanding Performer at last year’s championships. She won the pole vault last season, breaking the old Indoor Heptagonals record by a full inch.
Freshman Julia Ratcliffe broke the Ivy weight throw record early this season, but she no longer leads the league. Not to be outdone, Harvard’s Adabelle Ekechukwu broke Ratcliffe’s record at the HYP meet, and it is anyone’s guess as to who will come out on top at Heps.
Freshman Sarah Lavin is another rookie who has wasted no time in making her mark on the league, posting the second-best time in the league in the 60m. Her contributions will be necessary in order for Princeton to keep pace in the short distance events, as Columbia, Cornell and Harvard are all bringing excellent sprinters. Sophomore Cecilia Barowski may be able to contend with them in the 200m and could even win the 400m or 500m, depending on which races she runs.
The Tigers have higher hopes for the mid-distance events. Those hopes rest largely on senior Greta Feldman, who is All-America in the 1500m and won the 800m last spring. Feldman has the best time in the league in the 800m, but she may be duking it out with Dartmouth’s Abbey D’Agostino, who is currently the fastest in the league in the 1000m and 3000m.
Sophomores Emily de La Bruyere and Jackie Nicholas will likely lead the Tigers in the 3000m and 5000m, respectively.
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