Northeast Wrapup From Oregon
Abbey D’Agostino of Dartmouth repeated as NCAA 5,000-meter champion here on Friday evening, the lone victory for a school in the East.
D’Agostino, the junior from Western Massachusetts, has now won four individual NCAA titles, the most ever by an Ivy League athlete. She ran away from Oregon’s Jordan Hasay with 250 meters remaining to win by a comfortable margin in 15:43.68.
Two native Easterners won championships, for schools in the West. New Jerseyan English Gardner repeated as 100 champion for the host Oregon team, running a personal-best 10.96. One day later, she announced she was forgoing her senior year to turn professional. The well-known Olympian Brigetta Barrett, a senior at Arizona and native New Yorker, repeated as the high jump champion, one day after displaying her multiple talents by opening the day’s proceedings with her rendition of the national anthem.
The East was well-represented at this year’s Championships, including a record number of Ivy League athletes, but the top placings are now dominated by schools from the South and West.
Texas A&M and Florida tied for the men’s team championship, ahead of Arkansas and Oregon. Kansas won the women’s title, its first ever, ahead of A&M, Oregon and LSU. Eastern track fans do, however, get a chance to see these teams at least once during the season. A&M, Oregon and LSU competed at this year’s Penn Relays in Philadelphia, while Kansas, Arkansas, LSU and A&M competed at the Armory Collegiate Invitational in February in New York.
Two New Yorkers had third-place finishes in Eugene. Phyllis Francis ran a lifetime-best 50.86 for third in the women’s 400 for Oregon and later ran legs on top-4 teams in the 4x1 and 4x4. Jen Clayton finished third in the long jump for Central Florida, whose women’s team finished fifth in the final standings.
“I can’t be any happier or prouder of my teammates for what they did today (in the relays),” Francis said. “It’s back to the drawing board, as my coaches said. We learned a lot from this (meet) and we’re going to come back next year ready.
“What I’m going to take out of this season the most is probably how I’m working on my start and how technical the 4x1, the 4x4, the 400 and the 200 are. I’m learning a lot (about) this sport.”
Other than D’Agostino, the top individual finisher from an Eastern school was Cas Loxsom, the Penn State senior from Wilbur Cross High in New Haven, who was second to Elijah Greer of Oregon in a spirited men’s 800.
Of the Ivy League schools, Cornell and Princeton also got on the scoreboard.
CORNELL Rachel Sorna (Arlington High, LaGrangeville NY) finished fourth in the women’s steeple, in 9:52.86, and Katie Kellner seventh in the 10k (33:45.31) for the Big Red, while soph Stephen Mozia (Hackensack, NJ) was sixth in the disc with a lifetime-best 197-11 and eighth in the shot. Montez Blair (Timber Creek High, NJ) cleared 7-2 1/2 but failed to score in the high jump, and Genna Hartung (Plattsburgh, NY) ran 10:24.29 in the steeple heats, failing to make the final. The men’s 4x1 ran 40.29 for a non-qualifying fifth in Heat I.
PRINCETON Michael Franklin (West Morris Mendham, NJ) was a surprise fifth in the men’s 10k, running 29:42.34, just off his lifetime best. Chris Bendtsen finished 22nd in that race for Coach Fred Samara’s Tigers. Senior Austin Hollimon, who was running a fever during the week, finished well back in his heat of the 400 hurdles. He also anchored their 4x4, which ran 3:09.84 in the heats. Russell Dinkins ran 1:50.70 in the 800 prelims. Coach Pete Farrell’s women squad had potential scorers in hammer thrower Julia Ratcliffe and returning 1500 finalist Greta Feldman, but neither made it. Ratcliffe, a promising freshman from New Zealand, threw 204-3 for 11th place and did not make the final, while Feldman was the fastest non-qualifier in the semis, running 4:18.25. Triple jumper Imani Oliver (Midwood High, Brooklyn) finished 18th, going 41-10 3/4.
COLUMBIA Coach Willy Wood’s Lions narrowly missed scoring. Harry McFann ran 1:48.76 in the 800 heats, missing the final by .02. In the men’s 5,000, Daniel Everett finished 17th. Sophomore Waverly Neer was 16th in the women’s 5.
RUTGERS James Plummer (Central Regional High, NJ) threw 199-2 for fifth in the discus. The Scarlet Knights’ women’s relay teams ran 44.91 in the 4x1 and 3:38.21 in the 4x4, both short of qualifying. Asha Ruth was 19th in women’s long jump qualifying, jumping 19-8w.
ST. JOHN'S Coach Jim Hurt’s women’s 4x4 made it to the NCAA meet for the first time ever. “This is a great experience for our team,” he said. “No one in this group has ever been to the nationals, or to Hayward Field, before.” They ran 3:38.66 in the heats, and senior Molly Ellis ran 53.46 in the individual 400.
UCONN “We have five team members here, and I’m really proud of all of them,” said Bill Morgan, coach of the Huskies’ women’s squad. Senior Victoria Flowers did 52-5 1/4 in the shot and 198-7 in the hammer, both good for 16th place, while Ilva Bikanova cleared 5-10 3/4 in the high jump. Brigitte Mania fell just short of making the 800 final, running 2:05.28, and sophomore Allison Lasnicki just missed scoring in the 10,000, finishing ninth in 34:11.99. Canadian freshman Julia Zrinyi ran 4:21.17 in the 1,500 semis. The 18-year-old Zrinyi ran two big PRs at Regionals to get to Nationals. Jesse Chapman placed 20th in the men’s decathlon, scoring 7,054 points.
ALBANY Alfonso Scannapieco (Lakeland-Panas High, NY) cleared 17-2 ¾ in the vault and Alex Bowen (Beacon, NY) 7-2 ½ in the high jump for Coach Roberto Vives.
MANHATTAN Mohamed Koita, fresh from the basketball squad, cleared 7-0 1/2 in the high jump. Tom Bechert failed to complete the decathlon.
MONMOUTH Rachel Watkins ran 61.06 in the 400H and Errol Jeffrey (Transit Tech, Brooklyn) did 57-4 1/4 in the shot.
LIU Mica-Jonathan Petit-Homme ran the 400H (52.40), Brendon Rodney the 200 (20.58w).
SYRACUSE Donald Pollitt continued the fine hurdling tradition for the Orangemen, placing sixth in the final (13.52w). Freshman Brianna Nerud (North Shore, LI) failed to make the steeplechase final, running 10:18.16, but teammate Lauren Penney (Roxbury Township, NJ) ran an excellent 5K, finishing eighth.
YALE James Shirvell did not make the 1,500 final for the Eli.
IONA Mitch Goose failed to finish the 5k.
BUFFALO Jonathan Jones, sophomore from Portville, NY, placed fourth in the shot (63-1 1/2) for Coach Victoria Mitchell’s squad, while Shant’e White was 19th in the women’s hammer (196-6).
Other NY Preps
Men Thomas Awad (Chaminade, LI) completed an excellent freshman season for Penn, finishing 18th in the 5k. “He’s had a great year,” said the Quakers’ Steve Dolan. Brycen Spratling (Webster-Schroeder) ran 46.59 in the 400 semis for Pitt. In the men’s hammer, Alec Faldermeyer (Minisink Valley) had a subpar day for UCLA, throwing 213-10 for seventh place, while Leonard Joseph (Clinton) threw 208-1 for 11th for Bucknell. Chukwuebuka Enekwechi (Francis Lewis, Queens), redshirt freshman at Purdue, did 60-1 1/4 in the shot and 205-10 in the hammer. In the 1,500 semis, Chad Noelle (Greene Central) finished 13th, one spot from qualifying, for Oregon, while Alex Hatz (Fayetteville-Manlius), running for Wisconsin, inexplicably let up just before the finish, missing the final by one spot. Keith Nkrumah (Midwood) ran 13.77w in the highs for Norfolk State.
Women Emily Lipari (Roslyn, LI) made the 1,500 final but was never in it, finishing 10th in 4:18.68. “It’s a matter of confidence,” said her coach at Villanova, Gina Procaccio. “It’s one step at a time.” Fellow Long Islander Charlene Lipsey (Hempstead) finished fourth in the 800 for LSU, in 2:01.70, in her final college race. “Charlene has been a great member of our squad for four years,” said her events coach, Mark Elliott. “We could always count on her.” Shelby Greany (Suffern), who missed several seasons at Providence, made the steeplechase final, finishing 11th in 10:10.76. Janice Jackson (Medgar Evers, Brooklyn) was a surprise finalist in the 100 hurdles for UTEP. She ran 12.99w in the semis, 13.06 for eighth in the final. Aisling Cuffe (Cornwall Central), now a sophomore at Stanford, was 13th in the 5K in 16:16.37, just off her lifetime best. Semifinalists in the 800 included freshmen Anima Banks (Mamaroneck) at Duke, 2:08.30, and Olicia Williams (St. Anthony’s) at Baylor, 2:06.74. Megan Patrignelli (Monroe-Woodbury) just missed the final in the steeplechase for Oregon, finishing 13th in qualifying in 10:09.83, a lifetime best in her first season in the event. Melissa Kurzdorfer (Lancaster) was 18th in the hammer for Penn State at 196-7 and 19th in the discus (157-2). Lianne Farber (Northport) ran 4:23.18 in the semis of the 1,500 for North Carolina.
Other NJ Preps
Men Isaiah Gill (Plainfield) finished seventh in the IH for Texas Tech (50.44). In the HJ, Mark Jones (Summit) cleared 6-8 3/4 for Colorado. Peter Rono (Lyndhurst) missed the 800 final, 10th in 1:49.17 for Arkansas. Four men ran the 400 — Akheem Gauntlett (Abraham Clark HS, Roselle) was eighth (46.10) for Arkansas, while Darrell Bush (Woodbury) 47.15 for LSU, Najee Glass (St. Peter’s Prep) 46.68 for Florida and Clayton Parros (Seton Hall Prep) 46.69 for UNC all failed to get out of the semis. Glass, however, went on to run leadoff on the Gators’ championship 4x4 team, helping them tie Texas A&M for the team title. Nick Vena (Morristown), now a sophomore at Georgia, finished 11th in the shot put (60-8). In the 10k, Kevin McDonnell (Camden Catholic) was in contention much of the way before fading to 10th for St. Joseph’s.
Women Ugonna Ndu (Union) placed fifth in the IH for Florida but failed to make the 100H final. In the 8, Chelsea Cox (Southern Regional/Georgetown) and Nijgia Snapp (Oakcrest/Tennessee) were eliminated in the semis, as was Michelle Brown (Seneca/Notre Dame) in the 4. Javelin throwers Victoria Imbesi (Our Lady of Mercy/Cornell) and Rachel Kotula (Robert Morris) also failed to score.
Doug Binder contributed to this article.