Grant, Siilats Take Home ECAC Titles
Senior hurler Patterson's finish highlights men's IC4A performances
While last week’s Heptagonal championships were the end of the line for most of Harvard track, this week’s meet gave several standouts the chance to compete against tougher competition.
For Grant and Siilats, the toughest college competition may still await at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Grant ranks 12th nationally in the hammer throw thanks to her 59.59-meter performance from Heps, while Siilats is tied with eight other high jumpers for 10th with her 1.80-meter leap from Heps. Neither passed the automatic qualifying marks for their events, but a top-16 national finish is typically enough to make NCAAs.
Selections for the championship will become official on May 23, and the meet will take place in Baton Rouge from May 29 to June 1. Neither Grant nor Siilats has ever competed in Outdoor Championships, though Siilats competed in the Indoor Championships each of the past two seasons and won the title in 2001.
Neither athlete could improve her standing this past weekend, as Grant topped her field with a toss of 57.22 meters and Siilats peaked at 1.78 meters.
Grant and Siilats made this the third straight year two Harvard women have won individual ECAC Outdoor titles. High jumper Dora Gyorffy ’01 and 400-hurdler Brenda Taylor ’01 pulled off the feat in 2000 and 2001. The pair also went on to win NCAA titles in their respective events.
Junior Helena Ronner, who won the Heptagonal triple jump title last week, was the only other Harvard woman with a point-scoring performance this weekend. She took eighth in the triple jump at 12.38 meters.
While it was typical for the bulk of the women’s scoring to come in the field, the same couldn’t be said for the men, who have typically relied on their dominance on the track. But the thrower Patterson was the lone Harvard male athlete to score points.
Patterson, who had been a non-factor on the Harvard scoreboard for nearly his entire career, had a breakthrough meet at Heps last week when he won the discus with a throw of 50.84 meters.
“He’s been improving a lot this year,” said Harvard men’s co-captain John Cinelli last week. “Guys had been saying he had been throwing well over 50 meters in practice. It was just a matter of him putting it together in a meet.”
Patterson took fourth yesterday with a performance of 50.65 meters, proving his previous week’s effort was no fluke. Greatly limited by injuries throughout his career, Patterson went out on a high note.
Men’s track co-captain Kobie Fuller came the closest to scoring points on the track for Harvard, but he came up short with a ninth-place finish in the preliminaries, just one place back of what he needed to reach the final.
The 4x100 team, who placed second with a school record time of 40.72 seconds at Heps last weekend, was favored to place at IC4As as well, but did not finish.
Sophomore Alasdair McLean-Foreman, usually one of Harvard’s elite competitors, did not compete at Heps or IC4As due to injury. Despite his absence, the Harvard men still pulled off a third-place finish at Heps—their best since 1983.
Junior Chris Lambert, who set wind-aided school records in the 100 and 200-meter dashes at Heps last week, did not compete in either event this week. Despite being ranked in the national top 20 in each event, he has chosen not to compete in NCAAs so he can turn to high-profile competition outside the college ranks.