At the annual Harvard-Yale-Princeton track meet held this Saturday, the Princeton Tigers finished on top, leaving the Harvard and Yale track teams in the dust.
The men’s team scored 36 points and defeated Harvard (15) but was far surpassed by a strong Princeton performance (119), while the women were defeated by both Harvard and Princeton. The Elis traveled to Jadwin Gym in Princeton, N.J., to compete in the last meet before the Heptagonal Championships.
“Princeton dominated the meet from the get-go, and everyone was disappointed with the loss,” middle-distance runner Matt Bordoni ’08 said. “Nobody likes that, and nobody wants to see that happen again.”
Though they did not put together an overwhelming team score, the Bulldogs still demonstrated consistency in some individual events. Captain John Langhauser ’07 placed first in the shot put with a distance of 17.04 meters. Dan O’Brien ’08 finished first in the 60-meter hurdles (8.33), and Victor Cheng ’08 won the 60-meter dash (6.90). The Elis have come to rely upon these athletes to bring the team points, but team members said they know that a few individuals cannot win meets on their own.
Several other men’s track team members made it onto the scoreboard by placing in the top three in their events. Remi Ray ’10 and David Soiles ’10 finished second and third in the 500-meter dash, with times of 1:04.82 and 1:06.65, respectively, and Bordoni placed third in the 800-meter run with a time of 1:54.86. In the field events, Sam Fox ’09 finished third in the high jump (2.03 meters), and Langhauser placed third in the weight throw with a toss of 16.29 meters. The 4×400 and 4×800 relay teams also contributed with second place finishes and times of 3:23.98 and 7:46.37, respectively.
With the loss to Princeton weighing heavily upon their minds, the Bulldogs now look forward to the Heptagonal Championships in two weeks.
“Hopefully, this past weekend can put a little fire in our bellies for the Heps when it really matters,” Bordoni said. “I am confident that we can put together a solid team effort for the Heps and maybe even surprise some people.”
The women’s track team had even less team success this weekend at Jadwin Gym against its Ivy rivals, putting up only 39.5 points to Harvard’s 53 and Princeton’s 66.5. Though the Bulldogs were not victorious overall, individuals benefited from their experiences at the meet, team members said.
“There were a lot of personal improvements, and while this may not have translated into points for the team, it was an indicator that everyone really gave everything they had,” captain Katie Dlesk ’07 said. “As a team, I think we gave it our best effort, and unfortunately the numbers didn’t work out for us.”
The Bulldogs’ only two first place finishers were Lindsay Donaldson ’08 and Katrina Castille ’07. Donaldson won both the 3,000-meter run (9:38.02) and the mile-run (4:50.75). Castille placed first in the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.93.
The Elis found most of their success in the sprinting events, with numerous top five finishers. In the 60-meter dash, Kristin Baxivanos ’10, Jennifer Lin ’09 and Dlesk finished second, third and fourth with times of 9.43, 9.79 and 9.95, respectively. Jessica Pall ’07 and Dlesk placed second (58.07) and fourth (59.02) in the 400-meter dash. Pall also finished third in the 200-meter dash with a time of 25.84.
“Despite having several strong performances on the track, we were largely outscored in the field events,” distance runner Donaldson said. “It was an unusual meet in that Harvard only had a few competitors on the track, and we had only a few competitors in the field events so we didn’t get to compete head-to-head with them in many events.”
With their first weekend off since the beginning of January, the Bulldogs will have time to recover from this weekend’s defeat and prepare for the upcoming Heptagonal Championships in New York to be held February 24th and 25th.
“We should go into Heps rested and focused and perhaps our loss this weekend will motivate us to do well,” Dlesk said. “I’m looking forward to it. I think our team is capable of a lot more than our record so far might indicate, and Heps will be a great chance to prove that.”