The tremendous depth of Princeton’s track and field team felled both Harvard and Yale at the annual meet between the three Ivy League greats this weekend.
Coxe Cage was the site of the HYP meet Saturday, when the Eli men came in second with 52 points to Princeton’s 92, and the Bulldog women fell to both Princeton (62 points) and Harvard (58 points), with 39 points.
The Tiger men took the top prize for 10 of the 15 individual events for the day, but the size of the Tiger team also contributed to the number of points the Tigers accumulated, said Nathan Noll ’09, who ended up taking fourth place in the weight throw.
“Princeton’s size as a team definitely plays a part in the results,” Jared Bell ’09 said. “They have people that can sweep the other points. If we win the event, but they get second through fourth places, they get six points and we get five. Luckily, that depth will get spread out at Heps when more teams are involved.”
The Ivy League rivals will face off again in two weeks, when the champion of the Ancient Eight is decided at the Heptagonal Championship in Ithaca, N.Y., where all Ivy teams participate.
“Our goal is to be in the top three at Heps this year,” Bell continued. “We were third behind Princeton and Cornell in Outdoor Heps last year, so we are in a prime position to be third or better. Especially since we had several guys that stepped up this weekend when some of our big guns didn’t perform as well.”
Kevin Brown’s ’10 performance in the mile run represented one example of previously unrealized potential — he finished third, with a time of 4:11.44. He led his teammates by finishing nearly three seconds ahead of Bell and nearly 15 seconds ahead of Jake Gallagher ’09.
Underclassmen David Soiles ’10 and Marty Evans ’11 placed second and fourth in the 400-meter run, respectively, with Soiles earning a No. 13 spot on Yale’s all-time indoor list with his time of 49.51, erasing Don Carson’s 2002 record.
In other distance races, Remi Ray ’10 earned second place in the 500-meter run, and Matthew Bordoni ’08 won the 800-meter run. Chris Labosky ’10 took the top prize and a place on Yale’s all-time indoor rankings in the 1,000-meter run with a time of 2:25.54, with teammate Tadhg O’Callaghan ’08 following him for third place.
The Bulldogs also recorded several top finishes in the sprints. Captain Dan O’Brien ’08 led his team with the first win of the day in the 60-meter hurdles, and Victor Cheng ’08 claimed a victory for his time in the 60-meter dash.
Following the senior leadership of O’Brien and Cheng, Chris Stanley ’11 and Nathan Molina ’11 earned the top two spots in the 200-meter dash. The event was unscored, since it is uncontested at Heps, but it continues to appear at the HYP meet because of tradition, Bell said.
The Bulldogs finished the day strong, racking up season-best wins in the 4×400-meter relay and the 4×800-meter relay, ahead of Harvard by nearly five seconds in both events.
The Eli women also fell captive to the Tigers’ grip on the competition at the HYP meet, although the Bulldogs still managed several top finishes and ECAC qualifying times.
Earning an ECAC qualifying mark and first place, Claudia Duncan ’10 competed in the 400-meter dash and landed in the second spot on Yale’s all-time list for the event. Teammates Mary Kuder ’08 and Kate Grace ’11 placed behind Duncan in the event — second and third, respectively.
Duncan, Kuder and Grace came together again at the end of the meet to win the 4×400-meter relay with Erika Mansson ’11. Their effort also earned second place on Yale’s all-time list.
Olakitan Awolesi ’08 accounted for over a quarter of the Elis’ score with her first-place finish in the triple jump, second-place finish in the long jump and third-place finish in the 60-meter dash.
Ingrid Sproll ’08 also earned the Bulldogs points Saturday with her second-place finish in the 800-meter run, qualifying her for the ECAC Championships.
Both Bulldogs teams will receive a break from competition before the pinnacle of their indoor season, the Heptagonal Championship, begins on March 1.
“This week off is going to allow us time to taper and make sure our bodies are ready,” Awolesi said. “We’ve seen our competition, so now we have two weeks to come to the peak that we want to have at Heps.”