The men’s and women’s track and field teams entered the Ivy League Outdoor Heptagonal Championships May 8–9 at Weaver Stadium as title hopefuls, but an eventful Sunday saw the men’s team place second, behind perennial powerhouse Cornell, and the women’s team slip to fourth. As champions of the indoor Heps in February, both squads were disappointed with their finishes, but several Tigers put on impressive performances over the course of the two-day meet.
On the men’s side, Conor McCullough ’13 broke not only the Heps record, but also the American Junior record in the hammer throw by reaching a distance of 70.37 meters. His closest competition was another Tiger, Craig Pearce ’11, who placed second with a throw of 60.76 meters.
Shot-put standout Eric Plummer ’10 won his third straight outdoor Heps title with a toss of 18.3 meters, the longest effort at Heps since 1986. Donn Cabral ’12 crossed the finish line first in the 3,000-meter steeplechase in 8:54.55 and won the 10,000-meter run with a time of 29:51.71, claiming his first two league individual titles. Mark Amirault ’11, Mike Eddy ’11, and Justin Frick ’10 also earned top finishes for the Tigers in the 5,000-meter run, 400-meter dash, and high jump, respectively.
Despite these podium-topping performances, the men’s team was hampered by a series of injuries and struggled to match the Big Red, which claimed its eighth consecutive outdoor Ivy title.
The women’s team had a slew of strong individual showings as well, despite falling short of capturing the Ivy triple crown (in addition to its indoor Heps title, Princeton had won the league’s cross country championship in October). Ashley Higginson ’11 was a standout performer, claiming her second straight Ivy title in the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a time of 10:20.53. Sarah Cummings ’11 won the 10,000-meter run in 35:03.79. Princeton also competed admirably in the field events, with Tory Worthen ’13 and Emma Ruggiero ’11 winning the pole vault and hammer throw, respectively.
The most emotional moment of the weekend came from the two Tigers who competed alongside Cummings in the 10,000-meter run. Despite severe physical setbacks, Alexa Glencer ’10 and Reilly Kiernan ’10 battled to score points for Princeton by finishing third and sixth, respectively. Liz Costello ’10, a Tiger distance-running star who was sidelined with an Achilles tendon injury this spring, said that coach Peter Farrell “was brought to tears” by the performances.
Princeton had led after Saturday’s events, but Cornell pushed ahead to claim victory on the second day. Brown and Columbia also challenged for the title, and in the final standings, the top four teams finished within a 21-point span.