In Ivy League track circles, teams chase their own version of the Triple Crown: Heptagonal Championships victories in cross country, indoor track and field, and outdoor track and field. On Sunday, Princeton completed that feat, winning the outdoor championship by a 161-159.5 margin over Cornell.
“It’s rare, but when it happens it’s worth protecting,” junior pole-vaulter Adam Bragg said. For the Tigers, it marks the seventh triple-crown season in program history.
A crucial part of this first place finish, Bragg was one of three Tigers who won events on the opening day of the meet to give the team the necessary momentum and scoring cushion going into the second and final day. Also earning individual titles were senior Tumi Akinlawon in the long jump and senior Matt McDonald in the 10,000 meter run. “Going into the second day with that much momentum, I think it just set the tone,” Bragg said.
While not a personal record, Bragg claimed his second consecutive outdoor Ivy League title by clearing 5.1 meters (16-8.75 feet) on his first attempt.
“The day wasn’t so much about [individual] height as it was about going out there and getting the 10 points for the team,” Bragg said. “Heps is bigger than the individual performer and that shows in everybody in who goes out there, even if they don’t score, or if they score a sixth place finish for that one point. At the beginning of the day I had told my coach, whatever you need me to do to score the points and come out with the win, you make the decisions, you make the calls, and we ended up making some good calls and coming out with the win.”
Also coming out of the meet with personal titles and contributing to the Tigers’ championship were seniors Nana Owusu-Nyanteki and Stephen Soerens. Nyanteki earned his first win in the triple jump, hitting the 15.62 meter mark on his third jump, while Soerens sealed the Tiger championship and his personal title with his win in the final event of the meet, the 1,500 meter run portion of the decathlon.
Women’s track and field earned second in the Ivy League Outdoor Heptagonal Championships. Sophomore Megan Curham won in both the 10,000 meters and 5,000 meters, while sophomore Lizzie Bird won the steeplechase. Junior Julia Ratcliffe won in the hammer throw with a toss of 68.16 meters, setting a new Heps record for the second consecutive year.
Women’s lacrosse advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals after defeating Stony Brook 8-4. This is the first time the Tigers have advanced to the quarterfinals since 2011 and the first time they have won two NCAA games since 2004, when they were the national runners-up.
Women’s water polo fell 6-5 to UC Irvine in the fifth-place game of the NCAA tournament. Junior goalie Ashleigh Johnson tied her own program record with 22 saves in the effort and set a new NCAA Tournament single-game record for saves in a game. She also set a new NCAA Tournament record with 50 saves in three games played, surpassing the previous record of 40 saves in three games.