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Sports Shorts: McLean, Ratcliffe and Oliver establish new school records

McLean sets school record, men’s team places second at quad meet

Sitting out most of its best distance runners, Princeton track and field won nine events, but lost to Monmouth University 76-73. Senior triple jumper Damon McLean recorded the most impressive result of the day, getting out to 16.11 meters in his marquee event. That jump surpassed his own previous school record of 16.03 meters and ranks second in the country this season. Senior Tom Hopkins also had an outstanding day, earning victories in the 200 and 400-meter individual events as well as the 4×100 meter relay. His 400-meter time of 46.69 was particularly impressive, as it is not too far off Hopkins’ own school record of 46.23, set two years ago.

In the field events, freshman Ben Gaylord won the pole vault, clearing 4.80 meters, and sophomore Jake Scinto jumped 7.15 meters to win the long jump. Senior Omar Jarrett edged Scinto on misses in the high jump when the two got out having cleared 2.04 meters. Junior Scott Rushton put the shot 17.46 meters, the most recent in a long string of PRs and good for the runner-up spot to Errol Jeffrey of Monmouth’s massive 18.97 meter heave.

On the track, senior George Galasso outkicked Aaron Anderstrom from Vermont to win the steeplechase in 9:26.67, despite falling on one of the water jumps. He also came back on short notice to place fourth in the 3000-meter event. Junior Eddie Owens came from behind to win the 1500-meters in a new PR of 3:54.13. Sophomore Greg Caldwell was runner up in the 100 meter hurdles at 14.72 seconds, as was classmate Jordan Myers in the 400 meter hurdles in 54.8 seconds. Princeton had a chance to win the meet in the final event, but Monmouth seized the lead at the end of the third leg, and its anchor held on for the 4×400 meter victory, while the Tigers placed second.

The team competes next Friday and Saturday in the annual Larry Ellis Invitational at Weaver Stadium. The 5000-meters on Friday night will apparently be particularly hot and feature many Tigers.

Eddie Owens is an associate sports editor for The Daily Princetonian.

Ratcliffe and Oliver establish new school records, women’s team falls to Monmouth

Competing at the same quad meet versus Monmouth, Rutgers University and St. John’s University, the women’s team established one more school record than the men, but fell by a larger margin, 76.5 to 62.5. Sophomore hammer thrower Julia Ratcliffe bettered her own Ivy League record with a mark of 69.60 meters. This also reset her own New Zealand record and is the 16th best throw in NCAA history. Not to be outdone, Princeton’s other current school record holder, senior Imani Oliver, set a record of her own. Competing in the triple jump, Oliver hopped, skipped and jumped 12.91 meters to erase last year’s 12.87 meter effort from the record books.

The Tigers recorded a perfect sweep of the distance events, notching victories in the 800, 1500 and 3000 meter steeplechase. Junior Kim Mackay took the two lap event in 2:11.20 and senior Kristin Smoot was not far behind in 2:12.00. The 1500-meter race saw freshman Megan Curham tie Monmouth’s Marissa Felicetti for first. Ties have always been rare on the track, especially in the last couple decades with the photo technology used at the finish line. Junior Erika Fluehr was paced by her twin sister Kathryn to a 9:47.76 win in the 3000-meters and freshman Lizzie Bird crushed the field in the steeple, winning by 30 seconds in 10:30.19. The time is fifth fastest in program history, despite it being her first collegiate steeplechase.

Senior Samantha Anderson and freshman Allison Harris went 1-2 in the pole vault, clearing 3.85 and 3.70 meters, respectively. Sophomore Taylor Morgan was runner-up in the high jump at 1.65 meters, and freshman Alex Lanzafame jumped 11.40 meters in the triple. Lanzafame and sophomore Sara Ronde and went 3-4 in the long jump.

Sophomore Meghan McMullin ran 59.52 in the 400 hurdles, good for second place in the race and number four in Princeton’s record books. She is only the fourth sub-60 second hurdler in program history, and the first since 2003.

The Tigers will compete this Friday and Saturday at the Larry Ellis Invitational hosted by Princeton.

Princeton heavyweights win 20th Childs Cup in last 21 years

The No. 4 varsity eight in the nation scored a decisive victory over Penn and Columbia, winning the Childs Cup in 5:33.9 on the Schuylkill River. The Quakers and Lions came in at 5:41.2 and 5:42.0, respectively.

“I think we had a good piece,” junior James Hamp said. “We knew both teams were going to be tough, and it being Penn’s home course gave them an advantage. We thought they were really going to attack the first minute or two of the piece, so we really tried to have an internal focus and have our best start. We took a few seats off the line and held them when they had the inside of a turn 600 meters in, and then pushed away from there.”

The third and fourth varsity boats also recorded wins in their races. The threes bested Penn and Columbia in 5:52.8, and the fours very nearly went sub-six in beating host Penn 6:00.4 to 6:04.8.

Princeton will compete next at Harvard, where it takes on the No. 1 overall ranked Crimson in the Compton Cup.

Women’s Openweight regain Class of 1975 Cup

No. 8 Princeton open women took three of five races on Saturday to reclaim the Class of 1975 Cup that it lost to Harvard last season. The Tigers took down both the Crimson and Cornell to take the Cup for the sixth time in the last seven years, and brought it home for the 25th time overall. Saturday saw the Tigers move to 4-2 overall on the season and 3-1 in the Ivy League, as Princeton earned its first Cup win of the spring.

Princeton’s varsity eight set the tone for the team as they came in with a dominant win in 6:47.7 over the 2K course on the Charles River. Cornell’s varsity eight followed in 6:54.6, while Harvard’s top boat was third in 6:57.2. Princeton’s 2V kept its perfect season alive with an open water win, almost 10 full seconds ahead of second place Harvard. The Tigers’ third varsity eight also won its race in dominant fashion by a margin of over 20 seconds.

The Tigers will return to Lake Carnegie this weekend for a chance to take the Eisenberg Cup when they square off against Yale on Saturday morning.

Cornell takes Platt Cup on Lake Carnegie

In their second straight defeat at the hands of an Ivy side, the men’s lightweight varsity eight boat failed to keep pace with a strong Cornell unit. The Big Red posted a time of 5:55.0 to the Tigers’ 5:59.1. The visitors from Ithaca came into the race ranked third nationally.

Lake Carnegie saw only one Princeton win in four races. The second varsity eight remains unbeaten on the season, as it edged out the Big Red by 2.8 seconds with a finishing time of 6:02:05.

While the Tigers have not experienced as successful a start as expected, the season comes down to the regional and national championships, which are still over a month away.

Impressive start for lightweight women continues

Following last week’s close loss to reigning national champion Stanford in San Diego, women’s lightweight crew rebounded with an even closer win over Boston University in West Windsor, N.J.

The Knecht Cup Regatta featured a number of local boats and some more distant visitors. The Grand Final race came down to Princeton, Boston University, the University of Wisconsin and Bucknell University. These four teams all finished within the Tigers’ winning time of 6:53.21, with the Terriers from Boston finishing just 1.67 seconds behind the champions.

Next weekend will see the women return to Lake Carnegie to host Georgetown in a race for the Class of 2006 Cup.

Men’s Volleyball Falls to George Mason

The men’s volleyball team came up short against EIVA opponent George Mason University on Friday, as the Tigers (14-9, 9-4 EIVA) missed their first of two opportunities to clinch a Top 3 seed in the postseason EIVA tournament. Despite more kills, digs, points and a higher hitting percentage, the Tigers dropped key late points in three of four sets to give the Patriots the win in their first of two regular season match-ups against Princeton. While the Tigers have already clinched a berth in the EIVA postseason, they now face a must-win situation on Friday night in a home rematch with George Mason if they want to avoid a first-round showdown against Penn State.

Despite Friday’s loss, the Tigers displayed strong form that bodes well for the remainder of the season. Sophomore outside hitter Devin Stearns had 17 kills, while junior outsider hitter Cody Kessel and senior outside hitter Pat Schwagler combined for 33 kills and 13 digs. Freshman middle Junior Oboh recorded seven kills without an error, and freshman setter Chris Kennedy returned from injury to record 55 assists and 11 digs. Junior libero Tony Ensbury led the Tigers’ defensive effort with 14 digs.

Harvard takes the win at Springdale in Princeton Invitational

In their one home-course match this season, the Princeton men were unable to find the form necessary to approach a top finish at their invitational. Through three rounds at the par-71 Springdale Golf Course, the top five scorers for Princeton combined for 873, placing them ninth of 15 competing teams. All eight Ivy League schools sent teams, with Harvard, Yale, Dartmouth and Columbia finishing ahead of the host side.

Harvard and Yale differentiated themselves considerably, posting five-man scores of 832 and 835. The next closest quintet from Dartmouth managed a score of 854. The Crimson golfers started with two strong rounds of 271 and 277, giving them a 14-shot cushion over the eventual runner-up Bulldogs. The champion team also produced the individual champion in Akash Mirchandandi, whose -8 score through 54 holes edged out the next best scores of -7.

12 of 78 competitors posted scores below par.

Senior Greg Jarmas has lived and breathed Springdale through his four years at Princeton. Rounds of 70 and 76 bracketed a sensational outing of 66. This five-below-par tally, demonstrating his profound understanding of the course, was the weekend’s best and was only matched by one other golfer. Classmate Nicholas Ricci tallied a score of +8, good to tie him for 35th place.

Otherwise worthy of note, standout freshman Alex Dombrowski tallied a total score of 216, good for +3 and a tie for 19th place.

One more contest remains — North Carolina State will host the Wolfpack Spring open in Raleigh, N.C. — before the Ivy League Championships. The conference tournament will be played at nearby Baltusrol Golf Club.

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