Men’s edged by Cornell; streak of outdoor Heps title ends at three
The men’s track and field team came up just short of a fourth consecutive outdoor Heptagonals title this weekend in New Haven, as the Tigers fell to Cornell by less than seven points.
The Tigers climbed to third place during the first day of competition at Cuyler Field and Dwyer Track, as 15 of their 24.33 points came in the long jump. A 2-3-6 finish by senior Tom Hopkins, senior Damon McLean and sophomore Jake Scinto gave the Tigers three of the six point-earners in the event. Hopkins fouled on his first four attempts, but saved a PR of 7.71 meters for his final jump, which was just one inch shy of the win. McLean’s third place effort of 7.61 demolished his previous best of 7.23 from his freshman year at Heps. Senior Jake Taylor scored for the Tigers with a sixth place finish in the hammer throw, senior David Coneway finished tied for fourth with a mark of 4.80 in the pole vault and senior Brad Pelisek placed sixth in the javelin. Further scoring came in the final event of Saturday, when seniors Chris Bendtsen and Tyler Udland finished fourth and sixth in the 10k.
Trailing the Crimson by almost 30 points going into Sunday, the Tigers made a noticeable resurgence to pass Harvard and Dartmouth. McLean performed as expected in the triple jump, as he took gold with a mark of 15.77 meters. Junior Scott Rushton marked at 17.50 meters to take second in the shot put. In a heated battle that would come back to haunt the Tigers, Princeton fell to the men of Cornell in the 4×100 relay by under two-tenths of a second. Hopkins came back firing on Sunday as well, as he managed a 47.66 in the 400 finals to edge Cornell’s Larry Gibson for gold. The final victory for the Tigers came from sophomore John Hill, who edged Harvard’s Damani Wilson by four-hundredths of a second to win the 100. Junior Stephen Soerens placed second in the decathlon, less than 100 points behind Brown’s Evan Weinstock.
Women’s squad finishes fifth at Heps
The women’s track and field team held the lead after the first day of competition, but could not score enough on Sunday as Harvard stormed to victory. The Tigers won three events on Saturday, which included a Heps record from sophomore Julia Ratcliffe in the hammer throw. All of Ratcliffe’s countable throws would have won her the event, but it was her toss of 67.75 on her fifth attempt that gave her the record. She would go on to be named the Most Valuable Female Performer in field competition.
Seniors Imani Oliver and Samantha Anderson also won on Saturday, as Oliver’s jump of 6.02 gave her gold in the long jump, and Anderson’s clearance of 3.80 meters was enough for her second straight Heps title. Freshman Megan Curham continued to dazzle in her rookie campaign, as she ran a PR and school record of 33:24.79 in the 10k, good for second place.
Five wins for Harvard on the final day of competition were more than enough to push the Crimson ahead of the field to take the title, with Dartmouth close in tow. The final scoring ended with Harvard taking Dartmouth down 162-149, with Cornell in third with 94 points, Columbia in fourth with 88 points and the Tigers in fifth with 86 points.
Coming off her second place finish on Saturday, Curham finished third in the 5k. Senior Beth McKenna finished tied with Madison Hansen of Harvard for second in the heptatholon, with sophomore Kerry Krause placing fourth. Freshman Elizabeth Bird placed fourth in the 3000 meter steeplechase, and the Tigers’ 4×800 relay would round out top-three placing with a mark of 8:44.98.