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In windy weather on April 7 and 8, the Princeton Track and Field program competed at the Sam Howell Invitational in their first home meet of the season. There was no team scoring at the meet, but on the women’s side, the Tigers won nine events, and on the men’s side, the Tigers won eight events.

The Princeton women showed strong performances all around. Senior Julia Ratcliffe won the women’s hammer throw with a toss of 68.05m. Her teammate, junior captain Kennedy O’Dell, won the shot put with a mark of 13.87m and the discus throw with a mark of 44.66m. O’Dell also took third in the hammer throw. The Tigers continued their success in the field events with sophomore Nnenna Ibe winning the high jump, clearing 1.65m, and sophomore Kerri Davidson taking the triple jump with a leap of 11.81m (38-09 ft). Senior Ariel Becker took fourth in javelin with a PR throw of 39.59m — the sixth best throw in Princeton history.

On the track, senior captain Elisa Steele won the 400m with a time of 55.29 sec. In her first race since her injury last fall, junior Megan Curham won the 5000m in 16:31.95. Freshman Devon Block-Funkhouser also won her first collegiate race, taking the 400m hurdles in 1:01.75. Finally, sophomore Ellie Randolph took third in the 100m hurdles with a PR of 14.08 sec — the third fastest time in University history. Ultimately, the Tigers ended the day well with a win in the 4x400m relay, a good five seconds ahead of the next team.

On the men’s side, sophomore Adam Kelly, who went to NCAA Indoor Nationals this past March, captured the hammer throw with a mark of 65.47m, senior captain Chris Cook won the discus throw with a mark of 52.45m, and senior captain Xavier Bledsoe won the high jump after clearing 2.02m.

On the track, freshman Joey Daniels won the 100m hurdles with a time of 14.29 sec — the second fastest time in Princeton history. Senior captain Greg Leeper won the 400m hurdles in 52.78 sec, followed closely by junior Spencer Long, who took second in 52.90 sec. Junior Carrington Akosa won the 200m in 21.57 sec, and senior Ray Mennin won the 400m in 48.73 sec. Finally, junior Josh Ingalls took second in the 800m in 1:50.37. In addition to all this, Princeton fielded four 4x400m relay teams that finished first, second, and third respectively, ending the meet on a high note.

The two teams had a good showing this weekend and will keep building momentum as they head into more important meets in the future. Track is an accumulative sport, and the two teams have been training very hard these last few weeks. Next up is the Texas Invitational, which will be held April 14-15 in Austin, Texas. After that, the Tigers will compete at home again at the Larry Ellis Invitational from April 21-22.

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