The Princeton men’s and women’s track and field teams competed at the 123rd Penn Relay Carnival, held in Philadelphia, and at the 2017 Lion’s Invitational, held at TCNJ, this past weekend. Both teams saw a good weekend of competition and will rest up for the HEPS Championships which will be held Saturday, May 6, and Sunday, May 7, at Yale.
At Penn, the women’s team brought home a victory in section 2 of the 4x800m relay on Saturday. They got out fast, with senior Zoe Sims splitting 2:11.01 on the first leg to give Princeton the early lead. From there, the Tigers never looked back, with each leg increasing their lead on the field. Taking the baton from Sims, sophomore Anna Jurew clocked 2:11.60 on the second leg. She then handed off to freshman Madeleine Sumner, who split 2:13.19 on the third leg before finally handing the baton to sophomore Jackie Berardo, who finished in 2:13.21 on the anchor leg. The Tigers finished the 3200m relay with a time of 8:49.00 — nearly five seconds ahead of second place Georgia Tech who finished in 8:53.56.
A day earlier, on Friday, the women competed in the Championship of America section of the distance medley relay. Faced with some of the best teams in the nation, the Tigers held their own and finished 7th. Senior Katie Hanss led the team off with a 3:30.52 split in the 1200m leg. Senior captain Elisa Steele then took the baton and clocked 54.18 for the 400m leg before handing off to sophomore Jacqueline Berardo who split 2:10.41 on the 800m leg. Finally, senior Lizzie Bird clocked 4:41.30 on the 1600m anchor leg. The Tigers finished the relay in 11:16.41.
Continuing the successful weekend for women’s team, senior Julia Ratcliffe won the championship hammer throw for a record third time in her career. No other woman has won the Penn Relay hammer throw three times. She won comfortably with a mark of 65.69m (215-6 ft.) — more than three meters ahead of second place Veronika Kannuchova of Florida State who finished with a mark of 62.18m (204 ft.). Ratcliffe is currently ranked second nationally in the hammer throw. She won the 2014 National Championship for the hammer throw and was the runner-up in 2015.
At TCNJ, senior Allie Harris won the pole vault, clearing a season best 4.03m (13-2.75 ft.). She looks to keep building momentum like her successful indoor season where she placed 9th at NCAA Indoor Nationals.
The men had solid performances in the relays against some of the best teams in the nation. On Friday, April 28, they competed in the Championship of America section of the distance medley relay, placing ninth. The race started out tactical, and Princeton got stuck in a bad position. Afterwards, the race opened up, but Princeton was never able to make up the lost ground. Junior Noah Kauppila led off with a 2:59.02 split on the 1200m leg. Taking the baton, freshman Connor Matthews ran 48.36 on the 400m leg. Junior Josh Ingalls then split 1:50.15 on the 800m leg before handing off to senior William Paulson, who finished with a 4:05.15 split on the 1600m anchor leg. Princeton finished the relay in 9:42.67.
The next day on Saturday, the Tigers raced in the Championship of America section of the 4x800m relay. Princeton placed 12th with a time of 7:26.18. Junior Josh Ingalls led off the team with a 1:51.42 first leg. Sophomore Franklin Aririguzoh then took the baton and split 1:52.73 on the second leg. Paulson split 1:51.79 on the third leg, and junior Noah Kauppila finished with a 1:50.24 split on the anchor leg.
Like Ratcliffe on the women’s team, sophomore Adam Kelly had another stellar performance, with a runner-up finish for the National Championship in the hammer throw. Kelly was just edged out by Clarence Gallop of South Carolina who had a mark of 67.35m (220-11 ft.) compared to Kelly’s 67.14m (220-3 ft.). Kelly currently ranks No. 20 in the nation.
The season is almost to a close for the track and field teams. The HEPS Championships will be a challenge for both teams, but Princeton has confidence to build off of. The women are coming off a great weekend performance, and the men are the indoor champions. The women have won eight Ivy League Titles, and the men have captured seventeen Ivy League Titles. After HEPS, the two teams will have their last home meet, the IC4A/ECAC Championships the following weekend.