Men’s track and field is poised to have an outstanding season. The team is starting its outdoor season coming off a hot win at the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships. Not only was this the Tiger’s fourth consecutive Heps title win, but they won Heps by the largest margin in race history, beating out second place Penn by 68 points. The team also won the cross-country Ivy title and the NCAA mid-Atlantic regional title last fall. At HEPs, Princeton dominated nearly every event, with particularly strong performances in mid-distance, distance, and jumping events. Particularly impressive was the mile, where seniors Garrett O’Toole and Noah Kauppila finished first and second, respectively, within half a second of each other.
This season, there isn’t an event that Princeton isn’t capable of demolishing.
“Our team goal is to win outdoors Heps and complete the triple crown, which is when we win cross country, indoor, and outdoor Ivy League championships in the same school year,“ said senior Josh Freeman, who won his first Heps title in the 400 at Heps this year. “We won cross country in the fall and indoor this past weekend. We also want qualify multiple guys for NCAA regionals this year and compete at a high level nationally.”
While the team anticipates future successes, a key factor for the season will be staying healthy. Some runners are coming into the season battling injury, and the team is mindful that it wants to perform its best at the right times, later on in the season. The team is mindful of training smart, and not becoming complacent.
“There are so many guys who are poised to have huge seasons,“ said Freeman. “We all perform at such a high level, and that’s what makes victories such as this past weekend possible. Our senior class is on a roll and is collectively having a phenomenal year. We look forward to closing out our final season at Princeton on a historic note.”
The team hosts two meets this year, on April 6 and 7, and April 20 and 21.
Women’s track and field is hoping to defend, or improve, on their third place finish at the 2017 Ivy League Outdoor Championships. Wrapping up the winter indoor season, they finished 6th at Heps. While several athletes had outstanding performances, the finish was somewhat disappointing. The Tigers have tremendous depth across all events, but the team had nearly no winners in any individual events. It may be challenging for the Tigers to rack up points without any athletes who are anticipated to win their events.
Nonetheless, the Tigers are showing tremendous potential for improvement. Particularly good for the Tigers was the amount of athletes who had PRs scored at Heps. The Tigers are clearly on a trajectory for getting better, across all class years. Several seniors PRed: Kennedy O’Dell threw her personal best at shot put, senior Christina Walter broke her records in the 60 and 200, and cross-country captain senior Melissa Reed ran her best 5k yet. Underclassmen are also performing strong. Particularly noteworthy was freshman Sophie Cantine’s 4:52.97 mile, 4th at Heps overall.
With the chance to finish high in nearly every event, if the Tigers compete well, they are certainly a force to be reckoned with this season.