After opening the season with strong team victories, the men's and women's track teams' post-exam schedule focused solely on individual competition. Still, this did not prevent the Tigers from leaving their mark on both the Princeton relays at Jadwin Gym Jan. 23 and the Penn State National Open Sunday.
Sophomore Paul Morrison was Princeton's brightest star at the Penn State Open, capturing a fifth-place finish in the 3000 meter with a strong time of eight minutes, 3.70 seconds. Morrison was the only collegiate athlete to finish in the top ten of that event, and his performance highlighted a strong Tiger showing at the meet in University Park, Pa.
Senior Chris Banks also shined. He captured a fifth-place finish of his own in the 5000, recording an NCAA provisional qualifying time of 14:16.99.
The Princeton women's team also participated in the competition, coming up with strong individual showings, particularly in the 800. Sophomore Natalie Deffenbaugh finished fourth with a time of 2:13.65. Right on her heels was fellow sophomore Lauren Simmons, who turned in a time of 2:14.88 — good for fifth place.
These impressive outings capped a strong week for both teams, which also included the Princeton Relays at Jadwin Gym on Jan. 23. The Princeton men and women were both led by their relay teams. The Tiger men's 3200 squad finished first with a time of 7:39.43.
Not to be outdone, the women's team picked up victories in two relay events. The distance medley relay squad topped the field with a time of 12:09.87, while the 4x400 team breezed to the finish line in 3:59.50.
Princeton's success during Intersession was not limited to running events. In the triple jump, junior Sharon Jordan captured first place with a jump of 38 feet, 1 and 1/4 inches. One week later, she turned in an even better leap of 38' 4", although it was good for just sixth place in the more competitive Penn State Invitational.
On the men's side, junior Scott Denbo was hardly challenged in the shot put at the Princeton Relays, easily winning that event with a throw of 56' 7 1/2". Also challenging for an individual top finish was junior Jonathan Jessup, who cleared 16' 1" in the pole vault — good for second place.
Tora Harris, who is taking the year off from Princeton for Olympic training between his sophmore and junior years, returned to campus to compete as an unattached entrant in the Princeton Relays. He added to the Tigers' list of strong performances with a victory in the high jump.
Next weekend, the Tigers men's and women's teams will go their separate ways. The women will attempt to preserve their undefeated record when Penn visits Jadwin, while the once-defeated men return to Western Pennsylvania for a tri-meet with host Penn State and UConn.