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Men's track chalks up another indoor Heps title

Two down, one to go.

Both the men's and women's indoor track teams competed in the Heptagonal Championships this weekend at Leverone Field House in Hanover, N.H. The men won the championship for the third consecutive year, and also took a major step toward an incredible third-straight Triple Crown. To complete the Triple Crown, Princeton must add the outdoor track Heps title this spring to its cross country Heps championship — earned in the fall of 1999 — and yesterday's indoor track triumph.


Despite the men's success, the women finished a disappointing eighth at Heps, ending the season on a somewhat sour note. The Tigers scored 22 points, beating only one other school — Penn (17). Harvard claimed the crown with 109 points.

On the men's side, Princeton scored 121 1/3 points — good for first place — and finished well ahead of second and third-place Brown (90) and Navy (88).

Heps is a two day meet, with the preliminaries and a handful of point-scoring finals on Saturday, and the overwhelming number of finals on Sunday. After Saturday's action, the men trailed Dartmouth, with the Big Green managing 42 points and the Tigers only 30 1/3. But as the hours passed, Princeton pulled away from Dartmouth and its other competitors because of its unmatched depth.

The men were the favorites to win the meet and lived up to expectations with their impressive victory. Saturday, sophomore phenom Paul Morrison won the 3000 meters with a time of eight minutes, 12.47 seconds, and junior Jonathan Jessup won the pole vault with a mark of five meters. Princeton also received a boost from freshman Javius Wynn, who placed third in the indoor pentathlon with 3606 points.

Flip side

Saturday wasn't as kind to the Tiger women, however, who managed just three points on the day. Princeton's only points came from a pair of junior athletes — Jen Cannistra, who finished fifth in the 5000 with a time of 17:32.50, and Rebecca Haarlow, who took sixth place in the indoor pentathlon with 3325 points.

Both teams had better showings on Sunday, which is the more important day of Heps. For the women, senior captain Shawneequa Callier jumped five feet, 11.25 inches — good for second place in the high jump.


The men's title push was led by the heart of the team. The Tigers won four events outright Sunday and picked up important points in nearly every other event. Junior captain Scott Denbo won the shot put by nearly a meter with a throw of 18.07 meters, and Princeton's other captain — senior John Mack — took first in the 400, timing in at 47.87.

Morrison added the mile title, with a time of 4:05.69, and senior Michael Spence, who had previously placed fourth in the 3000 at 8:20.79, won the 5000 at 14:24.76. Some of the other Tigers who added points included senior Chris Banks — third in the 5000 at 14:28.95 — and junior Tensai Asfaw, who finished fourth in the 1000. The Tigers also took second, third and fourth in the 500, second in the 4x800 and third in the 4x400.

Princeton's men went to Dartmouth expecting to win and continue their drive toward a triple Triple Crown. With this weekend's impressive victory, they have taken another major step in that direction.

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