For the ninth time in school history, the Princeton Tigers have clinched the men’s track triple crown.
The Tigers dominated the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships this weekend at Franklin Field in Philadelphia. Heading into the second day of competition, they trailed by seven points; within the first three events of the day, they had taken the lead and would end up with a commanding first place finish to clinch their fourth triple crown in the last eight seasons.
“This was a very hard fought and tough team win for us,“ noted head coach Frank Samara following the win.
In appropriate fashion, the seniors stole the show at their final Ivy League Championships. Two seniors for the Tigers took home the Most Outstanding Awards for Track and Field: senior Mitchel Charles took home the Field Award, while teammate Josh Ingalls took home the Track Award.
Charles saved his best throws for last in both the shootout and discus events to earn wins for Princeton in both events. In the shotput, he scored a 16.7 (50-0.25) and in the discus, he threw a season best 52.07 (173-9).
On the other side, Ingalls ran a 1:52.30 as the anchor for the 4x800 relay to propel them into second place. But the highlight of the day was a run that will go down in the record books. Ingalls took home first place in the 800 with a time of 1:47.76, a personal record and the second fastest time in Ivy Heps history. For the Award Selection Committee, Ingalls was an easy choice for the Award.
Elsewhere, the seniors of the Tigers made important contributions that together amounted to a commanding lead. Starting with the track events, senior Josh Freeman ran a personal best 47.36 in the 400 to earn six points for the Tigers with a third place finish. Then, he boosted the Tigers from fourth to second in the 4x400 with a great come-from-behind run as the anchor. Senior William Paulson took first with a time of 3:47.75 in the 1500 while Senior Zachary Albright ran a 3:51.53; their points in the event helped Princeton swipe the lead from Penn as the Tigers tallied 18 points in the event to take a 65–56 lead. In the jumping events, senior Lane Russell won the triple jump for the Tigers in his final Ivy Heps appearance.
Samara commended his seniors following the meet. “All of Princeton should be very proud of them,“ he said.
The Tigers finished strong in the meet, scoring in 14 of the last 15 events to win. The Heps victory helps continue a strong season for Princeton track, and a strong few years as a program. The track team has continued to be one of the premier Ivy League teams as their fourth triple crown in less than a decade shows. Even more impressive in this case, however, was the resilience the team showed in making the comeback. Making up a seven point deficit is one thing; to do it as efficiently and rapidly as the Tigers did is something few teams could say they accomplished.
With just a few meets left in the season, all eyes now turn to focus on NCAA East Regionals. The Tigers have two meets left to get runners to qualify, including a home meet where they host the IC4A Championships at Weaver Stadium. That meet will also be the final time the seniors will compete on their home track.