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Photo Credit: Sophomore Rylie Pease broke Princeton's javelin record at the North Florida meet.

Photo Credit: GoPrincetonTigers

The Princeton track and field team is gearing up for the Sam Howell Invitational, its first home meet of the outdoor season, being held this Saturday at Weaver Stadium starting at 10 a.m. After stellar performances in the first two meets of the season, including school-record throws and strong NCAA regional qualifying times, the Tigers are hoping to continue to post top marks.

The first meet of the season was the Spring Break Invitational, held at the Hodges Field of the University of North Florida, where the Tigers hope to return in two months for the NCAA East Regional meet. The women’s team was led by sophomore Rylie Pease with a stellar throw in the javelin of 48.01 (157-6). Pease’s performance broke her own personal best by nearly three meters. She also shattered a 27-year school record of 45.80 (150-3), previously held by Missy Hake ’92, and ranks seventh on the all-time list for throws in Ivy League history.

“I went in to the meet hoping to at least get close to the record because I had been having great throws in training the whole year,” Pease said. “I was super excited to break the record and hit a mark that will qualify for regionals at that first meet because I had a lot of teammates around me watching and supporting and it was a moment that meant a lot for me.”

Also setting herself apart in the throws was sophomore Obiageri Amaechi, a first-team All-American in discus, who won the event in 55.16 (180-11). Her throw currently ranks the 13th best in the nation. On the running side, senior Allie Klimkiewicz grabbed second place in the 3K steeplechase in a personal-record time of 10 minutes, 30.07 seconds, which ranks her ninth best on the Princeton all-time list. In the 1500 meters, senior Anna Jurew crushed her previous best in the event, making her way to the front over the course of the race and winning the event in a time of 4:27.94.

Finally, the Princeton Tigers excelled in the 100-meter hurdles, led by freshman Isabella Hilditch in her first collegiate outdoor meet. Clocking in sixth place with a time of 13.81, Hilditch’s time is now third-fastest in Princeton history. Senior Ellie Randolph finished right behind, grabbing seventh place in a time of 14.10. Both women are coming off of stellar performances from the indoor season after fifth- and sixth-place finishes at the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships, and have big goals for the season.

“Florida was a really amazing experience, especially for us freshman who had our first outdoor college race,” said Hilditch. “I managed to beat my season opener from last year which was really exciting — looking forward to seeing how the season unravels for the team.”

The women’s team flew down one week later to the Raleigh Relays for distance, middle distance, and javelin events. Sophomore Sophie Cantine placed tenth in the 1500 meters in a time of 4:22.29, which crushed her previous personal best by over six seconds and ranks her eighth on the all-time Princeton performance list. Cantine made her way to the front of the pack early in the race and stuck with the leaders until the finish, hoping to put up a strong qualifying time for the NCAA East Regional meet.

Finally, senior Mim Buscher decided to take one for the team by running the 10,000 meter race, the longest track event offered. In her 10K debut, Buscher clocked in 12th place with a time of 35:57.24.

“It was my first time running it and I was definitely very nervous, but I thought it went well,” said Buscher. “I’m looking forward to running it faster later in the season now that I know what it’s like to run for that long.”

As the outdoor season gets underway for the men’s team, impressive performances unfolded at the UNF Spring Break Invitational across all areas of throwing. For senior Adam Kelly, only two weeks after placing second in the weight throw at NCAAs, he is back at it winning the hammer throw with a 68.92.

Contributing to the team already in his first season, freshman Chandler Ault won the javelin throw with the seventh best throw in Princeton history of 65.03. In the pole vault arena, sophomore Will Drury started off the season strong with a second-place vault of 4.75. In day two of the competition, the Tigers continued to dominate as junior Joey Daniels placed first in the 110-meter hurdles with an impressive time of 13.90.

This past week, the Princeton Men’s Distance team travelled across the country to compete at the Stanford Invitational and started their season off strong with some top performances in the 1500m, 5K, and 3K steeplechase. The high-caliber competition led to personal record times for many of the Tigers and is a great indication of the season to come. With a time of 8:51.99, sophomore Ed Trippas won section 3 of the steeplechase with a time that ranks him second in the nation in the event this season.

In the late-night 5K, nearly every Princeton man ran a personal record in their opening race. In section two, junior Conor Lundy clocked a time of 1353.98, ranking him 15th in the nation and as the first Tiger to run the event in less than 14 minutes since 2014. In recalling the race, Lundy felt “great to dip under the 14-minute barrier for the first time” and “start the season right.” In the 1500m, four Tigers competed, including sophomore Sam Ellis, who led the pack with a time of 3:55.70. Returning to their home track for the Sam Howell Invite this weekend, both the men’s and women’s distance teams will continue to chase fast times and show their stripes.

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