Seven individual first-place finishes, 13 All-Ivy League honorees, and a host of other medal performances secured defending champion men’s track and field the 2019 Ivy League Heptagonal Championship. The win, by a whopping 59 points, represented the program’s ninth triple crown and head coach Fred Samara’s 46th Ivy League title.
Senior All-American Adam Kelly’s second-straight hammer throw title earned him the title of co-Most Outstanding Field Performer of the Meet. His mark of 71.15 meters (235-5) placed him at eighth in the nation. In the shot put, sophomore Kelton Chastulik also took home the win with a throw of 17.07 (56). He earned his first Ivy League title after finishing third indoors.
The Princeton men mounted a strong performance in the jumps as well; the Tigers claimed the top two spots in high, long, and triple jumps. In the high jump, sophomore Jeff Hollis and senior Andrew Diehl placed first and second with strong performances.
According to Hollis, competing at Heps was one of his “favorite meet experiences so far” because of all of the “support [they] got throughout the competition.”
Princeton boasted another one-two finish in the long jump. Junior Jesse Thibodeau placed first and freshman Aviram Shwarzbad finished .2 meters behind him for a second place finish. In the triple jump, Princeton secured 19 points for the team. First-year Dayo Abeeb took first, senior Stefan Amokwandoh took second, and first-year Austin Princewell took sixth.
In the 110 meter hurdles, junior Joey Daniels also took first place with an impressive 13.80. He was the only hurdler to run sub-14 in the event.
“The win means a lot,” says Daniels. “These guys on our team deserve it more than anyone, we’ve worked so hard and religiously all year. It’s just a great feeling to reward our great coaches with a triple crown, something they strive for each and every year.”
In the distance arena, the Princeton men stepped up to solidify the win. Sophomore Ed Trippas decisively took home first place in the 3000m steeplechase, clocking a time of 8:58.22. After maintaining a second-place position through the first seven laps, Trippas came through with a blazing 59.41 split on his last lap to pass a competitor from Penn.
“Getting the win in the steeple was super exciting in front of the home crowd,” Trippas said. “It was one of the first events of the day so it meant a lot to be able to do my part for the team and set the tone for the rest of the day.”
Tackling the daunting 5k-10k duo, junior Conor Lundy grabbed second place in both events with times of 14:20.23 and 32:06.93, respectively. Starting off at a moderate pace in the 10,000 meters, the competitors turned on the jets for the last two laps. Lundy split a blazing 2:00.33 over 800 meters. He passed one runner on the bell lap but narrowly missed the first-place runner from Columbia by .26 seconds.
Lundy came back the next day to negative-split in the 5000 meters and secure second place, yet again placing behind only Columbia.
He was “happy to contribute to the men’s team win,” Lundy said. “It was great to have my teammates right there with me to put up a lot of points in the competition.” And while he would have “liked to have gotten a win,” he “couldn’t be happier to contribute to such a great team.”
But the season, which provided Princeton with its second consecutive Ivy League triple-crown, doesn’t end here. The Tigers will host the ECAC/IC4A Championships this weekend, and they also have their sights set on the NCAA East Regional meet. It will be held in Jacksonville, Fla., from May 23 to 24. After an outstanding season overall, the Tigers are hoping to qualify multiple athletes for the NCAA championships in early June.