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Track and field opens indoor season with strong performances over Intersession


Sophomore Isabella Hilditch clears a hurdle.

Photo credit: GoPrincetonTigers

Over Intersession, while most of campus traveled back home to rest and recuperate after a grueling finals week, the men’s and women’s track and field teams were busy traveling and facing fierce competition all across the Northeast. 

To open the 2020 indoor track and field season, the Tigers posted fast times against Navy in a dual meet. Continuing the start to a strong indoor season, the majority of Princeton men’s and women’s track and field teams took part in the Columbia Challenge, held at the New York City Armory, while some men competed at Cornell’s Upstate Challenge. Most recently, both the men’s and women’s teams traveled up to Harvard University for the Crimson Elite and Scarlet and White meets, where the Tigers continued to perform fiercely both on the track and in the field. 


In the first dual meet of the season hosted at Navy, the women came out on top, securing a 90–87 win, while the men put up a strong fight, placing second with a score of 107–68. On the women’s side, the 4x400 relay team, comprised of first-years Milana Malec and Arianna Smith, junior Katie DiFrancesco, and senior Heide Baron, came out on top with a time of 3:47:71 for the third-fastest time in school history. 

In the 4x800 relay, first-year Abbey Loveys, sophomore Gillian Wagner, junior Sophie Cantine, and senior Madeleine Sumner posted a time of 8:51:57 to win and to place eighth on the Princeton all-time list. Wagner also took first place in the 1000m with the ninth-fastest time in program history: 2:50:3. 

Next up, the men and women faced highly competitive fields at the Columbia Challenge, held inside New York’s historic Armory Track. For the men’s team, senior captain Conor Lundy finished first in the college section of the 3k with an impressive PR of 8:09:05. 

The armory meet was a “great chance to get used to racing on the indoor track,”  Lundy said. The team is “looking forward to competing well at and winning the HYP meet next week.” 

The Princeton women also had some impressive performances at the Armory, with Cantine finishing fifth overall in her first-ever attempt at the 3k with a time of 9:23.93 — the eighth-fastest in program history. DiFrancesco ran the second-fastest Ivy League time in the 200m in 24.56, placing 12th overall. In the throwing arena, first-year Annika Kelly’s fifth-place weight-throw finish of 17.63m was the fifth-farthest in program history. 

Records continued to fall at the Crimson Elite Meet, held at Harvard University. First-year sprinter Olivia Hee and sophomore sprinter Grace Lanouette moved into fourth and fifth on Princeton’s all-time list in the 60m dash with times of 7.64 and 7.70. After returning from injury, Lanouette is “excited to keep improving and watch the team continue to improve on what’s turning into a great season.” In the Pentathlon, junior Lindsey Schmidt improved her PR by 500 points and now ranks third in the Ivy League. In the throws arena, Kelly and sophomore Luisa Chandler-Edmond both threw a foot further than their previous PRs with distances of 18.19m and 17.71m. 


The Princeton women continued to perform outstandingly at the Scarlet & White Invite, as the 4x400m relay team of Malec, Baron, Smith, and senior Ashley Willingham set a new school record in a time of 3:42:05. In the 200m, DiFrancesco set a new PR with a time of 24.28 to move up to second on Princeton’s all-time list. Malec and Baron also moved up to sixth and seventh all-time for Princeton in the 400m with times of 55.74 and 56.15.

Coming up this Saturday, the Tigers will have the opportunity to face Ivy League rivals Harvard and Yale at the HYP Meet, taking place at Yale in New Haven, Conn. Last year in this same competition, the Princeton men and women took first place in a decisive fashion when the Tigers outscored both Harvard and Yale combined, and are looking to repeat the performance this weekend. 

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