The men’s and women’s cross country teams hosted the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships (Heps) on Saturday at West Windsor Fields, with all eight institutions partaking in the meet. Harvard and Princeton alternated first and second place between the men’s and women’s races, with the Tigers topping the podium on the men’s side but finishing behind the Crimson on the women’s side.
At each year’s Heps, points are compiled by summing the individual places of each team’s top five finishers, with the sixth and seventh-place finishers serving as tiebreakers. Men race eight kilometers and women six kilometers. The team with the least number of compiled points wins.
The men’s team crushed the field with 28 points overall, beating second-place Harvard by 15. The Penn Quakers finished in third place with 90, followed by the Columbia Lions (128), the Dartmouth Big Green (132), the Cornell Big Red (134), the Yale Bulldogs (156), and the Brown Bears (234). This is the team’s 22nd Ivy League title in program history.
The Tigers’ top five finishers were senior Ed Trippas (23:26), senior Kevin Berry (23:32), sophomore Anthony Monte (23:55), sophomore Matthew Farrell (23:57), and senior Jakob Kintzele (24:08), all of whom finished individually in the top ten overall. Trippas, who recently represented Australia in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games after surpassing the Olympic qualifying standard of 8:22 in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, crossed the finish line in second place behind Harvard’s Matthew Pereira (23:18). His teammate Berry closely followed in third.
On the women’s side, the Tigers (68) finished in second place behind Harvard (37), improving upon their fourth-place finish in the 2019 championships. Yale (78), Columbia (89), Penn (135), Dartmouth (137), Cornell (138), and Brown (204) followed. Princeton’s front runner, sophomore Fiona Max (20:26), grabbed silver behind Yale’s Kayley Delay (20:08). Harvard’s Isabell Sagar (20:31) rounded out the podium for individual finishes.
“I was proud of the work we did on Saturday,” Max said in an interview with The Daily Princetonian. “We had some unexpected injuries crop up that kept us from being at our best, but we navigated the emotions of that as a team. In the end, I think Heps was a good sneak peak of the potential of this squad and a stepping stone for regionals. Now we are turning our attention to the next two weeks of training.”
Behind Max, Princeton’s top-five finishers included first-year Angie Allen (21:00), junior Abby Loveys (21:08), senior Caroline Timm (21:14), and first-year Lexi Allen (21:32).
“We have much to celebrate today as a team,” women’s head coach Brad Hunt said in a post-meet interview. “Though we fell short of our goal to be best in the Ivy League this fall, the foundation for future success has been set by a young and talented group. We cannot wait for the opportunity to … battle the best in the region for a chance to advance to the NCAA Championships.”
Up next for the Tigers is the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional Championships on Friday, Nov. 12 in Bethlehem, Pa. The men will compete in the 10K and the women in the 6K against institutions in the U.S. mid-Atlantic region which include the Villanova Wildcats, the Penn State Nittany Lions, and the Georgetown Hoyas. The top two teams at the meet will receive an automatic bid to compete in the NCAA D-I National Championships the following weekend. Both the men and women competed at the National Championships in 2018 but missed the team qualification standard in 2019.
Emily Philippides is a Head Sports Editor at the ‘Prince’. She can be reached at email@example.com.