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Cross country performs strongly at Heps as men claim 23rd Ivy title; women finish second

<h5>The men's team celebrates their Heps win, the 23rd in program history.</h5>
<h6>Courtesy of <a href="https://goprincetontigers.com/news/2022/10/28/back-to-back-champions-mens-cross-country-defends-ivy-league-championship-title-at-2022-heps.aspx" target="_self">GoPrincetonTigers.com</a></h6>
The men's team celebrates their Heps win, the 23rd in program history.
Courtesy of GoPrincetonTigers.com

Both the men’s and women’s cross country teams had successful days at the annual Ivy League Heptagonal championships (Heps) this past Friday.

The men’s team won their 23rd Heptagonal Championship in program history, and the women’s team placed second. Both teams saw strong performances from their sophomore and junior runners, as the five scorers of both the teams were from those class years.

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For the men, junior Anthony Monte led the Tigers with a time of 24:11.6 on the 8K course. He finished third overall behind Harvard’s Acer Iverson and Graham Blanks. Rounding out Princeton’s top five were junior Connor Nisbet (24:14.8), sophomore Daniel O’Brien (24:22.6), junior Duncan Miller (24:26.8), and junior Jarrett Kirk (24:36.5). The Tigers recorded just 38 overall team points, edging second place Harvard by three to take the Ivy League Title.

“We had some gutsy performances from a lot of the guys that helped us to secure the win by a few points at the end,” O’Brien said.

The women’s team came in second behind Harvard in a close battle that came down to the very end. Seniors Page Lester and Abigail Loveys and junior Fiona Max finished seventh, eighth, and ninth (21:14.1, 21:14.1, and 21:18.2) respectively on the six-kilometer course.

The fourth and fifth scorers were junior Tsion Yared (21:35.2) and senior India Weir (22:00.3) who placed 14th and 25th, respectively. The Tigers scored 63 points, losing to Harvard by a nine-point margin, 54–63. Princeton held the lead just past the five-kilometer mark.

“While the pieces did not fall into place to beat Harvard, we came to compete and to not let that win go lightly and for that, I’m really proud,” Max wrote to the ‘Prince’. “At the 5k, we were winning which means we are losing battles in the last 1K. We know what we are going to be working on in training.”

Similar in sentiment to the pride Max felt, Yared praised the team for their push to the end.

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“Van Cortlandt park is known historically to be one of the toughest courses in the country, so I am really proud of the way the girls finished,” Yared said.

Both teams will look to build off of their dominant regular seasons to qualify for the NCAA Championship at the Mid-Atlantic Regional on Friday, Nov. 11.

“Right now it looks like there are three to four teams fighting for the 2nd place spot, which would punch our ticket to NCAAs. Our team matches up really well with some of the other teams, so we are excited to get another chance to show how hard we have been working,” Yared continued.

“Every single team member will need to get gritty, but it is nothing this squad can’t do,” Max added.

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Akshay Swani is a staff writer for the Sports and News sections at the ‘Prince.’ Please direct any corrections requests to corrections@dailyprincetonian.com.

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