Archive for October, 2008

Orange & Black Halloween

Posted: 31 October by Brett Hoover in Uncategorized

08cc-costello2The Princeton Tiger women showed why they are ranked fourth nationally as the Tigers broke a number of records en route to a dominating effort at the Ivy Heps Cross Country Championship in New York City’s Van Cortlandt Park on Friday.

The appropriately adorned Orange & Black were led by junior Liz Costello, who repeated as the individual champion, this time in a stunning 16:59.9, the fastest time in Championship history. She also finished 34.9 seconds in front of teammate and runner up senior Megan Brandeland (17:34.8), the widest winning margin in event history.

The previous best time was 17:01.4, posted by Columbia’s Caroline Bierbaum in 2005, while the previous biggest margin was 24 seconds by Harvard’s Anne Sullivan back in 1977.

Coach Peter Farrell’s Tigers also scored an all-time best 17 total points by taking first, second, third, fifth and sixth. Dartmouth held the previous team low of 23 in both 1995 and 1997. The Big Green of 1996 was also the last team to sweep the first three places.

“I’ve been with the program since 1977 and this is one of my proudest moments,” said Farrell. “It was a great team effort. I’m very proud of how they ran. Nine in the first eleven is just incredible.”

Harvard sophomore Claire Richardson was the only athlete to break into Princeton’s lead pack, taking fourth in 17:43.0.

The final team scores were Princeton (17), Columbia (80), Brown (92), Cornell (100), Harvard (112), Penn (179), Dartmouth (180) and Yale (211).

Princeton had nine runners finish among the top 11. Following Costello and Brandeland were junior Reilly Kiernan (third, 17:36.3), junior Alexa Glencer (fifth, 17:43.4), sophomore Sarah Cummings (sixth, 17:44.0) and senior Jolee Van Leuven (seventh, 17:47.2). Those six along with Harvard’s Richardson earn first-team All-Ivy status. Remarkably, Van Leuven earned that status without scoring for the Tigers as the team’s top five are the points’ generators.

Just as stunning are that Tiger sophomore Liz Deir (10th) and freshman Alex Banfich (11th) earned second-team honors while not even displacing other runners as the first seven runners’ places for each squad count, but beyond that do not. They were joined by sophomore Ashley Higginson, who was ninth. Joining Richardson as the only non-Tigers in the first 11 was Columbia senior Meaghan Lessard, who was eighth. Princeton’s second five finishers would have taken second. For complete results, please click here.

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True Domination

Posted: 31 October by Brett Hoover in Uncategorized

08cc-trueDartmouth senior Ben True made history on Friday afternoon at the Ivy League Heptagonals Cross Country Championship in New York City’s Van Cortlandt Park.

He did it by becoming the first Ivy Leaguer to win three individual conference titles in nearly a quarter century. The last Ivy to pull off the the feat was another Big Green harrier, Jim Sapienza, who claimed the title in 1982, 1983 and 1984.

True — who won in 2005 and 2006, but sat out last season — finished in 23:59.6 to grasp individual honors and break the Heps record of 24:08.1 set by Brown’s Chris Schille in 1987, but it was the Princeton Tigers which took the team crown for the third straight year.

“I think Ben’s race was very impressive, particularly because he really had to do the whole race by himself,” explained Dartmouth Coach Barry Harwick. “He took the lead very early on by the mile mark, and to keep pushing the whole way, and to break 24 minutes — that was his goal going in and it’s great to see him achieve that.”

Last year’s individual champion Michael Maag, a senior, led the way for Princeton, taking second in 24:32.4. While that time was the fastest for a Tiger runner since 1981, Maag was 32.8 seconds behind True. That was the widest margin of victory at Heps since 1976 when Army’s Curt Alitz bested the field by 37 seconds.

True and Sapienza are two of just four athletes to navigate their way to three crowns. The other two were Army’s Dick Shea (1949-50-51) and Penn’s Dave Merrick (1971-73-75).

“It’s also nice that after his five years at Dartmouth College, to really go away as the all-time Heptagonal record holder,” added Coach Harwick. “Not a more deserving athlete you’re ever going to find — hard worker, great competitor, the whole package.”

Princeton had three runners among the first six across the finish line, but Columbia’s remarkable pack running nearly dethroned Coach Steve Dolan’s Tigers.

Following True and Maag across the line were Cornell senior Zac Hine (24:43.3), Princeton junior Ben Sitler (24:46.1), Harvard junior Chas Gillespie (24:47.3), Princeton freshman Brian Leung (24:48.8) and Brown junior Duriel Hardy (24:52.3). That group of seven earns first-team All-Ivy status.

Coach Willy Wood’s first Light Blue finisher was Tom Poland in 10th place (25:05.5), but Columbia runners took five of the six spots directly behind him.

The final points race was Princeton (58), Columbia (61), Cornell (75), Dartmouth (89), Brown (142), Harvard (145), Yale (176) and Penn (193). For complete results, please click here.