The 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.