When Brian Leung posted the second-best individual NCAA Championship finish in school history and led the Tigers to their best-ever national finish, things had come full circle.
The previous fall, Leung lost his footing in the mud at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional in Maryland and not only did it possibly cost Princeton a trip to nationals, it ended Leung’s running season before stepping onto the safer confines of the track.
In a recent feature by Justin Feil of the Princeton Packet, Leung said:
“Coach told us one of us would fall. I got back up and started running. Then I realized, my hand really hurts. I had to get 13 stitches. It was wide open. It was bleeding a lot. I kept on running, and then I saw some bone and ligament. When I saw white, I knew it wasn’t good.”
Apparently that experience — and summer altitude training in Montana — readied Leung for the 2010 post-season as he — despite howling winds — completed the 10,000 Championship meters in Terre Haute, Ind., in 30:18.3. In a span covering eight years, only three Ivy runners — Dartmouth’s Tom McArdle and Ben True along with Harvard’s Dan Chenoweth — had finished the Indiana Championship course faster.
And with his 21st-place finish, the New Jersey native earned All-America stature.