The Big Green men’s and women’s squads — playing host to the Dartmouth Relays — aren’t the only teams taking to the track around the League this week. Cornell and Princeton will also lace ’em up as the Big Red hosts the Cornell Open at Barton Hall on Friday and Princeton heads to Annapolis, Md., to face off with Navy Saturday.
Do you know you have to travel back in time, May of 2002 in Annapolis to be exact, to find the last time that a team other than Cornell and Princeton won a Heps track and field championship. That’s 32 championships in a row. Eight indoor. Eight outdoor. Both genders.
The last team to beat the Red Tigers (or Big Orange) was the Penn men at the 2002 Outdoor Championships and those Quakers needed to close the meet with a record-setting performance in the 4×400-meter relay to beat the Tigers by just two points. I remember that well as a combination of that close finish coincided with Princeton’s Tora Harris clearing 7-7 in the high jump as a nasty storm rapidly descending on Thompson Field. I don’t even recall if the typical awards ceremony even took place as everyone scrambled for shelter.
It is crazy to think that last time a team other than the Red or Orange, men or women, won a Heps track title, we had never heard of the Beltway snipers or American Idol, the U.S. had yet to invade Iraq and baseball Hall of Famer Ted Williams was alive.
Could this be the year for a change?