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February 24, 2013

Cornell Holds Off Princeton to Win Heptagonal Men's Indoor Track & Field Title

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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- In the closest finish since 1986, the Cornell men's track and field team held off Princeton to win the 2012-13 Ivy League Heptagonal Indoor Track & Field title.

Cornell earned 157 points, just ahead of Princeton (156). Cornell's one-point victory is the closest since the 1986 indoor championships, coincidentally also held at Harvard's Albert H. Gordon Track, when Princeton bested the Big Red, 96 ¾-96.

Harvard placed third with 86 points, its best finish and highest points total since it won the championship with 108 points in 1985. Brown placed fourth with 58 points, its best finish since placing fourth in 2006. Columbia (50), Dartmouth (38.5), Penn (28) and Yale (15.5) rounded out the rest of the standings.

After the distance medley relay, won by Princeton in 9:52.72, the Tigers had a one-point lead over Cornell, 140-139 with two events remaining. But after a first-place finish in the two-mile relay, and a third-place finish by Princeton, the Big Red took a three-point lead over its closest competitor, 149-146 with just the mile relay standing in front of its first title since 2009. That event came down to a photo finish, with Princeton (3:15.125) narrowly edging out Cornell (3:15.13), but earning second-place was all the Big Red had to do to end the Tigers' three-year indoor championship reign.

For the first time in League history, the coaches voted for Male and Female Most Outstanding Performers from the track events as well as the field events. Princeton senior Damon McLean and Harvard senior Nico Weiler shared Most Outstanding Field Performer, while the Tiger senior Peter Callahan and Cornell senior Nick Wade each were named Most Outstanding Track Performer.

McLean earned a pair of titles over the weekend. On Saturday he became the first Tiger to win the long jump since Dwaine Banton in 2005 and on Sunday he won his third-straight triple jump title with a mark of 52-3 ¼, almost three feet ahead of his nearest competitor. McLean is the fourth three-time champion in the triple jump and the first from Princeton.

Weiler defended his pole vault title with an all-time Ivy record of 17-7 ¾, becoming the first Crimson to win back-to-back years since Geoff Stiles in 1978-79. Callahan placed first in the mile and was a part of Princeton's winning distance medley relay team.

The Big Red and Princeton each won six events on Sunday. For the Tigers, senior Russell Dinkins won his third 500m title in the past four years, and his second-consecutive, finishing with the third-best time in League history (1:01.90). Meanwhile, Big Red junior Montez Blair barely edged out the two-time defending high jump champion, junior Maalik Reynolds of Penn, as each cleared 7-1 but Blair cleared it on his second attempt while Reynolds cleared it on his third.

Brown went 1-2 in the heptathlon, as junior Evan Weinstock earned 5,296 points to become the Bears' first winner in the event since Colm Moran went back-to-back in 1990-91.

Men's Team Standings
1. Cornell, 157
2. Princeton, 156
3. Harvard, 86
4. Brown, 58
5. Columbia, 50
6. Dartmouth, 38.5
7. Penn, 28
8. Yale, 15.5