PHILADELPHIA (5/5/12) - The Princeton men's track & field has put itself into excellent positioning after Day 1 of the 2012 Ivy League Heptagonal Championships. The Tigers are in first place with 52 points after five events at Franklin Field.
Harvard and Cornell are tied for second with 31 points, followed by Brown with 15, Penn with 10, Dartmouth with seven, Yale with six and Columbia with three.
Sophomore Conor McCullough couldn't have started the day off any better. He set a Heps record in the hammer throw, winning the first event of the day. McCullough threw to 72.13 (236-08) and reached 67.65 (221-11.50) or better on each of his six attempts. He succeeded his own record from 2010 when he launched to 70.37. With the nation's best mark in the hammer throw, McCullough proved he's going to be a tough challenger as the next best throw in today's meet was 41 feet short of McCullough's throw.
The Tigers got big points in the pole vault, a total of 17. Freshman Adam Bragg finished as the runner-up in the event, clearing 5.00 (16-4.75) clearing it on his first try. Senior Dave Slovenski was third at 4.90 (16-00.75) and senior Derek Hynes was fourth at 4.65 (15-3), both clearing their respective marks on their first attempts.
Sophomores Tom Hopkins and Damon McLean picked up 12 points in the long jump. Hopkins was the runner-up with a jump of 7.28 (23-10.75), reaching it on his final attempt. McLean recorded a jump of 7.06 (23-2) on his fourth attempt to take fourth.
In the final event of the day, senior Donn Cabral won the 10,000-meter run with a personal best and impressively in his first 10k race of the season. Cabral ran 29:32.92 on the same track that he won two Penn Relay Championships last week. Princeton got 13 total points in the event as senior Brian Leung was fifth at 29:38.22 and sophomore Alejandro Arroyo Yamin was sixth at 29:50.33 shaving more than 42 seconds off his previous best time.
Besides taking second place in the long jump today, Hopkins qualified for the finals of both the 200 and 400. He ran 21.69 in the 200 and 48.31 in the 400 during preliminaries today. Hopkins won't be the only sprinter wearing Orange and Black in either event, as junior Russell Dinkins joins him in the 400 after posting a time of 48.20 in prelims. Freshman William Egi will run with Hopkins in the 200 final after clocking in at 21.99 today. Egi also qualified for the 100 final with a 10.84 time in the qualifier.
Three Tigers advance to the hurdle finals tomorrow. Junior Richard Sheldon and freshman Rob Mohr will run in the 110-meter hurdles. Sheldon clocked in at 14.73 and Mohr at 14.88. In the 400-meter hurdles, senior Nilan Schnure qualified for the finals at 54.78.
Sophomore Michael Williams will represent Princeton in the 800 final tomorrow after winning heat four of the prelims at 1:50.62.
Three Tigers qualified for the final of the 1500. Senior Joe Stilin had the best time in prelims at 3:47.31 followed by fellow senior Trevor Van Ackeren at 3:51.18. Junior Michael Palmisano will join the 10-man final after running 3:52.62.
After five events of the decathlon, freshman Stephen Soerens sits in third place and Sheldon is in sixth. They'll start Day 2 off on Sunday with the 110-meter hurdles at 9:30 a.m.