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Men's Cross Country Set to Defend Heps Title

Courtesy: Princeton Athletic Communications                                                                      Release: 10/31/2013
Courtesy: Princeton Athletic Communications
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PRINCETON, N.J. (10/30/13) - The Class of 2014 will try to do something Saturday that hasn't been accomplished in the Ivy League since 1991. Sweep Heps. Princeton hosts the 2013 Ivy League Heptagonal Cross Country Championships on Nov. 2 at West Windsor Field. The men's race is at 11 a.m.

Two classes in Princeton men's cross country history have accomplished the feat. The Class of 1979 and the Class of 1984. The only other schools in the Ivy League to do so is Harvard (1967-70) and Dartmouth, who won eight straight between 1984-91.

This year's race is shaping up to be the toughest Heps in the last four years as Princeton have a big challenger in Columbia.

Princeton is ranked No. 15 in the latest USTFCCCA national poll with Columbia sitting in 10th. Harvard is also ranked at No. 21. The Lions and Tigers have raced just once this year, at the Notre Dame Invitational. Columbia surprised the field by winning the meet in front of six ranked teams. Two weeks ago the Lions did not participate in Pre-Nationals instead competing at the Wisconsin Invitational, another meet that was packed with talent. Incidentally, Princeton was sixth at Pre-Nats while Columbia was sixth at Wisconsin.

The Tigers return in the 2012 Heps champion and runner-up in seniors Chris Bendsten and Alejandro Arroyo Yamin. The pair have been Princeton's 2 & 3 runners this year as fellow senior Tyler Udland has been the top finisher this season. Udland finished fourth at Heps last year. The other two scorers will most likely be juniors Sam Pons and Matt McDonald. Pons was the top Tiger at Pre-Nats and was fourth at Notre Dame. He was the Tigers' No. 7 at Heps last year, finishing 50th overall. MacDonald was the No. 6 as he placed 14th. MacDonald was the No. 3 at Notre Dame and No. 5 at Pre-Nats.

As Princeton head coach Jason Vigilante said,"There's no timeouts. There's no substitutions. You have to get it right the first time."

That time will come this Saturday morning.

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