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Reigning Outdoor Heps Champion Looks to Retain With Indoor Title

Courtesy: Princeton Athletic Communications                                                                      Release: 02/28/2014
Courtesy: Princeton Athletic Communications
Senior Damon McLean looks to become just the second person in Heps history to win four straight...
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PRINCETON, N.J. (2/27/14) – The Princeton men’s track & field looks to take back the indoor crown as it heads to Dartmouth for the 2014 Ivy League Heptagonal Championship this weekend, March 1 & 2.

In 2013 the Tigers came back from a huge deficit on the second day to miss their fifth straight championship by only one point.

Princeton is on an unprecedented streak of finishing first or second for the last 20 years in a row.

On Sunday between 12-5:15 p.m., the meet will be webstreamed on the Ivy League Digital Network. Live results are also available. Links to both are provided above.

SPRINTS & HURDLES
Sophomores John Hill and Dre Nelson look to lead the sprints. Both were scorers in the 60 last year and have recorded PRs this season. Entering Heps weekend, Hill is sixth in the league with a 6.88, while Nelson is seventh with a 6.89.

In the 60 hurdles, sophomore Greg Caldwell has the fourth-best time in the league with an 8.20. He was a scorer in the event last winter. Junior Rob Mohr ranks sixth with an 8.26. He was the runner-up in the event last year and was fourth in 2012. Both Caldwell and Mohr were scorers in the 110 hurdles this past spring.

Senior Tom Hopkins should challenge for the Most Outstanding Performer of Heps. He ranks first or second in the 400, 500 and long jump and will perform with the relays. Hopkins has the best time in the league in the 500 at 1:02.57. The next best runner in the league is more than a second behind. Hopkins has the second-best mark in the 400 at 48.38. He’s been a scorer in the event six times, both indoor and outdoor.

Behind Hopkins in both events is freshman Ray Mennin. Mennin is eighth in the league in 400 at 48.81 and in the 500 at 1:04.59. Other contenders in the 400 are freshman Bryant Switzer who has a 49.08 and senior Dan McCord who was a scorer in the 400 last outdoor season.

MIDDLE DISTANCE & DISTANCE
Junior Bradley Paternostro is eighth in the league in the 800 with a 1:51.39, run at the BU Valentine Invitational. Paternostro was a scorer in the 800 at the last springs’ Heps. He could also be a scorer in the 500 as well, as he ranks in the top 20 in that event. Sophomore Luke Brahm and senior Michael Williams could score as well s they’ve both clocked 1:52s. Williams was a scorer in the event both indoor and outdoor last year. Williams is also Princeton’s best bet in the mile. A national champion in the DMR, Williams ran the league’s second-best mile time this season, a 3:59.63.

Braham boasts the second-best time in the 1,000. He clocked a 2:23.78 at the Valentine Invite. Freshman William Paulson has the seventh-best time in the event in the league at 2:26.11.

Seniors Chris Bendtsen and Tyler Udland should provide points in the longer distances. Bendtsen has the third-best time in the league in the 3k at 7:57.44. He has been the runner-up in the 5k the last two years and in the 3k last year. He has been a consistent scorer for the Tigers both indoor and outdoors in the 3, 5 and 10ks.

Udland boasts the third-best time in the 5k after running a 14:01.93 at the Valentine Invite. He was a scorer in both the 5 and 10k at outdoor Heps last year and was the Tigers’ top runner during cross country season. Junior Sam Pons is seventh in the 3k with an 8:07.99

RELAYS
Princeton is the reigning champion in the 4x400 relay and enters the meet with the second-best time. The Tigers have a 3:15.14 from HYP. The 4x400 has been first three times in the last five years. Incidentally after finishing third the last two years, the 4x800 enters the weekend with the third-best time. The DMR is third as well after a 9:37.33 from the Penn State meet at the end of January. Although Princeton won this event at NCAAs last year, it returns just one leg in Williams. The DMR has been either first or second in each of the last four years.

JUMPS
Senior Omar Jarrett and freshman Xavier Bledsoe will pair up for a solid showing in the high jump. Jarrett has cleared 2.08, while Bledsoe jumped to 2.04.

On a hot streak in the pole vault is sophomore Adam Bragg. After taking last year off, Bragg has returned to the team improving on his marks week after week. He has the top height in the league at 5.25 with the next vaulter .20m (8”) back. He was fourth in indoors in 2012 and second outdoors in 2012. Freshman Ben Gaylord is fifth in the league, clearing 4.95.

Getting back to Hopkins, the team captain is tops in the league in the long jump. He has a season-best mark of 7.66, nearly an entire foot further than anyone else in the league. Hopkins has placed third the last two indoor Heps and has scored every year. Outdoor he won in 2013 and 2011 and was second in 2012.

Sophomore Jack Scinto is sixth at 7.14. He was scorer in both the long and triple jumps at outdoor Heps. Senior Damon McLean won the long jump last year and has scored in the event all three years he has competed.

McLean has a chance to become a part of history as he tries for the four-year sweep in the indoor triple jump. It has only occurred once in Heps history (James Leonard 1972-75). He is the favorite to win this year as he owns the best mark at 15.80.

Junior Nana Owusu-Nyantekyi is fourth in the league in the triple at 14.84 and he has scored in both of his two previous indoor Heps

THROWS
The Tigers have three shot putters that are in the top 10 in the league. Junior Scott Rushton is third with a throw of 17.69 followed by freshmen Jared Bell fifth at 17.04 and Christopher Cook seventh at 16.80.

MULTI
Junior Stephen Soerens and sophomore Brian Oslin are not strangers to Heps. Soerens was third last year and enters the meet with the fourth-best score of 5096. He has also been a scorer in the decathlon the last two outdoor Heps. Oslin was  a scorer in the event last year and enters sixth with a 5024.

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