It was a Heps to remember as cold rain gave way to heavy snowfall at the West Windsor Fields in Princeton, N.J., on Saturday and the winners for the day were the Princeton men, the Cornell women and the Dartmouth double of senior Ethan Shaw and sophomore Abbey D’Agostino.
The men kicked off the morning in a horizontal rain which turned to snow and caused a number of spills, including one that stopped Princeton’s Brian Leung from his fourth first-team All-Ivy performance. But that didn’t stop his teammates from grabbing the team title as three Tigers — senior Donn Cabral (third), senior Peter Maag (fifth) and sophomore Tyler Udland (seventh) — earned first-team All-Ivy status and gave Princeton the championship with 37 points to Columbia’s 51.
The individual title came down to a gutty chase. Columbia senior Kyle Merber, who missed the 2010-11 season following a freak injury, took off from Dartmouth’s Shaw with 400 meters to go, but Shaw never gave up, clipping Merber at the finish line by a tenth of a second, 24:47.6 to 24:47.7.
Merber’s Lions had three top 10 finishers — junior Mike Murphy was eighth and soph Nico Composto ninth. Brown had two seniors — Dan Lowry (fourth) and Matt Duffy (sixth) — earn first-team All-Ivy honors while the first freshman to finish was Princeton’s Matt McDonald, who was 12th.
By the time the women took to the course, the snowfall had become historically significant. So was the overall team finish.
While D’Agostino outran Columbia freshman Waverly Neer and Princeton All-American Alex Banfich down the final chute, the women’s team battle was focused further down the line. Cornell’s top four — Katie Kellner (fourth), Genna Hartung (fifth), Emily Shearer (11th) and Devin McMahon (12th) — had totaled 32 points, one less than Columbia’s top four of Neer (second), Caroline McDonough (sixth), Clare Buck (ninth) and Emily Lanois (16th). But with the Lions’ fifth runner, Noelle Van Rysselberghe, leading the Big Red’s fifth, senior miler Janel Parker, it looked like the two teams might tie for a championship.
But Parker, who ran a fantastic final mile, overtook Van Rysselberghe in the final stretch to finish 17th in 22:42.9. It was enough to provide the Red, coached by Rich Bowman and Artie Smith for the first time, its first win since 1998. It also stopped Princeton’s win streak at five.
Yale also had two top 10 finishers in sophomore Liana Epstein (seventh) and junior Elizabeth Marvin (eighth).