Princeton senior Donn Cabral won the Oxy steeplechase in an amazing 8:19.14, an American College Record breaking the mark of 8:19.27 set by Farley Gerber of Weber State in 1984.
Earlier this week, Kyle Merber of Columbia broke the ACR in the 1,500-meter run in Swarthmore, Pa.
Cabral also crushed the previous Ivy League record by nearly 10 seconds! The old mark — 8:29.01 — had held for 27 years after Dartmouth’s Michael Fadil ran 8:29.01 in 1985.
“We sent Donn out to California to run against the best steeplechasers in the United States and he rose to the occasion, achieving Olympic A standard,” said Princeton Coach Fred Samara. “Now it’s on to the Trials where he’s put himself in a tremendous position to make the Olympic team.”
Heading into the last 200 of the men’s steeple, it seemed as if the race belonged squarely to Evan Jager, who was running only the second steeple of his life. Jager had taken the lead with 800 remaining and was pulling clear of Dan Huling, who had been with him for most of the race, and seemed to be on tap for an 8:17-8 type clocking.
Princeton’s Donn Cabral, who twice outkicked 3:35 man Kyle Merber at Penn Relays a few weeks ago, was lurking in third and coming on well but he was roughly 15 meters back as he’d been gapped a bit earlier in the race, and it would have taken a ridiculous kick for Cabral to catch Jager. But Jager tried to leap over the last water jump without stepping on it and ended up face planting instead.
“On the plane ride here, I had motivational speakers on my left and right and they got me really pumped up. They gave me a lot of good information. It really was the power of positive thinkimg is what they hashed into me for 6 hours and I used that today,” said Cabral. “I was pretty confident coming in. I knew I had the fitness. I had more than an inkling that 8:32 was going to be way behind me.”
“(When I saw that Jager fell, I thought,) ‘Oh, that kind of sucks.’ I kind of wanted to race him fair and square.”
Other amazing times from Ivy grads — Ashley Higginson was second in the steeplechase with a personal-best 9:46.83 (finishing behind Bridget Franek), while Yale grad Kate Grace had a personal-best breakthrough in 2:01.63 in the 800-meter run.
Both Morgan Uceny of Cornell and Anna Pierce of Brown ran in the 4:06 range in the 1,500-meter run.
Stunning night in California for the Ivy League!