And if we were forced to wager, that streak will stretch to 15 years in a row and Princeton will take an 8-7 lead over Cornell. And while we may not be prepared to see some new colors atop the platform this year, there may be a crazy chase for third place. Mary Boggs scored the ranked list heading into the week and the five schools after Princeton and Cornell — Penn, Dartmouth, Yale, Harvard and Brown — were separated by just 10 1/2 points. Truly, one surprise finish could mean the difference from finishing third and finishing seventh.
The women’s championship chase could be just as crazy. Mary’s crystal ball has her alma mater, Harvard, taking its fifth straight title, but Columbia and Dartmouth are not that far behind. But if Crimson sophomore Gabrielle Thomas (Florence, Mass.) can pull off a triple victory like she did a year ago, it will be hard to see the Lions or the Big Green being able to overcome it. But it is actually the race for fourth place — the final spot in the top half — that looks to be worth watching.
Boggs’ rankings have four teams — Penn, Cornell, Princeton and Brown — within just 3 3/4 points. That’s fewer points than separates a second-place finish from a fourth-place performance in any individual event. Every place matters. Which means every shout from the stands matters. Every piece of advice from the coach matters.
This is gonna be fun.