Author Archives: Hillary Dodyk

Tremendous Triple: Princeton Men’s Track and Field Wins Outdoor Heps

In Ivy League track circles, teams chase their own version of the Triple Crown: Heptagonal Championships victories in cross country, indoor track and field, and outdoor track and field. On Sunday, Princeton completed that feat, winning the outdoor championship by a 161-159.5 margin over Cornell.

“It’s rare, but when it happens it’s worth protecting,” junior pole-vaulter Adam Bragg said. For the Tigers, it marks the seventh triple-crown season in program history.

Heps pole vault champion Adam Bragg ’16 (Office of Athletic Communications)

Heps pole vault champion Adam Bragg ’16 (Office of Athletic Communications)

A crucial part of this first place finish, Bragg was one of three Tigers who won events on the opening day of the meet to give the team the necessary momentum and scoring cushion going into the second and final day. Also earning individual titles were senior Tumi Akinlawon in the long jump and senior Matt McDonald in the 10,000 meter run. “Going into the second day with that much momentum, I think it just set the tone,” Bragg said.

While not a personal record, Bragg claimed his second consecutive outdoor Ivy League title by clearing 5.1 meters (16-8.75 feet) on his first attempt.

“The day wasn’t so much about [individual] height as it was about going out there and getting the 10 points for the team,” Bragg said. “Heps is bigger than the individual performer and that shows in everybody in who goes out there, even if they don’t score, or if they score a sixth place finish for that one point. At the beginning of the day I had told my coach, whatever you need me to do to score the points and come out with the win, you make the decisions, you make the calls, and we ended up making some good calls and coming out with the win.” Continue reading

Men’s Lacrosse Clinches Share of Ivy League Title

Kip Orban ’15 (Office of Athletic Communications)

Kip Orban ’15 (Office of Athletic Communications)

Mike MacDonald ’15 (Office of Athletic Communications)

Mike MacDonald ’15 (Office of Athletic Communications)

With the top spot still up for grabs in the last week of regular season play, Princeton men’s lacrosse is sure to be extending its season into the Ivy League tournament. After defeating Harvard 12-11 on Friday night, and with a little help from Brown, who beat Cornell on Saturday, the Tigers are guaranteed at least a share of the Ivy title for the first time since the 2012 season — and the 27th time in program history.

The Tigers will face Cornell in the final weekend of regular season play, needing a win to clinch the outright title and home-field advantage throughout the tournament. Yet, with Yale at Harvard and Brown at Dartmouth, the playoff picture is still very much anyone’s for the taking. A Princeton loss and a Brown win would give Brown home field advantage and make the two co-champions. In fact, with Brown, Yale, and Cornell all only a game behind the Tigers, a four-way tie for the championship is still possible.

Seniors Mike MacDonald and Kip Orban continued to make their marks in the Princeton record books against Harvard Friday night while leading their team to victory. Continue reading

All They Do is Win: Princeton Women’s Basketball Improves to 25-0

No. 16 Princeton, the only undefeated women’s basketball program remaining in the country, already has achieved the highest ranking of any Ivy League team. With two more wins this weekend — over Dartmouth, 70-31 on Friday night, and Harvard, 78-57 on Saturday night — the 25-0 Tigers are three wins away from tying the 1970-71 Penn men’s basketball for the best start by any Ivy team in history.

Taking control early, the Tigers had no trouble scoring on Friday night. They went into halftime ahead by 18 points, and came out to score the first 12 points of the second half. The Tigers held Dartmouth to only 12 points in the first half, the fewest of any opponent this season. Junior forward Alex Wheatley led all scorers with 20 points.

Blake Dietrick ’15 (Office of Athletic Communications)

Blake Dietrick ’15 (Office of Athletic Communications)

Saturday, however, proved to be slightly more of a challenge for the Tigers, as Harvard kept the game close into the second half. After four quick points by Harvard cut the Tigers’ 28-19 halftime lead down to 5, the Tigers opened up a 12-4 run, led by senior co-captain Blake Dietrick and juniors Annie Tarakchian and Amanda Berntsen, to give them a double-digit lead, which they would hold for the remainder of the game. While the Tigers shot only 30.8 percent in the first half, they improved in the final 20 minutes, shooting 61.5 percent from the floor.

The Tigers are making history as a team this season, but in the midst of their collective successes have also been personal triumphs. On Jan. 10, Dietrick became the 22nd player in program history to reach 1,000 points, and currently ranks third in three-pointers with 199. Continue reading

Bell ’18, Men’s Basketball Split Weekend Set Against Harvard and Dartmouth

After staying close with Harvard but ultimately coming up short in Friday’s 75-72 loss, Princeton men’s basketball knew it needed to come back strong on Saturday as they took on Dartmouth for the second half of an important weekend in Ivy League play. The Tigers rose to the occasion, beating Dartmouth 64-53 to return to a winning record in league play.

“[We had the] luxury of getting the chance to play again, which we were very happy to do,” Head Coach Mitch Henderson ’98 said after the Dartmouth game. “I did not think last night was a great showing for us, so I’m pleased with the win, very happy for these guys and getting ready for a huge stretch of games here coming up.”

bell-oacThe first half of Saturday’s game echoed Friday night’s, with Dartmouth playing the role that Princeton had against the Crimson — constantly trailing, but within striking distance. The Tigers went into halftime up by nine. Dartmouth cut the lead to five after halftime, but the Tigers would rally to lead by as many as 17 and win by 11.

Spencer Weisz ’17 led Princeton with 16 points. Amir Bell ’18 had an impressive all-around game, finishing with seven rebounds, four assists, and four points.

“Amir Bell had one hell of a game defensively,” Weisz said of his teammate. “Coming in as a freshman, he’s been playing great for us and to stop one of the best shooters in the league [the Big Green’s Alex Mitola] … is just a great benefit for us.”

Though new to the team, Bell has been a key contributor, starting all 19 games. Henderson said he has noticed significant growth in Bell’s play. Continue reading

Football Falls to Dartmouth in Class of 2015’s Final Game

After slipping out of contention for a second consecutive Ivy League title, Princeton football will have plenty of work ahead to prove that the end of the 2014 season was not the end of an era.

Two bonfires, an Ivy League championship, two Ivy League Player of the Year awards, two NFL draft picks, and an 18-12 combined record is an impressive run for three seasons. But with the Tigers’ top two starting quarterbacks graduating in the spring, the program will be tested as it searches for players to follow in the footsteps of the senior class, which played its final game in Saturday’s 41-10 loss to Dartmouth.

“All the work that it takes to put in to be great — it starts tomorrow,” sophomore defensive lineman Ty Desire said. “We have to realize we’re not the team we were last year up front, and we can’t ride anyone’s coattails.” Continue reading

For Princeton Football, High Hopes Turn to Stunned Disappointment

At Saturday’s Princeton-Harvard game, packed stands eagerly awaited a thrilling victory reminiscent of the past two meetings between last year’s Ivy League co-champions, but alas it was not to be. Instead, Tiger fans were stunned as they watched their team lose 49-7 to drop into third place in the Ivy standings.

Joe Rhattigan ’17 scored Princeton’s only points against Harvard with a rushing touchdown late in the fourth quarter. (Office of Athletic Communications)

Joe Rhattigan ’17 scored Princeton’s only points against Harvard with a rushing touchdown late in the fourth quarter. (Office of Athletic Communications)

The past two weekends the Tigers (3-3 overall, 2-1 Ivy) came out strong, and the defense showed no indication that the day would be any different on the opening drive. But when the offense took the field for its opening drive, it became apparent that this was not going to be the case.

The Tigers were their own worst enemy, with penalties proving too costly to overcome as they prevented the offense from extending drives whenever they seemed to be gaining momentum. Harvard’s explosive offense took away the rest of the Tigers’ momentum as it dominated in the second quarter.

“I’m definitely surprised, but they played really well,” senior linebacker and co-captain Mike Zeuli said. “They executed better than us and that’s what happens.”

With Princeton and Harvard leading the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) with two of the top five run defenses, Harvard’s initial success came from its passing game, which exploited mistakes in the Princeton secondary. But the Crimson did not stop there: the visitors threw for 392 yards, compared to the Tigers’ 190, and rushed for 306, compared to the Tigers’ 54. Continue reading