And now to the "main course": track and field. I believe that Ivy competition begins just nine days from this writing, with Cornell hosting its annual relay meet.
Which introduces the first topic of business: can the Cornell men reclaim Ivy t&f titles? Princeton had an atypical "down" season in cross, but recruited well and returns plenty of scoring punch from last year. Cornell, too, brought in some solid rookies.
The Heps meets, as usual, will probably be determined by whoever covers the "technique" events best. History shows that victory is rare for a team that doesn't excel in the jumps, throws, hurdles, and multis. With a changing of the guard in their throwing crew (the Big Red have lost Mozia and Rhodes), the question is whether Cornell, under its new head coach, will have enough point production in the skill events to return to the top.
Princeton certainly looks to have good coverage of the men's events. And the same is true of surging Penn: their men's squad shows good balance, and the Quakers appear to have the best shot at breaking up the Princeton-Cornell hegemony. Penn's women also bring fine event balance and should show well.
And speaking of the women's side: I'm looking for Princeton to make a strong challenge to Harvard's hegemony. They recruited well, with 20 strong freshmen (on a squad of 60+)--even bringing in more internationals than Harvard! Their dominant performance in cross-country may be a stepping stone to the top spot in the t&f team standings.
But the Crimson have to be the preseason favorites to repeat. Their freshmen crew doesn't match Princeton's quantity, but the quality is there, particularly in the jumps. XC may have been disappointing for the Cantabs, but track should not be! Harvard did graduate a lot of points, but plenty return.
The Cornell women doubtless also hope to win. The senior-laden squad will be hosting the last Heps on the "old" Barton Hall track, and surely will look for a home-field advantage. They have a host of newcomers (nearly 30 rookies, on a total squad of 80+), including a major influx of throwers. The Big Red, like Harvard, will look to rebound from a lackluster fall--and may have the event coverage to do it.
So much for generalities. Anyone have some specifics (roster additions/deletions, etc.) to share?