The longest wait between victories in sports history ended today. Princeton won the IC4A outdoor track and field title for the first time in 106 years.
Buoyed by Augie Wolf's meet-record discus throw, the Tigers scored 62 points to edge Seton Hall by four. Defending champion Maryland struggled in third with 49.
Besides the effort of Wolf, who also won the shot put Saturday, there were magnificent individual performances under miserable conditions by John Gregorek of Georgetown and Derrick Peynado of Seton Hall.
Gregorek held off Villanova's Ross Donoghue by inches to win the 1,500 meters, then came back 80 minutes later to earn a difficult double by outsprinting Rutgers' Jim Casey to the tape in the 5,000.
Peynado, competing with a heavy wrap on his left thigh, won the 400-meter intermediate hurdles and the 200 meters, besides running legs for the Pirates' victorious 4x100 and 4x400 relay teams.
Navy had two champions, Leo Williams retaining his high-jump title at 7-1 3/4 and Perry Puccetti taking the javelin at 231-1.
The big drama in rainswept, slippery Palmer Stadium centered around Princeton's bid to regain a trophy it held only once, after the inaugural IC4A meet at Saratoga Springs, N.Y., in 1876.
If some foes took the Tigers lightly, Coach Larry Ellis, the man who will guide the 1984 U.S. Olympic track team, had seen the possibility of victory in the IC4A's first outdoor visit to Princeton.
"I know a lot of people were surprised that we won, but we sat down Friday and counted up possible points and we realized it would be a close team score, that someone could score in the mid-50s and win," Ellis said. "We felt we could get anywhere from 56 to the upper 60s."
There were obstacles to overcome, however. Wednesday, steeplechaser Bob Quinn, a potential scorer, fell out of a third-story window and suffered a neck injury that kept him out of the meet. Jack Fonss, a good 1,500-meter man, was too sick to compete.
There were doubts about Peter Arduino and Mike Gray, too, since both had injuries. But Arduino placed second behind Peynado in the intermediates and Gray took third in the triple jump at 50-4. After Matt Farmer took an unexpected fourth in the steeplechase, Ellis sensed success.
"When we did well in the steeplechase and Mike Gray was out there in the early rounds of the triple, we thought we had a really good shot," Ellis said. "Our discus throwers have been doing well all season and unless they goofed and fouled, we had it. Of course, you're always looking for the pessimistic side."
When Wolf and team captain Mark Rifkin finished 1-3 in the discus, with Wolf's 190-1 erasing the 1969 meet mark of Maryland's Dick Drescher, it was time for Ellis to contemplate a dumping in the steeplechase water jump. On a day like this, the extra moisture was hardly noticed.
A man who tried to be optimistic, but should have known better, was Maryland Coach Stan Pitts. His hopes began to dim with the intermediate hurdles, where 1980 champion Chris Person started out too fast and came to a virtual stop at the last hurdle, finishing fifth when at least third seemed certain.
Then Per Kristoffersen, a 1,500 contender around the last turn, faded to a nonscoring seventh and the Terrapins' two-year reign was over. Maryland was fortunate to salvage third, aided by Al Baginski's second place in the discus, Joe Petrillo's third in the pole vault and another third by the 4x400 relay team.
The best race of the day, as expected, was the 1,500, with Gregorek and Donoghue battling shoulder to shoulder down the stretch, just as they had four weeks ago in the Penn Relays distance medley, when Georgetown ended Villanova's streak at 16.
"I wasn't really sure that I'd won," said Gregorek, who was timed in 3:46.29 to Donoghue's 3:46.30. "I didn't think he had won, but I wasn't sure I had. I thought maybe it was a dead heat."
Despite the weather, Gregorek came back in the 5,000, because he is graduating next Sunday and wanted a hard workout before the NCAA 1,500 at Provo, Utah, the following week. Casey battled him most of the way, but Gregorek's kick handled that one, too, in 13:54.31.
Brian McNelis of Georgetown placed fifth in the 800 in 1:51.21, as Penn State's Ken Wynn upset Henry Kimalel of Richmond. George Mason was third in the 4x100 relay in 42.02, ahead of Villanova, which never recovered from that early blow and wound up fourth with 43 points.
Williams' victory took him within one step of an unprecedented second straight indoor-outdoor sweep of the high jump in the Heptagonals, IC4A and NCAA. His 7-1 3/4 was excellent considering the slippery approach. The high jump, pole vault and triple jump could not be moved indoors because of a Lipizzaner show in adjacent Jadwin Gym.