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"We definitely have to win Heps and not just win, but we have to destroy Princeton and get them back for what happened indoors and on the basketball court and everything." This hope, expressed by junior Dan Nord before the start of the outdoor track and field season, can start to become reality tomorrow as the Penn men's track team heads to Princeton for a dual meet against the 1998 Heptagonal indoor champion Tigers. Although the Quakers look to the outdoor Heps championship as the most important time to defeat Princeton, tomorrow's dual meet will pit the two most dominating teams in the Ivy League against each other. "Between our team and Princeton, we have been the premier teams in the league for the past 10 or 12 years," Penn coach Charlie Powell said. "So there is a lot of pride on the line." As last year's indoor Heps champion, the Quakers had a lot of pride going into this season's Heps meet. Penn was unable to repeat, however, as Princeton finished in first place with 138 points at the meet held in its own Jadwin Gymnasium. The Quakers were second with 115 points. "At Heps, there were a lot of other teams who took points away from us and helped Princeton," Penn freshman middle distance runner Andy Girardin said. The following week, the Quakers showed that they were second to none in the Ivy League when they placed fourth among 51 teams at the Intercollegiate Association of Amateur Athletes of America championship. Princeton finished ninth, 21 points behind the Red and Blue. Throughout the beginning of this outdoor season, the Quakers have continued to face difficult competition. Two weeks ago, they traveled to North Carolina for the Raleigh Relays, a meet featuring top collegiate teams as well as several professional track athletes. Last week, a few members of the Penn team competed in the Texas Relays, another top-level national meet. Not only did the Quakers compete with these highly-ranked athletes, but they also performed well. Penn decathlete Eric Hyde and hammer throwers Lucas Deines and Matt Pagliasotti all placed in the top 10 at the Texas Relays, and the 1600 meter sprint medley team of Mike Wise, Kael Coleman, Mike Stiffler and Robin Martin finished second with a time of 3:21.16 among stiff competition. Also, several other Penn athletes finished in the top 20 in their respective events. While the top Penn athletes have been facing national level competition, all Quakers have been given the chance to compete. Penn hosted the Quaker Invitational the first week of the season and the Penn Invitational last week in which all team members competed. Unlike the Red and Blue, Princeton has only competed in two meets during the outdoor season and has not attended any large national meets. The Tigers participated in the Rutgers Invitational on March 28 and hosted the Sam Howell Memorial Invitational last week. As the defending outdoor Heps champion, Penn must wait another month to defend its league championship. But the results of tomorrow's dual meet should indicate how easy that task will be to accomplish. After running, jumping and throwing against the best in the country, Penn is confident heading into a dual meet against its top rival. "Personally, I think we're going to go in there and blow them away," Girardin said.

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