While attending Syracuse, Meyer Prinstein won the 1898 IC4A long jump with a new American record of 23-7¾ (7.21) and two weeks later at the New York AC Games he posted a world record of 23-8⅞ (7.235). Prinstein’s duels with Alvin Kraenzlein were the highlight of many track meets at the turn of the century and they met three times in major meets in 1900. Prinstein opened with a new world record of 24-7¼ (7.50) at the Penn Relays, then Kraenzlein took the IC4A title and the Olympic gold medal, although that victory engendered considerable ill feeling between the two athletes. At the end of the qualifying round Prinstein held a narrow lead and he then declined to compete in the final because it was held on a Sunday. Prinstein claimed that he had an agreement with Kraenzlein that neither would compete in the final, but either Kraenzlein did not know this, or he reneged on the promise, because he returned to the Racing Club de Paris on that Sunday and beat Prinstein’s mark by a mere quarter of an inch. It seems likely that Kraenzlein did, in fact, renege on an agreement – it is unlikely that Prinstein, a Jew, would refuse to compete on Sunday unless in support of his teammates’ stand. Prinstein’s response to Kraenzlein’s actions was to take action of his own. He punched Kraenzlein, but they were quickly pulled apart before a fight ensued. After graduating from Syracuse in 1901, Prinstein joined the Irish-American AC and at the 1904 Olympics became the only man to ever win the long jump and triple jump at the same Olympics. Besides his Olympic successes, Prinstein won the AAU long jump title four times between 1898 and 1906. Prinstein later practiced as a lawyer, but died rather young.
Personal Bests: 100 – unknown; 400 – 50.6 (1904); LJ – 24-7¼ (7.50) (1900); TJ – 47-5¾ (14.47) (1900).