Rock legend Joe Walsh once said, “Life’s been good to me so far.” For the Red women, life is good. Over the past three weeks the team has won another Heptagonal championship and scored a record number of points in the ECAC championship. The honors continued this week when head coach Lou Duesing, a Joe Walsh fan, was named Northeastern Region Indoor Coach of the Year. While the Northeast remains locked in winter, the Red will escape to Southern California to warm up and start its outdoor campaign.
“We’re not really worried about the scores,” Duesing said. “We just want to get out and get acclimated, we haven’t run on an outdoor track yet. By in large this is the first time for the intermediate hurdles, the steeplechase, and the 4×100 — [it] will be an adventure. There are a lot of throwing events like the javelin, discus, and the hammer where people just haven’t been able to get out — they’ve been playing in the mud.”
Representing the Red in these additional events will be some old and new faces. In the intermediate hurdles, junior Shonda Brown and senior Hannah Garrity will lead the way. Both hold top school performances in the event and, after the busy indoor season, should be ready to move outdoors. The steeplechase, a track oddity, requires participants to clear 28 three-foot hurdles, cross seven 10-foot-long water hazards, and cover a total of 3000 meters. The event demands a high amount of skill and training, and the Red will turn to junior Alyssa Simon and senior Jessica Parrott to score valuable points. The 4×100 relay team returns three quarters of its record-holding squad — senior Merili Mosley, Shonda Brown, and sophomore Jan Seale. This weekend will feature the return of Mosley from an injury that sidelined her during the indoor season.
Traveling with the women to the west coast will be the men. Extra events in outdoor meets will allow different members of the team to see some action. Senior Chris Friedrich and sophomore Derrick Bass are ready to flex their muscle in the javelin. Both have had performances placing among the elite in Cornell history. Junior Emory Mort will represent the team in the steeplechase. Last year at the Outdoor Heps, he placed sixth and qualified for the NCAA regionals. His experience will be an asset for the Red. In the 400 hurdles sophomore Greg Simonds will try to continue his success. His personal best in that event, which he achieved at Heps last year, is Cornell’s 10th best all-time.
The trip will consist of two meets. First the Red appears at UC-Irvine, and then the following weekend at UC-San Diego. The opponents will all be from the west coast, save one — Yale. “At the Irvine meet we will be against Air Force, UC-Irvine, and Yale,” Duesing said. “Ever since I’ve been here we’ve gone to UC-Irvine. The Yale people didn’t go until two years ago when they decided to come since things seemed to work out so well for Cornell.”