February 20, 2013

TRACK AND FIELD | Track Heads to Heps in Hopes of Title

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After months of preparation, the men’s and women’s track and field teams will compete in the Heps Finals this weekend at Harvard and attempt to reclaim the indoor Heps track and field title for the first time since 2009.Men’s head coach Nathan Taylor is confident in his team’s ability to compete and score points. “I think every team will come in with a few bumps and bruises — some guys who aren’t 100 percent,” he said. “I think we’re more prepared than we have been in a few years. I have a lot of respect for our competition, but I think that we’re one of a few teams [in which] every [athlete] who goes to the meet has a chance of scoring points.” In addition to a team win, some of the Red’s athletes are seeking excellent individual performances. Junior Steven Bell is looking to become a three-time Heps champion in the long jump, and senior co-captain JD Adarquah is looking to take back the 60-meter crown he won as a sophomore. Both Junior Montez Blair and sophomore Stephen Mozia finished second in the high jump and shot put last year, respectively, and they are both seeking their first Heps titles. Adarquah said although the team is confident, it must come out with vengeance because it did not win the championship last year. “I think we have to have a chip on our shoulder,” he said. “Most people feel that the last two years we should have won, but we didn’t. We have to compete with a chip on our shoulder, because we feel like we have unfinished business.” Women’s head coach Rich Bowman said he feels secure about his team’s health and is eager to see the squad compete against the best of the Ivy League. “We’re absolutely healthy,” he said. “We’re going into the meet without those sort of things nagging at us. We like our chances. There are four fantastic women’s teams vying for the title this year, and we think we’re one of them. If we don’t get overhyped and do what we need to do, we have a great chance.” Senior co-captain Victoria Imbessi is the defending champion in the shot put and is seeking to finish her career on top of the event. Junior Angelique Parnell finished in fourth place at last year’s indoor finals and is aiming for her first Heps title as an individual. The Red’s athletes believe they are well-prepared for the weekend.“Without a doubt. We train really, really hard,” Senior co-captain Ailish Hanly said. “We’ve been working really hard throughout the season. I think we’re all really strong and fit. Having that base of strength and fitness, everyone will be ready to compete this weekend.”Adarquah also believes the men’s team is ready. He pointed to the discipline that the Red has shown all season in its training.“We’ve been training since August,” he said. “Guys came ready with the same attitude, guys have been training and in the weight room. As a whole, I think we’re very ready.” Bowman added that the Cornell athletes must focus solely on what they can do, because they are not able to control what the opposition does. “We don’t really think about the competition,” he said. “There’s nothing we can do to affect what they do. We’re just going to stay within our means and hit our goals, and in the end I think we’ll be very happy on Sunday night.” According to Taylor, in order to win, the Red show extra motivation.“I think that the team that fights for every single point, every single place, every single centimeter and every single hundredth of a second is going to win,” he said. “That’s what everyone is going to be focused on.”

Original Author: Juan Carlos Toledo

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