September 30, 2014

CROSS COUNTRY | Women Take First at Harry F. Anderson Invite Saturday

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By ARIEL COOPER

When freshman Leah Triller fell midway through the Harry F. Anderson Invitational in Rochester on Saturday, she did what any dedicated sportswoman would do — kept on running. Triller came out with a strong 20th place finish despite her minor injury. The women’s cross country team ultimately won the meet.

“[Triller] ran really well for someone who encountered some adversity during the race,” junior Meghan McCormick said.

McCormick ran a great race of her own in Rochester, finishing third out of a very large field.

“I was very proud of her because she ran very assertively and was rewarded with really an excellent third place overall finish in a field that had nearly 270 runners, so that was really good,” women’s head coach Artie Smith said.

The day before the Anderson Invitational, the Red also attended the Boston College Invitational. The No. 5 women’s team finished up ninth with a record-breaking performance by sophomore Taylor Spillane.

“Taylor Spillane placed fifth out of over 200 runners in Boston. That was really a terrific performance,” Smith said. “She acquitted herself with great high marks against some of the very best individual runners in the country. The time that she ran is the fastest ever run by a Cornell woman on that course and we’ve been competing at that course for decades.”

The previous record had been set by Rachel Sorna ’14, a five-time All-American.

Spillane’s new record came right on the heels of an impressive performance at the Army meet two weeks ago, where she placed first. Her successes so far this season have helped her to become a role model for the squad’s freshmen.

“I think it gives them the opportunity to dream as big as they want because anything can happen at whatever age,” she said.

The No. 8 men’s cross country team also had a strong showing this weekend, taking eighth place in Boston and second place in Rochester. Senior tri-captain David Melly, who was the Red’s leading runner with a 24th place finish in Boston, said he was impressed with the freshmen’s efforts in the second race of their collegiate careers.

“They did a great job,” he said. “[Freshman] Dom [DeLuca] was fearless about getting right up in the front of the pack in the middle of a huge race with 200 plus people in it which really shows significant guts and maturity as a runner.”

Highlights of the Rochester meet for the men included a solid performance by freshman Sam Chauvin, who finished third.

“He’s really showing that he can be a force to be reckoned with already just at the start of his career,” men’s coach Zeb Lang said of Chauvin.

Freshman Leah Triller showed her dedication to the squad when she kept on running after falling midway through the meet. (CONNOR ARCHARD / SUN SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY EDITOR).

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