This weekend, Barton Hall will turn into championship arena as Cornell track and field hosts the Ivy League Indoor Heptagonal Championships. Here teams from all eight Ivy league schools will come together to duke it out for top prizes. The Red feels fully prepared to meet the challenge this weekend after strong seasons from both the men’s and women’s teams.
The top-ranked team in the Northeast, the Red men’s track and field team, has had a record breaking season. From senior Ben Raniero breaking the school record in the mile, to multiple IC4A qualifiers, it has been a fruitful season for the team and they are fully aware of all walls they have been breaking.
“If it’s to be, it’s up to me!” said head coach Adrian Durant. “Whether we win or lose it’s all in their hands. The team that shows up, competes, and leaves it all out there … the team that take care of all of the small details, is the team that will win this weekend.”
Sophomore Kelsey Nedd, an IC4A qualifier, expresses similar confidence about this weekend’s Ivy league battle
“Our team this year is probably one of the best overall Track Teams that Cornell has ever had,” Nedd said. “We have a lot of depth and good talent all across the board. Also because of our success, we have been projected to win this weekend and it has given us a certain level of confidence over our opponents.”
Not to be outdone, the women’s team has been having a big season of their own. Freshman Leena Morris broke the freshman record in the weight throw.
Seniors Udeme Akpaete, Kristen Niedrach and Caroline Kellner have been securing top finishes in their respective events, with Akpaete being the defending Ivy League champion in the 400. The women’s team walks into Barton Hall on Saturday with a lot to prove.
“All the work we have needed to do up until this point has been done, by our coaches, by our teammate and by ourselves,” Morris said. “The only thing we have control over now is our confidence, our effort and the positive attitude we should always have after a good competition.”
Head coach Rich Bowman also feels his team is fully equipped to rise to the occasion and wants his team to continue at the strong pace they have set.
“All they have to do is what they have been doing all year.” Bowman said. “We have a very strong team and if they can stay at the on track with what they have been doing we will have a very successful meet. Just do what they have done on the track or on the field, try not to change a thing.”
We can expect a lot of magic this weekend from both teams, whom have their eyes on the prize and are ready to protect their house.
“This is the time to run faster, jump and throw farther and just leave it all on the track,” Nedd said. “We can’t just say we’re one of the best teams out there, this is the part where we prove it. Go out there and make yourself proud, make your team proud and make Cornell proud. It’s time to defend our house and win this thing.”
“We get the chance to compete in a place that we call home and it really increases the level of comfort we compete with,” Morris added. “Not only do we get to compete for ourselves and each other, but we get to defend our home!”