With a big weekend of meets across the northeast, the Cornell women’s track and field team looked to begin their outdoor season championship campaign with a string of meets leading to this season’s main event. The Red did not disappoint. All three squads competed with their eyes on the prize and showcased strong results.
“These are hard weekends when we are trying to get quality efforts from different event groups,” said head coach Rich Bowman. “These events were opportunities for people to do their best despite the weather. The team continues to do great things as we continue to push forward.”
At the Upstate Challenge, hosted in Cornell’s very own backyard, a contingency of Red athletes looked to protect their house. At the event, Cornell was able to secure wins in 10 events along with three qualifiers for ECAC.
From sophomore Taylor Baker’s win in the hammer throw, senior Hilary Holmes’ win in the long jump and freshman Briar Brumley’s win in the 1500, the team was able to win across all sections of the competition.
A squad from Cornell also brought their talents to Virginia to compete in the National Caliber Invitational. Fighting against a very competitive field, the team came in expecting stiff competition and was able to put up strong results. The highlight of the meet includes sophomore Taylor Radoslav, who was able to finish fifth in the 400m hurdles, a fifth place finish in the 4×100 relay and ECAC qualifiers in the distance and sprints.
“We took a group of 10 to Virginia,” Bowman said. “I am very excited about the exposure we were able to get at this invite.”
Elite high jumpers from the Red also competed with top notch competition at Princeton in the Larry Ellis Invitational. Here, sophomore Katie Gulbrandsen and senior Stephanie Izard finished in third and 15th place, respectively.
For the team, it is all about putting up great results despite minor challenges.
“This weekend was an interesting meet we had teammates all over competing, so we had ladies crushing their events in different states,” said sophomore thrower Taylor Drayton. “Saturday started out super chilly and grey, so it was not the ideal weather. But it is Ithaca so we never know what the weather will be like or how long it will stay that way. Ithaca graced us later that day with some sunshine and warmth which I think helped.”
Drayton finished second, setting a personal record in discus.
As classes are coming to an end and the weather is improving, this is an exciting time to be on the Cornell women’s track and field team.
“Throwing this time of year or in Ithaca in general can be challenging but I love the possibilities,” Drayton said. “It keeps practices exciting. It can be challenging working with unpredictable weather this time of year, but outdoor season does have the possibility of good weather.”
Bowman noted how championships are creeping up on the team.
“We are getting closer to championships,” Bowman said. “Everyone has been working very hard. Now it is fun as we are trying to get everyone polished. All the hard work is starting to pay off.”
Up next for the Red is the historic Penn Relays. This is one of the biggest track and field events in the world and the team will be competing against athletes from many countries.
The Red will also be hosting the Big Red Invitational in their own backyard on May 1.