With a bit of rest under its belt, Cornell women’s cross country will seek to build on the momentum of its season opener in Boston this weekend. In the team’s first meet in New York City on Sept. 8, the Red was sandwiched in second place between Columbia in first and Brown in third.
This weekend, the Red will travel to compete in Boston College’s Coast-to-Coast Battle in Beantown. While the meet will feature a myriad of teams, multiple Ivy squads will be in attendance, so the Red will focus on familiarizing itself with the year’s upcoming competition.
“It’s a really exciting meet … [since] there will be some nationally ranked teams there,” said senior tri-captain Erin McLaughlin. “It will be a great opportunity to see how we stack up.”
Among the strong competition will be nationally-ranked No. 7 Providence, No. 26 Indiana, No. 27 Georgetown and No. 28 Harvard, among others.
But the team feels this year’s line-up is especially promising. Senior leadership has complemented the talented incoming freshmen, giving Cornell strength across the board, and head coach Artie Smith ’96 is optimistic about the capabilities of his team.
“First of all, the senior leadership has been tremendous … they set an example both on the track, but also during training,” Smith said. “It’s also a nice bonus to see how well the freshman have done and to see the improvements of our sophomores.”
While the first meet was mostly about getting back in the swing of competing, this week’s running will be all about building off the first meet’s placing with additional competition ahead, McLaughlin said.
“This is the time to bust the rust off,” she said. “We are getting used to racing again. Every race contributes some valuable experience.”
Cornell has established several long-term goals for this upcoming season. First and foremost, the Red aims to push each other to be the best version of itself that it can be, seize upon every opportunity to keep improving its performance throughout the season and clinch the Ivy League title, as well as a spot in the national championships.
“During the first meet it was mostly about breaking that block,” Smith said. “This meet we have a little bit of a simpler objective: developing that running-edge. We need to concentrate on getting there … where we see ourselves in eight weeks, that is not going to happen overnight.
“We don’t want to be race-sharp when we start out” as to not get burnt out, Smith added. “It’s a long season.”
Following the competition in Boston, the team will have a short break before its next competition. The Red will be joining the men’s team on Friday, Sept. 29, at the Paul Short Run at Lehigh in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.