It was another strong weekend showing for the Red, building on a journey to reclaim the Heps title. The men’s and women’s track and field teams competed at the Terrier Invite, a meet hosted by Boston University. Both Cornell teams saw a new school record set; the men’s team had 18 IC4A qualifying marks, while the women’s team had 17 ECAC qualifiers.
Men’s head coach Nathan Taylor spoke about some of the men’s highlights during the weekend at B.U.
“I think [that] in a general sense it went really well,” he said. “We had some terrific performances. The highlights of the meet were Stephen Mozia in the shot put. Nick Wade and John Schilkowsky ran some great times in the mile. [Bruno Hortelano set] a school record in the 200. Andy Arnold ran the eighth fastest time ever run by a Cornell athlete in the 3000.”
BU is home to a banked track, which was one of the things that many athletes were looking forward to about the Terrier Invite. According to women’s head coach Rich Bowman, the Red took full advantage of the track.
“Rachel Sorna broke a school record in the 5000, and the whole distance group was so spectacular. The 3000 was also very great. [Ebolutalese Airewele] just missed the school record in the 400,” Bowman said. “We had a really great group of 800 runners. The 4×400 ran their best time of the season.”
With the eventual goal being to win the Heps title, Bowman feels that his team is not where it should be, but is improving.
“We’re getting better every week,” he said. “The team absolutely took advantage of the opportunity. We’re still not there [and are] a month away from the [Heps], but each week we’re getting better.”
Taylor added that improving as an individual really comes down to focusing on specific areas.
“In track, you’re constantly working on the components to improve,” he said. “The competition exposes your vulnerabilities. Some people have technical vulnerabilities, while others might find that they have fitness or condition vulnerabilities. We want to go into every meet swinging.”
Next on the schedule for the Red is the Sykes-Sabock Challenge, a meet hosted at Penn State, which will give the Red an opportunity to see more rigorous competition.
“[Sykes-Sabock] is a scored meet,” Bowman said. “So the athletes that go are going to be competing for points. It’ll give us some exposure to some very good quality competition.”
The Red is going to split the squad, however, with some athletes competing at Ithaca College.
“This weekend, all the top guys are going to be going to Penn State,” Taylor said. “That’ll be a good meet. The other kids who need more reps will be at Ithaca College.”
In speaking about the process of an entire season building to the eventual Heps meet, Taylor felt positive about Cornell’s performance to date.
“For a lot of kids it’s another opportunity to perform at full speed,” Taylor said. “The point is [to get to a place where] good performance becomes more predictable and less by chance.”
Bowman also had positive things to say about the future.
“I think overall we’re really pleased with the direction the program is going,” Bowman added. “It’s great to see that development happened over the course of the season.”
With the Red’s sight set on the Heps, Bowman said what all his athletes must be feeling: “the charge is on.”