A warning needs to be issued for the sidewalks, streets and roads in Ithaca and surrounding areas.
A pack of Cornell men has been spotted running at an amazing speed up, down, and all around this hilly campus. These men wear coordinated outfits and run close together. Their danger lies in that they feed off each other, increasing the speed of this hurling throng.
Before this gets out of hand, note that these men comprise the Cornell cross country team. The Big Red runners are in the midst of a grueling training season, and their practices take them places even the most adventurous Cornellians don’t dare to go.
The men’s team is coming off its best NCAA district finish, placing fifth at the District 1 Regional Championships in Boston last fall. It also went 4-0 in duel meets.
Head coach Nathan Taylor said, “Last season’s achievements increased our level of expectation. We enjoyed a small taste of success, and are looking for more.”
Although the Red graduated two of its top eight runners, the team maintains a strong bond led by a large group of upperclassmen.
Taylor remarked, “We have a core of six solid guys, and I feel other teams in the league graduated more talent.”
The upcoming season has some tough duel meets and invitationals, but the team is focusing on the Heptagonal Championships and the Regional Meet.
Senior captain Colin Moore stated, “Our goal is to finish at least third at Regions, which would send us to Nationals.”
The Big Red is ready to focus on running, after adjusting to a new coach last season.
Moore noted, “We are a year wiser and are used to Taylor’s training style.”
Coaches and runners were both impressed by the intensive off-season training. Several members of the team trained together this summer, which united the team’s spirit. Upon the group’s return to Ithaca, it has had the joy of two-a-day practices, conquering the hills in intense heat.
“Training in Ithaca makes our team physically stronger, but the advantage really lies in that the terrain makes us mentally tougher,” Taylor claimed.
Moore added, “This area allows us to have strength-based workouts, which definitely makes us more durable.”
Moore, along with fellow senior Geoff King and fifth-year senior Wyeth Koppenhaver are the team leaders. The strong junior class will add experience through Max King, Dan Meehan and Geoff Van Fleet. Other notable Big Red runners to look out for are sophomores Matt Gallagher and Dan Dombrowski, and freshman John Corley.
The early meets may or may not be an indication of how the season will turn out, but Taylor noted, “We are faster in the pre-season than ever before, which means we are capable of doing much more.”
Dartmouth and Princeton look again to be the main Ivy competition, as both are ranked in the top-20 in the country. Each school suffered large graduating hits, but the teams are deep and had strong recruiting years.
So, when trudging around campus, be on the look-out for a speeding pack of red and white flash by. Just make sure to get out of its way.
Archived article by Cammy Kandiko