It’s still early, but people are beginning to get excited about Cornell cross country. Both the men’s and women’s teams are coming off impressive victories over Army and Marist last weekend, and are expecting even more out their meets at Fordham this week.
After its landslide victory, the women’s team is receiving a lift as its two All-Ivy League runners from a year ago, senior co-captains Meredith Freimer and Kim Chatman, return to run their first races of the season. They did not run last week, according to women’s head coach Lou Duesing, because “it was too early. I wanted them to wait a week before racing.”
The Red hopes to build on its commanding victory last week, though it will be a difficult win to top. Even in the absence of Freimer and Chatman, Cornell was dominant. Three Cornell runners, Jessica Parrot, Carlan Gray, and Lena Matthews grabbed the top three spots, as the team coasted to victory.
The depth of the team was key to the victory, and will be key for the season. Duesing notes the increase in depth as something the team has lacked in recent years, and that this will help it as it marches toward the Heptagonal Conference Championships on October 27th.
This week, however, poses more challenges for the women’s team. It is part of a nine team field that includes Yale and Columbia.
Duesing says that the presence of these conference rivals is significant.
“Columbia has a good young team,” he said. “And Yale has very much improved. With Yale and Columbia there, it will make for a competitive meet.”
The men’s team sees this weekend’s meet as more of a test for itself, rather than a competition. Coach Nathan Taylor stressed two major aspects of this week’s meet. The first is that the course meet will also be the stage for the league championships. The second is that it is imperataive that the team worries about improving.
The Red worked out very hard this week.
“I’m expecting in spite of a hard week of training and an especially hard workout today, the group will respond,” Taylor noted.
The victories of last week were important for the postseason prospects of the team.
Taylor said that last week’s victory, “was a stepping stone to getting an NCAA bid.”
The defeat of Army made it possible for Cornell to move up to 4th place in the Northeast region.
Taylor declined to name individual runners whom he expected to preform up to expectations, but he wanted every runner to, “improve on those things that hold them back.”
Though it is still early in the season, both the men’s and women’s teams recognize the significance of this week’s meet.
— Josh Mendelsohn
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