When Cornell women’s cross-country head coach Lou Duesing found out that his squad had found its way into the recently released Demetra poll, he was initially taken aback. Not because the news came as a shock, but more because he doesn’t care much for rankings
“The only poll that counts is what happens at the end of the year,” Duesing remarked, referring to the NCAA competition. “All of those rankings are 100% subjective.”
But nonetheless, after a weekend that saw his club place second at the Paul Short Run in Bethlehem, Pa., Duesing’s surprise quickly melted away.
“I’ll take it,” he laughed, once told that his team was ranked 21st nationally.
Racing 6000 meters for the first time this season, Cornell’s top-five formed a tightly-knit pack, separated by only 16 seconds.
Seniors Kim Chatman (21:49) and Meredith Freimer (21:52) paced the Red coming in 12th and 13th place, respectively, just ahead of junior Halle Watson (21:56, 17th) freshman Jessica Parrott (21:58, 18th) and junior Lena Matthews (22:05, 21st).
Villanova’s 58 points earned the Wildcats first out of the 34-team field. The Red tallied 81 points.
“I don’t feel too shabby finishing behind a team like Villanova,” Freimer asserted, bearing in mind the Wildcats’ 13th-ranking.
“We acquitted ourselves very well against top-flight competition,” Duesing said, pointing out that his squad defeated Michigan State and Toledo, both expected to reach the NCAAs.
Parrott flew through the first mile marker a couple of seconds in front of the rest of the Red, but through the remainder of the race, all five scorers stayed together.
“Jessica got out very well, and [the other runners] did a good job of letting her get away,” Duesing explained.
“It’s awesome,” Parrott commented on the strategy of staying together as a pack.
Not to be left out, the men also made the Demetra poll, cozying up to the 28th position, following its own second-place finish at the Paul Short competition.
“I think we ran a fairly solid race,” said men’s head coach Nathan Taylor, who cited junior Max King and freshman John Corley for their “exceptional performances.”
King — first on the Red —