October 20, 2000

Cross Country Competes at Home

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After taking part, along with 56 other schools, last weekend the pre-national meet in Ames, Iowa, the Cornell men’s and women’s cross-country crews transition to the cozier environment of the Reif Memorial race today.

Aside from the Red, Hamilton College and Central Connecticut will also be competing at the meet.

The race serves to commemorate the death of John Reif ’85, a member of the cross-country team who died while training for a triathlon in 1985.

Because the race is scheduled a week before the Heptagonal Championships, several members of both the men’s and women’s teams will not be competing.

“This is an off-weekend for the top runners,” said women’s head coach Lou Duesing, in reference to his choice to sit most of the runners expected to run at Heps.

“People are kind of glad they’re not racing,” he continued. “They’ve raced two weeks in a row [already].”

On the women’s side, Melanie Vanderhoof, Jessica Hall, Larissa Bifano, Stephanie Sharp, Alison DiMartino, Theresea Bifano, and Katherine Betzowski are scheduled to compete.

Men’s head coach Nathan Taylor could not be reached for comment.

In all, Duesing expects to have between eight and 10 runners entered in the race.

Although about 17 women will be traveling to Heps, one of them may be selected from today’s group.

“Every year, someone who runs at [Reif] will run in Heps,” Duesing said.

Nonetheless, Duesing expects those who are running today to take full advantage.

“When you have a race opportunity, you have to take the best advantage of that opportunity,” he said, adding, “For virtually all of these people [running], it’s their last race [of the season].

“They have to do the best they can to go out in style.”

For all those not racing today, however, it’s a chance to catch a breather before the postseason kicks off at Heps.

“I really like how they are [right now],” said Duesing, in reference to the Red’s morale. “They’re having fun. They’re upbeat. They’re really looking forward to Heps.”

Archived article by Shiva Nagaraj