The men’s and women’s cross-country teams went into the 61st Heptagonal Championships at Van Cortlandt Park with different expectations.
But, in competing against the rest of the Ivy League as well as Navy, they finished the meet with the exact same finish: fourth-place.
The men, scoring 104 points, finished behind Dartmouth (55), Princeton (88) and Columbia (94).
“It’s the best performance we’ve had [at Heps] in six years,” head coach Nathan Taylor assessed, adding that two of his best runners (Matt Gallagher and Dan Dombroski) had to miss the event due to injuries.
“Under the circumstances, I think we performed pretty well,” Taylor continued, adding, “We beat some high-quality teams.”
Geoff Van Fleet (25:13, 6th-place) and Max King (25:14, 7th) paced the Red on the five-mile course.
“I thought both of them raced really well,” Taylor said.
Colin Moore (25:36, 21st), Steve McClearn (25:59, 33rd) and John Corley (26:06, 37th) rounded out the Cornell scorers.
On the women’s side, Yale topped the charts with 47 points, followed by Brown (55), Columbia (62) and Cornell (105).
“I thought some people ran very well and improved significantly on the course,” said women’s head coach Lou Duesing, adding, “But others didn’t do quite as well.”
All three teams that finished ahead of Cornell had been ranked ahead of the Red in national polls and defeated it in head-to-head competition.
“I don’t like fourth, but when teams are that good, it’s some heavy competition,” Duesing continued.
Senior co-captains Meredith Freimer (18:16, 14th) and Kim Chatman (18:22, 18th) were the Red’s top scorers. Juniors Lena Matthews (18:31, 22nd) and Halle Watson (18:34, 25th), and sophomore Carlan Gray (18:35, 26th) also scored for Cornell.
Both teams have a couple of weeks off before heading back to Van Cortlandt for the NCAA Regional Qualifying meet.
Archived article by Shiva Nagaraj