Women’s head coach Lou Duesing is so fired up about the upcoming indoor track & field season that he’s willing to skip the track coaches convention in order to witness his Red’s first competition at the Cornell Relays on December 2nd.
“I’m really looking forward to the first meet of the season,” he said, undoubtedly eager to see whether the squad is ready to improve on its third-place finish at Heps last year.
Returning 10 Heps titleists or school-record holders, the Red appears to have not only lost little in the way of graduation but also consolidated the balance that characterized it last season.
Although distance queen Emily Germano ’00 and sprint champion Katherine Regan ’00 are gone, Duesing’s squad still has the key components in place across the board to rival the Browns and Harvards that will undoubtedly put up a hefty challenge for the Heps crown.
Duesing will concede that the longer sprints will “be a mystery,” but sophomores Katy Jay and Caitlin Ramsey seem to have the short sprints and hurdles wrapped up. Jay, an All-Ivy second-team selection, should pace the Red in the 100 and 200, while Ramsey set the freshman record in the 100 meter hurdles (14.58)
Although the distance crew is currently occupied with cross-country and will not be able to compete until January, it nonetheless should be a consistent source of points for the Red. Last year, the distance medley team just missed qualifying for nationals, and is expected to be even stronger. Seniors Kim Chatman and Meredith Freimer have shown the greatest range among the corps, having raced all events between 800 and 3000 meters. Chatman is a three-time All-Ivy and All-East star and has won the 1500 meters at Heps. Classmate Grace Nwoku, third at last year’s outdoor Heps in the 800 will also likely be one of the linchpins of the distance squad.
Having qualified for nationals last year, Danielle Brown is the mainstay of the leaping corps, specializing in the long and triple jumps. She was runner-up in the indoor Heps triple jump last season. In the pole vault, Jamie Reed enters her second year of competition as the school-record holder, having jumped 11-5 last year.
The weight events at Cornell in recent memory at least have been synonymous with Karen Chastain. She scored at Heps last year in both the shot put and 20-pound weight. Junior Emily Eigel has also shown that she will be a formidable presence this season, having taken fifth at Heps in the weight throw
With the Heps title being the ultimate goal, Duesing has assembled a crew that has the ability to grab points in every area.
“If you’re not scoring points in all of the events, you’re really shut out,” he explained. “We never want to become Middle-Distance U. or Throws U. We really work hard at having a full track team.”
Having finished behind the Bears and the Crimson last year at Heps, the Red can expect to duel that duo once again when the event rolls around in late February in Cambridge.
“It’s going to be the same cast of characters,” Duesing said, adding, “I’ve always felt that if you can be in the top-five you can be in the top-three, and if you can be in the top-three then you can win it.”
Archived article by Shiva Nagaraj