The men’s and women’s track team began their spring breaks in fine form traveling to Long Beach, CA., and capturing the crown in the 13-team field at the Long Beach Track & Field Classic. It was the squads’ opening competitions of the spring campaign.
The tracksters shaded second place Weber State by a four point margin, 249-245. Hosts Long Beach State managed to solidify third best posting a score of 224.
On the strength of a standout effort from sophomore Katy Jay, the Red earned the top slot in four events. Jay won the 100 and 200-M sprints. It was an promising start to the spring season for last year’s most valuable freshman. Jay was indeed back in her element. The sophomore’s 24.51 second finish in the 200 broke her best time from last season (25.04) which had been good enough for fifth place in school history.
The veterans didn’t miss out on all the fun of being in the winner’s circle. Senior Danielle Brown earned bragging rights in the triple jump, and took third place in the long jump. Classmate Kim Chatman took home top honors in the 1,500-M competition with no great surprise. The anchor of the team’s middle-distance corps, she was crowned champion in the event at last year’s Heps.
Cornell did not fare as well in the 400-M event. USC’s Tiffany Bennett won the event. Freshman Ann Hansgate garnered the Red’s top finish in the race capturing seventh place. Hansgate is expected to improve Cornell’s middle-distance results. The rookie was a former Pennsylvania state champion and holds a personal best in the event that is nearly half a second better than Bennett’s showing.
Senior Karen Chastain collected three top five finishes in the shot put, hammer and discuss. The co-captain is off to another fine start in her glorious career on East Hill. She now owns a spot in the top three in all of her throwing events in Cornell history. Last year, she won the discuss at the Heps, and Chastain now appears poised to continue breaking records.
Freshman Lauren Kildruf, who knows all about records, earned a third best in the high jump falling short of Tayyiba Haneef of Long Beach State. Kildruf was the top high jumper last season in the New York state high school circuit. Senior Sonya Negriff was the top finisher for Cornell in the pole vault with a third place effort.
The story line for the men was quite similar to that of the women. Weber State again finished second to the Red, but this time Cornell held a larger margin of victory. The tracksters held an advantage of over 30 points.
Cornell’s strongest showing came in the jumping events where it won in all four categories. After battling back from injury in the winter campaign of his junior year, senior Pete Ippel posted solid efforts. He continued his excellence leading Cornell to victory in the high jump. Junior Scott Lundy is poised to shatter school pole vaulting records and took the first step in that direction winning the event with a 15-11 effort. Rounding out the corps of top finishers was a senior-freshman duo. Rookie Tyler Kuane claimed the top prize in the triple jump, while veteran Nick Senter placed first in the long jump.
The Red appeared thinnest in the short spring events. The best finish it could muster was 7th courtesy of freshmen Rahim Wooley in the 100-M and Mike Nanaszko in the 400-M effort.
The squad also picked up the top slot in two other events. After a solid campaign on the soccer field in the fall, sophomore Scott Benowicz began the spring season picking up top honors in the javelin competition with a heave of 199-M. Last season, he broke the school record for rookies in the event and barely missed qualifying for the world junior team. Junior Max Kind rose to the top of the competition in the steeplechase.
Cornell also garnered five second and one third place finishes. As with the women, host Long Beach State wound up the third seed with a score of 205.
Last Saturday, both team’s followed up the strong showing by picking up first prizes at the UC-Irvine Spring Break Invitational.
Utah State, with 272 points was the next closet challenger to the Red’s 290.
Cornell took home the top prize in three of the events — steeplechase, hammer throw and pole vault.
The Red boasted six second place efforts to complement the trio of winners.
Freshman John Corley, a product of the highly-touted track program at St. Anthony’s high school took the crown in the 3,000-M steeplechase. Corley was not the only new comer who was invited into the winner’s circle. Rookie Travis Offner took home top prize in the pole vault. A qualifier for last year’s junior nationals, he is expected to make a strong impact in the vault for Cornell. Junior Jeremy Blanchet trumped the competition in the hammer throw, rounding out the victors for the Red.
The women outclassed second best Minnesota en route to a similar result by their male counterparts. Cornell won three events led again by Jay, who continued her solid efforts in the 100-M dash. She won the event with a time of 12.12, but was edged out in the 200-M event by Utah State’s Danielle Kot. Brown repeated her success from the Long Beach tournament, winning the triple jump. A former state cross country champion, freshman Jessica Parrot won the 3,000-M run finishing in 10:07.86.
Archived article by Gary Schueller