It’s not often that any teams from Cornell have the chance to take on schools from the nation’s elite athletic conferences. But that’s just what some members of the track & field team will be doing this weekend when they attend the Sea Ray Relays in Knoxville, Tenn.
Reputed to be one of the most competitive meets on the collegiate circuit, the event will field teams from the SEC, Big Ten and Big 12.
“This meet has reaped great benefits for us [in the past],” said women’s head coach Lou Duesing. “We get out of the Northeast and run against some of the top teams in the nation. People can test themselves.”
Because each school is allotted a limited number of entries, the Red will only be taking part of its contingent to Tennessee. The remainder of the squad will traveling to New York City for the Columbia Invitational.
“It’s such a tough meet to get your individuals into,” Duesing said about the Sea Ray Relays. “I’m very disappointed we’re unable to take more people.”
Senior Danielle Brown leads the Cornell women into action this weekend, and may compete in both the triple and long jumps. In the 1500, classmate Kim Chatman and junior Lena Matthews will be the Red’s representatives while senior Meredith Freimer and freshman Ann Hansgate will run the 3000.
Duesing will also be taking a trio of relay teams, in the 4×400, 4×100 and distance medley.
Aside from just getting a taste of a national-class meet, the Sea Ray Relays present Cornell with another opportunity.
“It’s the last chance to get a [qualifying] time to put us into the [Championship Races] at Penn Relays,” Duesing explained.
On the men’s side, freshman Steve Corley and junior Max King will both enter the steeplechase. In the field events, senior Pete Ippel (high jump), junior Jeremy Blanchet (hammer), freshman Tyler Kaune and senior Nick Senter (long jump), and junior Scott Lundy and freshman Travis Offner (pole vault) will also be making the trip to Dixieland.
Head coach Nathan Taylor has also scheduled his distance medley to race.
“These guys are starting to raise their expectations,” Taylor said.
Although neither Duesing nor Taylor can take all their athletes to Sea Rays, both expect the Columbia Invitational to also be very competitive.
“Fields are going to be full and people are going have competitive events,” Duesing said.
An added bonus is that several Ivy League teams — most likely Harvard, Dartmouth, and Yale — will make an appearance at Columbia.
Remarked Taylor, “It’ll be good to see what they look like.”
Archived article by Shiva Nagaraj