Women’s track head coach Lou Duesing is one happy man.
And after watching his crew scorch visiting Penn 93-52 in a performance that saw 12 ECAC qualifying efforts and three freshman garnering bids to the junior nationals, it’s not hard to see why his excitement would be palpable.
The Red began its home campaign in stellar form. As has been the hallmark of the program throughout Duesing’s 11-year tenure, it was depth and balance across events that paced the team to success.
“We stress the fact that no one event is more important than the next,” the coach observed, adding that his goal was to create a “real team.”
Cornell’s triumvirate of senior Karen Chastain, sophomore Sarah Herskee and junior Emily Eigel set the tone for the day in the shot put competition, claiming the top three spots as each posted seasonal bests en route to qualifying for the ECACs.
“It really rocked our squad up. The effect of what they did was tremendous,” an exuberant Duesing praised.
The 4×100 relay, a staple for the team, had some doubt cast on it with standout sophomore Katy Jay sidelined from the event thanks to a tender hamstring. Freshman Joannah Garrity assumed the spot vacated by Jay and not only paced the Red to victory but also gained an ECAC bid in the effort.
Jay raced in and won the 400 meter race. She currently sits atop the Ivy League leader board in the 100, 200 and 400 meter categories.
Freshman Merili Mosley raised some eyebrows in her second place showing in the 100 hurdles. The rookie tied both freshman and Cornell records in the event. Adding to those accolades, she qualified for junior nationals.
Two other rookies, Stephanie Anderson (1,500 meter) and Mariann Totino (3,000 meter), will be joining Mosley at the junior nationals. Cornell owned both of those events. In the 1,500, the squad showed its prowess by claiming seven of the top eight spots. Similarly, 11 of the best 12 in the 3,000 meter donned carnelian and white.
The distribution of talented youth and strong veteran leadership has continued to propel the team.
“Our seniors take pressure off the young kids, but everyone is motivated by the seniors,” Duesing explained.
Chastain and classmate Danielle Brown certainly fit the description of inspiring seniors Saturday. Chastain took the top slot in the hammer throw, shot put and discus while Brown won the triple jump.
The Red will need to bring every ounce of that intensity next weekend to the Penn Relays, the storied get-together that features the most highly touted teams from around the nation.
The men did not fare as well as their female counterparts. Cornell fell 86–77 after succumbing in the 4×400 meter relay.
The Red managed to prove victorious in only six events but there were several bright spots.
Cornell proved strongest in the middle distance races with junior Max King and sophomore Daryn Johnson taking the top spot in the 1,500 and 3,000 meter races, respectively.
The Red also captured the 4×100 relay.
Archived article by Gary Schueller