October 12, 2001

X-Country Heads to Pre-Nationals

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“I can’t recall a year when I was this excited about a team.”

Women’s cross country head coach Lou Duesing is ready to go, and so is his team. The men’s cross country runners are too. This weekend both of the Red’s cross country squads will run at the NCAA Pre-National Meet in Greenville, S.C. They can expect fierce competition from some of the best teams in the country as both Duesing and men’s head coach Nathan Taylor noted.

Eighteen of the top 25 men’s teams in the country will be there, as will 30 of the top 35 women’s teams. It will be, as Duesing puts it, “a very, very tough meet with very tough runners.”

Additionally, the race carries a certain amount of importance, especially for Cornell’s NCAA hopes. A good finish helps make the case for an at-large bid to the NCAA championships.

As Taylor said, “If you can beat the better teams, you have a leg up on them when it comes time to get a bid for the NCAA championship meet.”

The Red brings a balanced squad including seniors Max King and Dan Meehan, juniors Dan Dombroski Andy Boone, sophomore John Corley and freshmen John Goldsmith and Bruce Hyde.

Taylor hopes the team can run its way to a top 10 finish. According to him, the men would be unsatisfied if they finish anywhere below the top 15.

He wants the runners to take some control in the race.

“I want them to get out quickly but intelligently, to get in [a good] position.”

From there, it is all about staying tough. As Taylor says, the runners have to “push through the doubts and fears in the middle of the race.”

From then on, he knows they’ll finish strong.

The Red’s women’s cross country team hopes to hit the field with the pack attack, staying under control and running an evenly paced race. Senior Lena Mathews, juniors Christine Diaz and Carlin Gray, sophomores Jessica Parrott, Kate Boyles and Aliza Cohen and freshman Amber McGowan make up the team.

“I want all seven people to rise to the challenge,” Duesing said.

His philosophy on the race is simple. The girls just have to, “race how they’ve been racing, go out and have the sort of fun they’ve been having in practice and in races.

“This [meet] is to try and get us ready — to compete at Heps, regionals and hopefully nationals.”

The Cornell runners not in South Carolina will travel to Buffalo for the Buffalo Invitational.

The teams in Greenville go to compete against the best and to gain some more respect.

“We think that we are a nationally competitive team,” Duesing said.

The Red’s cross country teams are looking to prove that.

Archived article by Matt James