For the top runners on the men’s and women’s cross-country teams, it will be a chance to rest. For the less experienced and younger runners, it will be a chance to move into the spotlight. But for all runners on both squads, tomorrow’s Reif Memorial Run will be a chance to reflect on a past Cornell cross-country family member whose life was taken prematurely.
John Reif ’86 was training for the triathlon in 1987 when he was involved in a fatal collision with a truck. For the last 15 years, the Reif Memorial Run has honored him.
“He was not the top runner,” women’s head coach Lou Duesing said of Reif. “But he was always there, he was a great teammate and he was consistently a top-five runner.”
Since the Heptagonal Championships take place next weekend, Duesing and men’s head coach Nathan Taylor will be resting their best runners.
“We want to give them this week for preparation for the Heps,” Taylor said. “A race right now would get in the way.”
As a result, the meet will offer runners who have not necessarily been at the head of the pack so far this season to have their day in the sun.
“This is their chance to shine,” said Duesing.
“It gives them a chance to be up in front and maybe win the race,” Taylor added, saying that he expects the meet to be competive despite the notable absences.
In addition, for runners who have not yet locked up their spots at Heps, tomorrow’s race presents the final opportunity to impress their coaches.
“People are racing for something,” Duesin stated.
As for those who have already earned a trip to Heps, they may watch the action tomorrow, but they certainly won’t be a part of it.
“They’re training right through it,” Taylor said. “It’s a matter of fine-tuning.”
Archived article by Shiva Nagaraj