November 16, 2001

X-Country Heads to Nationals

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It is going to be a busy few days for the Cornell men’s and women’s cross-country teams. While some members of the men’s and women’s teams will be competing tomorrow in the Bronx’s Van Cortland Park at the ECAC and IC4A championships respectively, senior Max King will join the eight members of the women’s team at the NCAA National championship meet hosted by Furman University in Greensville, South Carolina on Monday.

After finishing second in the Heptagonal last month and earning All-Ivy honors for the second consecutive year, King earned a place on the starting line at nationals with a seventh place finish at the Northeast Regional race last weekend. The woman’s team’s successful season, including a second-place showing at Heptagonals and all-regional honors besstowed upon three of its runners, was rewarded with an at-large bid to the National Championships.

Although this will be King’s second trip to nationals, the men’s team missed the NCAA championship for the ninth straight year. Junior Barry Kahn, whose impressive 26th place showing at Heptagonals left him in prime positioning for a strong showing at tomorrow’s IC4A’s, lamented, “We’d all much rather be at nationals, running with and supporting Max, but we’re going to go down to Van Cortland, and just run as hard as we can. Its a tough course, but hopefully we’ll all do well.”

The women’s team however hasn’t been higher since placing fourth in the nation 10 years ago. After starting the season with dominating performances against teams such as Army and Marist, coach Lou Doesing’s women travelled to Furman, where they affirmed their confident feelings, finishing eighth among a strong pack schools. After this shot of confidence, the girls, led by senior Lena Matthews, and a group of determined underclassmen, including sophomore Jessica Parrot and freshman standouts Amber McGown and Kate Boyles, went on to surprise their coach and the rest of the Northeast with impressive showings at meets throughout October and the first few weeks of November.

The unexpected success of the underclassmen stars leaves many wondering if Cornell’s women are a little too wet behind the ears to enjoy the same type of success at Furman that they have recently enjoyed. Coach Doesing however has a feeling that his team’s success, while aided by his underclassmen, will not be effeceted by the pressure of the NCAAs, declairing, “All season long no one person has established themselves as our one star. Last week only 25 seconds seperated everyone. We’re not expecting to do it with one runner, we’re going to do it with seven. And the younger girls, the fact that they ran as tough as they did last weekend shows me that they are ready. I was impressed at how they showed maturity beyond their years. Thats a great sign for us at nationals.”

With the woman’s team running on all cylanders, and Max King’s experience and strong performances at recent national events, the next few days will not only be busy for Cornell runners, they will probably be rewarding.

Archived article by Andrew Milano