At the most important meet for the men’s and women’s cross-country teams, lightning struck twice. During the NCAA national meet in Greenville, S.C., on Nov. 19., not only did senior Max King lose his shoe at the start of the race and fail to complete it, but sophomore Kate Boyles was fighting illness and had to be wheeled away on a cart before the end of the race due to dehydration.
Needless to say, neither team had as successful a performance as it expected.
“It’s certainly disappointing,” said men’s head coach Nathan Taylor. “Unfortunately, these things happen.”
King, who had aspirations of earning All-American status going into the race, dropped his shoe just a half-mile from the starting line. And though he continued until the fourth mile, he had to drop out well before the finish line.
The race was won by Boaz Chboiywo of Eastern Michigan, and Colorado was the top men’s team.
With Boyles unable to complete the women’s race, the Red could only manage 30th place in a 31-team field.
“I feel really bad for Kate,” women’s head coach Lou Duesing said. “She was unlucky. That was lousy.”
Picking up the slack for the women were sophomore Jessica Parrott (22:36, 124th place), junior Christine Diaz (22:43, 134th), and freshman Kari Haus (22:43, 136th) — all of whom, according to Duesing, “ran very, very well.”
Both Parrott and Diaz easily topped their times from the pre-national meet earlier this season, which was also held in Greenville.
However, as Duesing added, “When Parrott [who typically finishes fifth for the team] is your number one runner, you know that other people aren’t running well.”
He was hinting at junior Carlan Gray (22:38, 127th), senior Lena Mathews (22:42, 132nd), and freshman Amber McGown (22:45).
Tara Chapman of Arizona won the women’s race, while BYU took the team event.
Cornell finished behind the four other Ivy League schools — Yale, Columbia, Brown and Dartmouth.
“They wanted to do better,” Duesing said. “[They don’t] feel that what happened is in any way a reflection of what kind of team they are.
“They were angry.”
Bad luck aside, with such a young team, the Cornell women have their sights set on returning to the nationals next year. This season’s experience should only prepare them for a run at the NCAAs next fall.
“They all now understand that they can run in that company,” Duesing said. “Their appetite has been whetted.”
Both the men and women also represented Cornell at eastern regional meets at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx on Nov. 17. The men took fourth at IC4As and the women placed sixth at ECACs. The men’s team was comprised of junior Dan Dombroski, sophomore John Corley, junior Barry Kahn, freshman John Goldsmith and junior Andrew Boone. Sophomores Lorraine Ricci and Christine Echstaedt, freshman Alyssa Simon, sophomore Aliza Cohen and junior Natalie Whelan filled out the women’s roster.
“Even without Max, the guys ran very well,” Taylor said about the men. “Finishing fourth was an exceptional performance.”
“I was very, very happy with the way the kids did,” Duesing said about his squad, adding that the top three runners all recorded personal best times at Van Cortlandt Park.
Archived article by Shiva Nagaraj