January 25, 2002

Track Takes on Ivy Foes

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This Sunday the Red runners are headed to Cambridge for a three-team meet with Harvard and Brown. The last time these three teams faced each other, photo finishes were frequent, with just a mere three points separating the three schools’ point totals.

“I’d have to imagine from almost everyone’s perspective that Harvard is the team to beat. They are fast as ever, with the help of some excellent international recruits, and the fact that they are more rested than their two competitors, they will be a tough team to beat”, explained Red coach Nathan Taylor.

Taylor stressed, “Track is a sport with a great focus on individual events, and it will take great performances in every single event to defeat Harvard on the road.”

The Red is led by several strong underclassmen runners who are part of last year’s class of recruits which Taylor describes as “the best freshman class of runners in the history of Cornell”. Almost 80% of the Red runners are freshmen and sophomores.

Last season, the men were simply on top of their respective games, and their final ranking of 24th in the nation was icing on the cake.

“Last year we graduated two of the best hurdlers Cornell as ever seen and it will be hard to fill that gap in our roster, no matter how spectacular our freshmen perform, and they have been spectacular,” Taylor said.

Because Taylor has such a young squad with big shoes to fill, he is focusing on “milking every athlete on the squad to get them to perform to their maximum ability.”

The men are fueled by laudable performances. In last week’s four-team meet, junior Jeremy Blanchet set a Cornell school record with a 35-pound weight throw of 60-6. Blanchet’s toss also landed him with the ninth best toss in division history.

Junior Brett Coffing also excelled at shot-put, throwing his way to a first place finish and securing a sweep in the shot-put events.

This Sunday’s meet at Cambridge will be a true test for the Red’s talented core of young tracksters. Jason Hart and Ethan Albrecht-Carrie have dually impressed their coach with dramatic improvements in their respective events since last year.

“Those two sophomores have really, I mean really impressed me with some serious improvement since last season. They are hard working kids and are improving leaps and bounds.”

Archived article by Adam Zwecker