February 8, 2002

Track Splits for Weekend Events

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This weekend the men’s and women’s track and field squads will be divided between a pair of meets. The big competition for Cornell will be at State College, PA, where the Red is pitted against a strong field in the Penn State Invitational. That meet will take place both today and tomorrow. Meanwhile, some of Cornell’s tracksters will remain in Ithaca for the Kane Invitational, which will be held in Barton Hall tomorrow.

At the Penn State Invitational, the field includes several track powerhouses, including men’s No. 8 Michigan and women’s No. 20 Indiana. The Big Ten will be well represented in the field, which will also include the host Nittany Lions, Michigan State, Central Michigan, Kent State, Buffalo, and West Virginia, among others.

“The Big Ten is very tough,” remarked Red women’s head coach Lou Duesing.

Duesing has some experience with the conference and the host school, having been an assistant coach with Penn State in the 1982-83 season.

The high level of competition at the Penn State Invitational will be important in helping the Red prepare for Heptagonals.

“The last couple of weekends in some of the events, people have run well enough to win, but not as fast as we can go, because the races don’t go that fast,” Duesing observed. “At a big meet you’re gonna have fast people, and you better be ready to run with them.”

Here on the East Hill, Cornell will be hosting the Kane Invitational, an event that originally was scheduled for next weekend. Tomorrow’s original home event was slated to be the Deneault Invitational, a meet in memory of Marc Deneault, who died in a tragic car accident two winters ago. The meets were switched in order to allow the entire Red team to take part in the memorial contest.

The Kane Invitational will consist of a largely regional field, including Cortland, Ithaca, Moravian, Binghamton, Alfred, Mohawk Valley, Geneseo, Oneonta, Oswego, and Ivy rival Penn, which is making the trip in order to become acclimated with Barton Hall.

“Penn wants to come up because this is where we’re having Heps,” revealed Duesing.

At both meets, Cornell will be counting on big performances from runners up and down the roster.

“Given the time of year, you want everyone to step up,” said Duesing.

Test for Future

The meets will be important in getting the Red ready for a series of championship contests: the Heptagonal Championships in two weeks and the USATF Nationals, IC4A and ECAC Championships the week after that.

“I couldn’t be happier with the attitude that this team has. So much of what allows you to do well is coming into the opportunities with a real good attitude, and you don’t just flip that on and off like a switch,” Duesing praised. “I’d be surprised if people don’t continue to improve.”

Archived article by Alex Fineman