The track & field teams hosted the Marc Denault Memorial Invitational this weekend and gained much needed momentum heading into next weekend’s Heptagonal conference championships.
On the men’s side, Cornell competed at less than full strength. Many of Cornell’s top performers were absent from the meet, as head coach Nathan Taylor decided to rest many of his runners in preparation for next weekend’s Heps.
Highlights for the Red included sophomore Jason Hart, who qualified for the ECAC/IC4A championships with his first and second place marks in the long jump (7.13m) and triple jump (14.54m), respectively.
Sophomore Rahim Wooley placed second in the 200m, coming in at 22.90 seconds.
Senior Jeremy Blanchet (18.27m) and sophomore Giles Longley-Cook (17.48m) finished one-two in the weight throw and also put up ECAC/IC4A qualifying marks.
Yet another qualifying performance was provided for Cornell in the pole vault as sophomore Travis Offner (5.00m) placed first in the event.
The Red displayed its dominance at the meet in lieu of the fact that they were competing against mostly Division II and III schools.
“We could’ve lost focus,” said Taylor, “but I think we did a good job of staying focused and gained a real confidence boast going into next weekend.”
On the women’s side, the Red dominated nearly all facets of the competition often sweeping the top positions in an event.
Two school records were produced by the women this weekend at Barton as well. Sophomore Marili Mosley took the women’s 60 meter high-hurdles in 8.73 seconds. Junior Katy Jay ran the 60-meter dash in 7.67 seconds, to topple her own record that she had set earlier this year. The pair shared MVP honors for the weekend.
Other highlights for the Red included the 1,000 meters in which Cornell placed one through six. Junior Natalie Whelan (2:53.93) and senior Lena Mathews (2:54.20) placed first and second in the event and garnered ECAC bids with the performance.
In the long jump, the Red once again ended up taking the top two spots with sophomore Kalifa Pilgrim placing first and Mosley finishing second with a seasonal best jump of 17’7″.
Head coach Lou Duesing was impressed with his team’s effort and concentration throughout the meet.
“It wasn’t a meet we were going to get all gassed up about, but we didn’t look through it,” he said.
The Invitational, which drew over 1,000 participants this year, is held in honor of Marc Deneault, an outstanding sprinter for Cornell who passed away in a car accident in December 1999. Rich Deneault, Marc’s twin brother, competes for the Cornell track & field team and handed out the Most Valuable Performer awards.
The successful showing in the weekend’s competition bodes well for a Red squad that will be hosting Heps this Saturday.
Archived article by Scott Jones