The men’s and women’s track teams traveled to Philadelphia this weekend to participate in the Penn Invitational. Apart from Cornell, the meet drew athletes from Army, Navy, Penn St., Rowan, Haverford, Villanova, Temple, La Salle, Wheaton and Widener. This was a non-scoring event and gave an opportunity to the athletes to improve.
The men fielded a team of 40 athletes of whom a dozen had very good performances. According to head coach Nathan Taylor, “the team had a good competition. This team has a lot of guys who have the ability to perform.”
Junior Scott Benowicz placed second in the javelin with a throw of 67.07m, freshman Zach Beadle also finished first in the shot put (15.73m) and senior Jeremy Blanchet was first in the hammer throw with 54.21m.
The runners were led by freshman Bruce Hyde who finished first in the 1500m with a time of 3:51.01. Senior Max King placed second in the 5000m (14:24.9). Both the relay squads for 4x400m and 4x100m fell short and finished second to Penn with times of 3:18.6 and 41.7 respectively.
“The team was showing improvement, and the weather in Philadelphia was not ideal, but the athletes had learned to perform in any condition,” Taylor said.
He mentioned that the Red was preparing to go down to the University of Tennessee and Columbia for relay invitationals. The University of Tennessee Invitational would be very competitive and only the best performers would compete with athletes from teams in the ACC, SEC and Big Ten.
On the other hand, the women had returned from 2 meets in California. The Penn Invitational gave the team a chance to ease into its spring slate.
“The advantage of having a non-scoring meet like this one is to get back in the competitive mood,” women’s coach Lou Duesing said.
Performances of note were from junior Natalie Whelan who finished fifth in the 1500m with a time of 4:36.92, senior Lena Mathews finished first in the 800m (2:11.85), Jessica Brown was good for second with a time of 2:12.52 and took two seconds off her personal best. Senior Anne Marie McMillan also competed in the 800m and also knocked off two seconds off to get her best 2:15.26. The relay team was able to win the 4x400m (3:50.2) but finish second in 4x100m (47.6).
Junior Sarah Herksee was fifth in the shot put (42-08.75), freshman Stacey Nadolny was fourth in the discuss throw (137-09) and senior Sarah Spain captured the third place in the javelin throw (133-07).
“The jumping events showed some rust but overall it was a great showing. The runners were shuffled a little and some of those who ran 800’s now ran 1500’s and vice versa,” claimed Duesing.