April 19, 2002

Track Teams Gear Up for Penn Relays

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This weekend the track and field team was scheduled to welcome Penn for its first and only dual meet of the season. Earlier this week, the Penn men’s team pulled out for undisclosed reasons. While the women’s meet will be held as scheduled, the men’s team had to scramble to find other alternatives. For the second week in a row, the team will break into two groups and compete in two different meets. One group will head to Lafayette tomorrow and another group of throwers and pole vaulters will make the short trip to Syracuse on Sunday.

Both the men and the women are coming off strong performances at the Columbia Invitational and the Sea-Ray Relays. The men had eight top ten finishes at each meet and the women turned in some of their best performances of the season.

Women’s coach Lou Duesing was especially proud of the performance of his relay teams at the Sea Rays.

“We couldn’t have expected anything better from our relay teams,” said Duesing. “We had three school records, in the 4×100, 4×200, and 4×400. The 4×800 team finished third and the distance medley got first. Everyone did very well.”

The women hope to add to their momentum this weekend against Penn. The meet will be the last competitive preparation before the Penn Relays, and will also serve as a special qualifier. Every four years, Cornell and Penn choose select members from each of their squads to travel to England to compete against the likes of Oxford and Cambridge, among others. Based on this weekend’s performances, Cornell and Penn’s coaches will select which athletes will make the trip to England in June.

Because of the different factors at play this weekend, Duesing expects a competitive meet.

“I think Penn will come in very serious. We won the indoor Heps and they were last, but teams are different outdoors than they are indoors. I don’t pretend to think that’s how things will finish outside. Penn has something to prove, and that could help motivate them. Still, our team is on a mission. Up to this point they have not been completely satisfied. There is still a lot more they want to accomplish.”

While the men will be competing in two separate meets this weekend, the team’s main focus is on the upcoming Penn relays. Since the original meet with Penn was canceled, the meets at Lafayette and Syracuse are a chance for the team to stay sharp. The cancellation also gives those athletes who could benefit from some rest a few days off to regain their strength and recuperate from minor injuries. The Penn relays will be held from April 25-27.

Archived article by Adam Matthews