November 1, 2002

Women's Team Races Against a Competitive Ivy League Field

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“You’ve got to do it on the final.”

A cross country season, said women’s head coach Lou Duesing, is a lot like any given course at Cornell.

The ladies will run in the Heptagonal cross country championship at 12:30 this afternoon at Van Cortland Park, in Bronx, N.Y.

After an up-and-down regular season, the team plans to rely on its training and let the chips fall where they may. Duesing believes his runners ready to go.

“I really like their work ethic,” he said. “They’ve done a very good job of preparing themselves. The quality of work has been as good as any group I’ve had.”

In one of the most competitive conferences in the country, it’s hard to say just who will go home with the crown.

“There’s no way we can control the performances of everyone else,” Duesing said.

No. 12 Columbia is the odds-on favorite in the meet, but Yale should put in a strong showing with much of its 2001 championship squad returning. Dartmouth and Princeton also have a good shot at the title.

“All it is,” said Duesing, “is a measure of who is fastest on that day.”

“I don’t think that anyone has their name on the trophy,” he concluded.

The Red is ready to make a go of it. A week of quick work and rest has them prepared for the weekend.

“People want to get out in the race and show what they’ve got,” Duesing said.

Running a smart race will be essential to Cornell’s success. It’s all about finding the balance between a good start and proper pacing.

“It’s critical that people don’t get too carried away early in the race,” noted Duesing. “They need to be in a competitive position a mile and a quarter in, [and then] they need to finish it.

“If they do a good job of getting out and putting themselves in position, they should have a chance,” Duesing concluded.

If the runners are ready to go after the first flat portion, they should be able to gut the race out over the next mile in the back hills and close the door with the last mile or so in the flats again.

“To a certain extent, they will better define their season with what happens tomorrow,” noted Duesing. “You want it to be a representation of the work you’ve done.”

The bottom line though, won’t be practices or any previous meet in the season.

“You’ve got to come in,” said Duesing. “You’ve got to get it done.”

Especially when it counts.

Archived article by Matt James