Prepared but nonetheless conscious of the tough competition ahead of them, the women’s and men’s track teams will head to West Point this weekend with one common goal in mind: dismantling Yale and Army.
In their past two meets, both the women and men have dominated their competition, beating in-state schools Binghamton, Buffalo, Colgate, and Ithaca College and also league rivals Harvard and Brown by a combined margin of 243 points.
This weekend, the Red hopes to add a few more points to that tally, but both teams know that they have their work cut out for them.
The Red women stand to face the toughest competition of the day, as Yale returns numerous runners who placed top five at Heps last year.
Twin sisters and All-Americans Laura and Kate O’Neill top the list of talented Elis. Last year, Kate O’Neill won the 3,000m indoor and 5,000m outdoor Heps championships and placed ninth and fifth, respectively in the NCAA’s.
Laura O’Neill trailed her sister at Heps, finishing second by a close margin in the same events, but capped her season with a third-place finish at the NCAA’s in the 10,000m run.
Additionally, freshman sprinter Joslyn Woodward has faster times in the 60m and 200m races than any Cornell runner so far this year.
Despite these statistics, the coaching staff feels confident that their best athletes will match up well with Yale’s and Army’s and that the depth of the team will ultimately be the deciding factor in a win.
Women’s head coach Lou Duesing commented on his team’s outlook and depth.
“We have everything in perspective,” said Duesing. “Army probably won’t factor much, but Yale is a much better team than they were a year ago, and they have some really outstanding people at the top.”
“We have much more depth than they do, which makes us a better dual-meet team,” he added.
Senior captain Katy Jay echoed Duesing’s comments.
“We have the quality to get the top spots and the depth to back us up if we don’t,” said Jay. “We should come out on top.”
The men have similar expectations.
“We’re expecting to dominate these teams the same or more than we did Harvard and Brown last week,” said senior Mike Kiselycznyk.
Men’s head coach Nathan Taylor considers this meet one of the lightest on the men’s schedule this season and will use it to rest some of his runners for upcoming events.
“Neither team is as strong as they have been in the past,” said Taylor.
“Our guys have had a hard week of practice, and they’re certainly ready to compete, but for most of them this will be a low-key meet.
“I want them going into the big meets we have feeling good and in the best possible shape,” Taylor added.
Archived article by Everett Hullverson