In a rare event, the men’s and women’s track teams parted ways this past weekend to compete in separate meets and returned to Ithaca with varied results. The women continued their impressive season by dominating the competition at the Leopard Invitational held at Lafayette College, while the men — beleaguered by injuries — battled several teams at the Nittany Lion Relays at Penn State and kept the meet close.
“The whole team took advantage of the nice weather to have another weekend full of competitive times,” said senior Ann Hansgate. “Some girls changed from their usual event to something shorter and surprised themselves by having great performances.”
For the women, the Leopard Invitational, composed of mostly Division II schools, served as a chance for many athletes to tune-up before the upcoming Penn Relays, but nonetheless, the team delivered numerous top performances and won nine of 17 total events.
Middle distance runners did particularly well, bolstering the team as they have all season. Sophomore Jessica Brown won the 800m in 2:12.16, and four of her teammates followed thereafter as the Red claimed five of the top seven spots in that event. In the 3,000m race, sophomore Sarah Coseo took first place, and another sophomore, Alyssa Simon claimed the blue ribbon in the 3000m steeplechase, finishing 25 seconds ahead of her closest competitor.
Senior Katy Jay and both the 4x100m and 4x400m relay squads also notched victories for the team. Jay sprinted to the head of the pack in the 100m and 200m dashes, taking first in both events.
In the field, senior standout Sarah Herskee displayed her versatility by taking first place in the discuss and hammer throw and second place in the shot put.
The men faced some tougher competition in their meet, both from injury and national track powerhouse Penn State. But the men did everything they could to compensate, making nearly every event a showdown between the Red and Nittany Lions.
Field athletes factored heavily in the men’s showing. Junior Giles Longley-Cook beat Penn State junior Aaron Ross by a foot in the hammer throw to earn first place, while teammates junior Derek Kingrey and senior Brett Coffing scored in the shot and discuss. Kingrey took second to Penn State’s Dan Diaz in the discuss, while Coffing placed third in both events.
Also placing highly in the field events for the Red were freshmen Pat McDonough, sophomore Rich Jones, and juniors Jason Hart and Tyler Kaune. McDonough had a great showing in the high jump, tying for first with Penn State freshmen Tyler Fideli. Jones claimed the second spot in the long jump and was closely followed by his teammate, Hart, who took third in the event. In the triple jump, Hart again took third, edged only by Penn State’s senior All-American Chavous Nichols, who won the event, and teammate Kaune, who placed second with a jump of 45-06.50.
On the track, seniors Quinton Carew and Daryn Johnson earned Cornell’s two first-place times. Carew won the 100-meter dash in 10.88, while Johnson took the 3000m steeplechase in 9:18.63. Others who ran well were senior Mike Kiselycznyk, who took third in the 400-meter dash, sophomore Sam MacKenzie, who finished second in the 1500m run, sophomore Forrest Dillaway, who finished the 3000m run in third place, and freshmen Greg Simonds, who ran a tough 400m hurdles to take the third place spot.
By many standards, the men’s team did a fine job, considering that many of their athletes sat out the meet to nurse injuries and considering that Penn State’s squad boasts 17 NCAA regional qualifiers. But, some members of the team felt that performances could have been better.
“I really thought we didn’t do to well,” said Kaune, “we need to get our heads back, keep everyone healthy, and get psyched up if we want to do well in the big meets coming up.”
Both teams anticipate doing those things as they prepare for two of the season’s biggest meets: the nationally renowned Penn Relays and the outdoor Heps championships, which take place successively over the next two weekends.
Archived article by Everett Hullverson