It happens every year around this time; the temperature in Ithaca plummets and the indoor track season heats up. This weekend, both the men’s and women’s squads used home field advantage to cruise to victory at the Cornell Challenge.
“Competing at home helps a little bit. The people not participating in the meet cheer us on. We do well at home and this will prepare us for when we host Heps at the end of the season,” said senior co-captain Ann Hansgate.
The Cornell Challenge included teams from Albany, Binghamton, Buffalo, Colgate, Ithaca College and Syracuse. To call the event a “challenge” seems to be a bit of an overstatement. The women’s team amassed 228 points, easily surpassing runner-up Buffalo, which only managed to accumulate 104.5 points.
“The victory was not unexpected,” said Hansgate, “the other teams had some strong individual performers but we definitely had the stronger team.”
The victory was a team effort. The Red had eight first-place finishes and 26 top three finishes. In addition, it had 11 ECAC-qualifying performances including three different relay teams.
The ultimate triumph for the Red was the product of a balanced attack and not individual performances. In the field, senior Ib Stanley placed third in the long jump and first in the triple jump, while junior Becky Tucker finished first in the weight throw with a personal best of 56-11 3/4 meters.
On the track, results were much the same. In the one-mile event, junior Kate Boyles left the field in the dust, finishing in 4:59.21 and qualifying for the ECACs for the second consecutive week. The Red received more support from junior Jessica Brown and freshman Lauren Broadnex who finished first in the 500-meter and 400-meter races, respectively. The most impressive feat of the day occurred when Hansgate returned from injury to lead her 4×800 team to a second-place finish. Hansgate was injured last spring and has been relegated to the position of cheerleader. However, thanks to a successful rehabilitation program, she will soon resume all of her duties on the team.
With the return of Hansgate, the Red is rounding into shape in time for the most important part of the season. Next week the Red will battle Harvard and Brown with the victor probably earning the league title.
Sharing Barton Hall with the women was the men’s team.
The Red men’s track squad dominated the field, which included Albany, Binghamton, Buffalo, Colgate, Ithaca College and Syracuse, winning with a total score of 214 points for the day. The squad had five IC4A qualifiers, one school freshman record, eight first-place finishes and 24 top-three finishes. Coach Nathan Taylor was very satisfied with the performance.
“I’m pleased with the progress of the team so far,” he said. “The guys rose to the challenge of competing hard when they are tired and sore from extensive training. Some of the more exceptional performances were turned in by athletes who missed some portions of the week’s training because of excessive soreness or injury.”
Freshman Kofi Oforo Ansah won the triple jump, setting a freshman record and IC4A qualifying leap of 48-11 1/2. Junior Ryan Schmidt finished third in that event, while also meeting the Eastern standard with a mark of 47-8 1/2. He also ranked second in the long jump at 24-5 and placed third in the high jump at 6-7. Senior Tyler Kaune, who leaped 24-7 3/4 to finish first in the long jump, joined Schmidt in meeting the IC4A-qualifying standard. Senior co-captain Giles Longley-Cook won the weight with another IC4A qualifier of 61-4 3/4.
“Certainly, the long jump was the top event as Kaune and Schmidt showed that they are two for the best in Cornell history and the country for that matter,” Taylor said. “Greg Simonds ran very well and really demolished the field in the 400 while Ofori Ansah’s freshman record in the triple jump demonstrated his immense capabilities.”
The Red heads to Harvard next week for the annual Cornell/Brown/Harvard triangular.
“Success in track is a process where the training builds to a crescendo for peak performance on a specific date,” Taylor commented. “I think we are doing what we need to be doing and next week will be another step in the process of trying to win a Heps championship.”
Archived article by James Rich