March 1, 2004

Women's Track Captures Fifth Straight Heps Title

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During the Heptagonal championships, the Red women wore shirts that read, “Still our house.”

After this weekend, they can complete the mantra “Still our house, still our championship.”

Yesterday the Red was unstoppable. It scored points in every event except two, and compiled an all-time Heptagonal record 164 points. It beat Princeton, who began the day two points ahead, by a 43 point margin. The team has now won five consecutive Indoor and Outdoor Heps titles since 2002 and three consecutive indoor titles.

“Really a great team win,” explained head coach Lou Duesing. “We had some really terrific and clutch performances. Across the board I thought people did a phenomenal job in competing, they did a phenomenal job in supporting one another, and I think they really had fun. It was a great team effort. I’m very proud of them.”

The first points scored by the Red came on Saturday in the weight throw. Junior Becky Tucker won the event with a toss of 59-4 1/4. The throw was more than 20 inches greater than the second place finisher and set a new Cornell record.

Critical points were scored in several other events. In the long jump, sophomore Karen Synder finished second with a jump of 19-5 1/2. While in pole vault, sophomore Katie Reagan cleared 11-9 3/4 taking fourth, and junior Katie Boyles placed third in the 5,000 meter.

Any doubts about the possibility of the Red not repeating were quickly erased yesterday.

In the 400-meter dash, the Red took first, second, third, and fifth. Junior Kari Steed won the event in 56.19 seconds, followed closely by freshman Cameron Washington, junior Shonda Brown, and sophomore Linda Trotter.

Senior Ib Stanley-Ikhilioju and Synder teamed up to take first and third respectively in the triple jump. Tucker continued her strong performance in the Heps coming in first in the shot put with a throw of 13.41 meters. Senior Hannah Garrity won the 200-meter dash and the 60-meter hurdles. The Red completed the pounding in the 4×400. The Red squad composed of Steed, Trotter, Washington, and Brown won in a time of 3:48.65

Duesing refused to draw any parallels to last year’s team.

“I don’t compare this to last year,” he said. “This one was particularly special because I think you keep winning and others keep putting more weight on your shoulders. This is a terrific group, they overcame a lot of adversity, we had a lot of good people who because of injury could not compete. I don’t want to compare because I want to enjoy this one and enjoy it with them.”

The championship was the result of a team effort and the whole team shared in the joy of winning.

“Its more of a team feeling,” Garrity said. “Because it’s just a huge group, and its so much fun that everyone comes as a team and as a school to support us. It’s amazing; it’s just so much energy. Winning is one thing, but the energy is in the meet when the team is cheering us on.”


The men got off to quick start on Saturday. In front of a home crowd, junior Ryan Schmidt won the long jump, leaping a distance of 23-9 1/2 feet. He was followed by defending champion and teammate, senior Tyler Kaune, who turned in a 23-8 3/4 performance.

In the weight throw, senior Giles Longley Cook finished second to four-time defending champion Josh McCaughey of Princeton. Longley-Cook’s throw of 64-11 1/4 was the second best performance ever by a Cornellian in the Heps. Additionally, junior Mike Scarpa finished fifth with a toss of 55-5 1/2.

Red pole vaulters junior Adam Sansiveri and senior Travis Offner, finished first and second respectively in their event. Sansiveri matched his best performance of the season by clearing 16-0 3/4. This marked the third straight year the pole vault champion was from Cornell.

In all, the Red had 10 top-10 finishes on Saturday and amassed 54 points. It was in first place and led Princeton by 26 points. Yet in the final event of the day, the 3000-meter, the Red failed to score any points. The strength of the rest of the Ivies in mid-distance and distance events would haunt the Red on Sunday.

Yesterday started out on a promising note for the Red. In the 400, senior Mike Nanaszko finished second in a time of 49 seconds. Crowd favorite senior Rahim Wooley won the 60-meter dash. Senior Aldo Gonzalez finished second in the 1000 in a time of 2:26.39. Yet Cornell could not shake the Tigers, and with five events remaining the Red only led by two points. The turning point came in the relay events.

Princeton won the distance medley and the 4×800, and came in second in the 4×400. They secured 28 total points while the Red was only able to counter with 15 points. The final tally at the end of the day had Princeton beating Cornell, 151-149.

Archived article by James Rich