Fourteen top-five finishes, 35 ECAC/IC4A qualifying performances, seven NCAA Regional qualifiers, three school records, and a Penn Relays wheel marked a very successful weekend for the men’s and women’s track and field teams, which competed in three different meets on Penn Relays weekend.
On the women’s side, strong performances in the 4×400 meter relay at Penn and the 4×800 relay at the Drake Invitational in Des Moines, Iowa set the stage for further victories over the weekend. On Saturday, the Red’s 4×200 relay team of junior Kari Steed, senior Hannah Garrity, freshman Cameron Washington, and sophomore Linda Trotter posted the second-best result in that event in Cornell history, a 1:38.42, which was good for fourth place in the ECAC final.
The same foursome also picked up second in the ECAC final in the 4×400, finishing in 3:45.17.
Also qualifying for ECACs on Saturday were triple jumpers senior Ib Stanley (39-3 3/4) and sophomore Karen Snyder (38-10 1/4).
For the men’s team, the bulk of competition took place on Friday, and Cornell qualified for the IC4A finals in four different events. The 4×100 meter relay squad of junior Kenan Goggins, and seniors Jason Hart, Mike Nanaszko and Rahim Wooley placed fourth in 41.53, while the 4×400 team (sophomore Greg Simonds, sophomore Gordon Hall, freshman Kolby Hoover, and Nanaszko) took second in the Heps race in 3:14.58 to qualify for the IC4A final.
In the Championship for America 4×800 race on Saturday, the team of Junior Mike Allen, Hall, sophomore James Connolly, and senior Aldo Gonzalez finished seventh in 7:29.05. It was the fourth-best finish in that event in school history, and the best in almost 30 years. The men’s 4×100 and 4×400 teams each placed sixth in the IC4A finals, finishing in times of 41.86 and 3:17.07, respectively.
Freshman Kofi Ofori-Ansah took second in the Eastern Long Jump, with a 47-9 3/4 result. He joined senior Giles Longley-Cook as an IC4A qualifier. Longly-Cook placed 14th in the hammer throw at 179-4. In addition, Simonds qualified for the IC4As in the 400 hurdles with a 53.50 finish.
Big Red Invitational
After Saturday’s successes, the track teams returned home Sunday to play host to nine other teams in the annual Big Red Invitational. The men’s and women’s teams each won nine events in the cold, rainy meet.
Leading the way for Cornell was freshman Robyn Ellerbrock. Despite the adverse weather conditions, Ellerbrock qualified for NCAA Regionals and set a Kane Sports Complex and Cornell freshman record with a 10:56.43 steeplechase finish. Sophomore Angela Kudla also qualified for ECACs in that event, as she placed third in 10:59.06. In the hammer throw, freshman Danielle Dufresne (161-7) and junior Becky Tucker (160-5) took the top two spots to pick up ECAC qualifications.
For the men’s team, Longley-Cook won the hammer throw with a 189-7 and junior Zach Beadle won the shot put (52-1 3/4) to qualify for the IC4A championship.
Both the men’s and women’s teams return to the Kane Sports Complex Saturday, when they will host the Cornell Outdoor Challenge, which will be the final warm up before the Heptagonal championships next week.
Archived article by Owen Bochner
Sun Sports Editor