April 30, 2004

Track Looks Ahead

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Tomorrow the Red track teams return to action in a strange place, home. After bouncing around the country for almost six weeks, the Red will compete at the Kane Sports Complex in the final tune-up before the Heptagonal championships.

“Really, there is no need to be punching any buttons,” said women’s head coach Lou Duesing. “What you want this to be is a constructive, low-key, run-people-in-one-event type of thing. So what you’re doing is sharpening people — not just physically but also emotionally.”

Last week, the Red was very busy and successful. The women had 21 ECAC qualifying performances, four NCAA Regional qualifiers, a freshman record and a school record. All together they competed in three meets — the Penn Relays, the Drake Invitational, and the Big Red Invitational.

At the Penn Relays, the success began Thursday night, when junior Kate Boyles had a personal best of 16:41.75 in the 5000-meter run and qualified for the NCAA Regionals. On Saturday, the 4×400 relay team won the Heps division title. Their time of 3:42.66 set a Heps record for the Penn Relays and was five seconds faster than second place finisher Brown. This was the third consecutive year the Red has won the event and earned a Penn Relays Wheel.

Meanwhile in Des Moines, Iowa, at the Drake Invitational, the Red fought off the cold and the rain to produce some excellent performances. Junior Shonda Brown placed fourth in the 400-meter hurdles in a NCAA-qualifying time of 59.51. The 4×800 relay team finished third with a time of 8:51.47.

On Sunday at the Big Red Invitational, freshman Robyn Ellerbrock had a tremendous performance in the steeplechase. Her time of 10:56.43 set a stadium record, a freshman record, and qualified her for the ECAC championship and the NCAA Regionals. Sophomore Angela Kudla finished third, completing the race in 10:59.06 and qualifying for the ECACs. In the hammer throw, freshman Danielle Dufresne (161-7) and junior Becky Tucker (160-5) placed first and second, respectively. Their tosses qualified for ECACs as well.

Duesing will use the results from this weekend to prepare his lineup for Heps.

“Its nice having a very good team,” he said. “You know that when you enter events, you have a good chance of everyone being able to contribute points. The tough part of having a good team is that you’re limited to what you can bring. You are limited to 36 people [at Heps]. There may be people who qualified for the ECAC championships who don’t go; maybe there are people who scored [at the Heps] in the past who don’t go. Part of this weekend is to try to solidify who those 36 people are going to be.”

The team is ready physically for the postseason.

“Pretty much the work has been done,” Duesing said. “A lot of people began in the summer and the rest [of the team] in September — an awful lot of work was been done. At this point, there not a lot left to the season and it takes too long to get adjusted to something new. The adage I always follow is, when in doubt, don’t do. It’s more important for people to be rested.”

Not to be outdone, the men produced 14 Intercollegiate Association of Amateur Athletes of America qualifying performances, and three NCAA Regional qualifiers at the Penn Relays and the Big Red Invitational.

At Penn Relays, the men had five top-five performances. In the steeplechase the Red was fantastic. Freshman Aaron Arlinghaus finished second in an impressive 9:02.58, setting a new freshman record and qualifying for the NCAA Regionals. Senior Emory Mort finished seventh in the Championship Steeplechase, setting a personal record of 9:00.72 — sixth all-time at Cornell. Competing in the Championship of America, the 4×800 team placed seventh with a time of 7:29.05. Their time was fourth best all-time at Cornell and the fastest in nearly 30 years. In the decathlon, senior Ethan Albrecht-Carrie finished fifth, collecting 6414 points. Albrecht-Carrie’s performance placed him third all-time at Cornell and qualified him for the IC4As.

The success continued at the Big Red Invitational on Sunday. Junior Zach Beadle qualified for the IC4As in the shot put with a winning toss of 52-1 3/4. In the hammer, Giles Longley Cook once again bettered the NCAA Regional standard with a winning toss of 189-7. Other winners included senior Eric Pedersen in the 110 hurdles, freshman Brian Morgeon in the 800 meter, junior Rob Rosborough in the 400-meter hurdles, and senior Dan Hart in the 5k.

“There are some of the guys who are going to push pretty hard,” said men’s head coach Nathan Taylor. “We’re trying to finalize the roster of 36 for the Heps. So there are a number of the guys that are on the bubble going in but there are a lot of other guys that are either not going to compete at all or are doing some alternate events.

“This is the first time we’ve been at home for the whole outdoor season,” he said. “Being away and having divided teams at meets all the time makes it tough for the team to maintain good morale. You’re not with your teammates every week. This is an opportunity for the team to gel a little bit psychologically.”

Archived article by James Rich
Sun Staff Writer