January 28, 2005

Track Opens League Play

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Both the men’s and women’s track teams will take part in the annual tri-meet against Harvard and Brown, marking its fifth official competition of the season. However, none of these prior meets have had any bearing on the Ivy League standings. However, the competitions did leave both squads confident going into the weekend. In addition, Cornell dominated both the Crimson and the Bears a season ago.

Last January, the men’s team left Cambridge, Mass. with 11 out of the possible 16 first-place finishes and scored 90 points to Brown’s 53 and Harvard’s 23. The women’s squad fared equally as well, winning eight out of the possible 13 first-place finishes and scoring 96 points. The Red hope they can dominate in a similar fashion this time around.

“Everybody on the team works hard,” said Lester. “Our health is getting better … [but] we know it’s not going to be easy.”

Both the men’s and women’s squads are coming off big wins in the Cornell Upstate Challenge. The men won nine events and had nine IC4 qualifiers, scoring 240 points to out-distance runner-up Buffalo by 128 points. Freshmen Saidu Ezike and Jordan Lester led the team, continuing their meteoric rise to the top of the Ivy league. After running 8.19 in the preliminary round, Ezike ran 8.18 to win the 60-meter hurdle final and again bettered the IC4A standard, coming just .01 seconds short of the school record he set the week before. Lester finished second in the 60 in 6.91 and third in the 200 at 22.70.

The women scored 210 points to out-distance runner-up Buffalo by 165 points and win the six-way Cornell Upstate Challenge in Barton Hall on Saturday. The team won eight events and had five ECAC qualifiers on the day. Senior Alison Koplar ran the fifth-best time in school history in the 1000-meter race, beating the second place runner by five seconds to win with a time of 2:50.93, a time that beat the ECAC qualifying time by seven seconds. Fellow senior Carrie Richards won the 800-meter race in an ECAC-qualifying time 2:14.08. Sophomore Ruth Morgan burned the rest of the competition to give the Red the top two finishers, running a time of 2:15.83.

“There were some very good performances in December before the break,” said women’s head coach Lou Deusing. “I’m surprised how fast people are running at this point.”

The first place finish in its first scored meet of the season should act as a launching pad for a Cornell squad that has been improving with each even.

The Red’s competition has had mixed success of late. Brown is fresh off a third-place finish at the University of Rhode Island last weekend while Harvard’s most recent scored event was a loss to Boston College.

Archived article by Jacob Lieberman
Sun Staff Writer