March 1, 2005

Men's and Women's Track Race to Heps Titles

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That was the word used by both the men’s and women’s track coaches to describe their teams’ performances in this past weekend’s Heptagonal championships at Harvard’s Gordon Track. In the only meet of each track season that includes every Ivy League squad, the men captured their second title in three years, while the women won their fourth straight indoor title. Dozens of personal records were set, as well as a few Cornell and Heps records.

“I was obviously very impressed, and actually extremely impressed with all the performances across the board,” said women’s head coach Lou Duesing. “So many people were setting PR’s … that might have been what was most impressive.”

The same could be said for the men’s side.

“It was incredible … to have so many people have PR’s, set records and do well” said men’s head coach Nathan Taylor.

With 147 points, the men’s squad held off rival Princeton (124 points) in decisive fashion. The men had 33 IC4A qualifiers, won seven events, set five school records and established a new meet record in the 60-meter hurdles. That record belonged to freshman Saidu Ezike, who placed first with a time of 7.98 seconds. Sophomore Brendon Earle (4th, 8.27) and freshman Aaron Merrill (5th, 8.38) also scored important points in the event. In the 60-meter dash, freshman Jordan Lester set a Cornell record, winning the event in a startling 6.81 seconds.

Freshman Adam Seabrook (48.13) took second place in the 400-meter, while senior Brian Eremita took fourth in the 500-meter with a time of 64.29. Sophomore Kolby Hoover (65.37) finished sixth as well. Junior Gordon Hall finished fourth in the 800-meter (1:53.09), after tying the Cornell record in the preliminary trials. In the 1,000-meter, senior Sam Mackenzie (2:26.96) and sophomore Brian Mongeon (2:27.05) finished first and second, respectively, to score key points for the Red.

Senior Oliver Tassinari won the mile in 4:09.76, with freshman Jimmy Wyner taking second at 4:10.53. The distance medley finished in 10:10.94, good for fifth place, while the two-mile relay finished in second place (7:38.38), and the mile relay earned sixth place. Junior Bruce Hyde took second place in the 3,000-meter with a time of 8:13.31.

Things went equally well in the field events. In the high jump, sophomore David Pell placed third (6-10 ?) and junior Pat McDonough finished seventh (6-9), while freshman Muhammad Halim placed third in the triple jump at 50-0 ?, a Cornell freshman record. Sophomore Rayon Taylor jumped to a fifth place finish (49-2 ?) and senior Ryan Schmidt leapt into seventh (48-10 ?). Senior Zach Beadle won the shot put with a 55-4 ? foot throw.

Senior Adam Sansiveri defended his pole vault title from a year ago, clearing 16-4 ?. Sophomore Evan Whitehall placed fifth in the event at 15-3. Senior Mike Scarpa’s weight throw reached 53-3/34 to earn him fourth place honors. Schmidt (4th, 23-4 /34), Halim (fifth, 23-1 1/4), and Taylor (sixth, 23-0) helped Cornell collect points in the long jump. Sansiveri was also fifth in the heptathlon with a Cornell record 4,990 points.

“After such an emotionally draining and exhausting weekend, we’re going to put the IC4As on the back burner this year,” Taylor said. “We’ll go after them as a team in the spring [season].”

The team will now focus on trying to excel in this weekend’s IC4A championships and earn NCAA championship qualifying times in the meet.

Meanwhile, the women scored 154 points, a record 80 points ahead of second-place Yale. The Red also produced 36 ECAC qualifiers, two NCAA provisional qualifiers, and a meet record in the mile relay.

“To have seven Heps champions, and there are 17 events … that’s a lot,” Duesing said. “There’s no way you can expect, to not only have the number of PR’s, but the amount that some of them improved.”

Sophomore Stephanie King won the 60m hurdles title with a time of 8.73, while freshman Joan Casey came in fifth (8.88).

Seniors Shonda Brown (24.88) and Kari Steed (25.18) finished second and third, respectively, in the 200m, while junior Linda Trotter (25.63) finished sixth.

Sophomore Cameron Washington (55.55), Brown (55.56), and Steed (56.44) also finished first through third in the 400m. Sophomore Morgan Uceny and Brown (2:08.56) also took the top two spots, respectively, in the 800m, with both qualifying for the NCAA championships. Uceny’s time of 2:08.15 was the meet’s fastest time since 1981. Further, with a time of 2:10.33, senior Alison Koplar finished fourth.

Senior Sarah Coseo won the mile run (4:51.66), with classmates Amber McGown (4:56.56) and Carrie Richards (4:58.57) running to sixth and seventh place, respectively. Senior Alyssa Simon finished eighth (17:25.70) in the 5,000m. The mile relay, consisting of Trotter, Steed, Washington, and Brown set a new Heps record with a time of 3:43.93. The two-mile relay placed third in the event (8:59.64), good for the fourth fastest time in Cornell history.

In the field, sophomore Sarah Wilfred won the high jump (5-07) and placed third in the triple jump (38-07.75), with senior Jessica Brown placing sixth in the high jump (5-05). Sophomore Natalya Johnson (17-02.25) was sixth in the long jump.

Junior Sheeba Ibidunni (42-11.00) and freshman Maria Telloni (42-06.00) placed third and fourth, respectively, in the shot put final, while Idibunni won the weight throw competition with a Cornell record effort of 59-08.50. Senior Becky Tucker finished second (57-10.25), sophomore Danielle Dufresne earned fourth (52-04.00), and freshman Andrea Kavleski (46-11.00) placed seventh in the event. Junior Jamie Greubel placed fourth in the pentathalon with 3426 points.

Cornell will try to ride its momentum into next week’s events as the women travel to the ECAC championships. Although Big East teams usually do better than Ivy teams at the tournament, Duesing is optimistic about the team’s chances.

“We have, for some reason, always seemed to do well at the ECAC’s.”

Archived article by Josh Perlin
Sun Staff Writer