Both the Cornell men and women track teams will travel to Philadelphia tomorrow for the Quaker Invitational. The women hope to continue building off a fast start to the outdoor season, which has seen them place first at UC-Irvine and at last week’s home meet, while the men have also been impressive, winning at the Long Beach Invitational. Tomorrow’s meet should be a tougher test for the Red, as it will face its stiffest competition since starting the second half of the season.
“As an invitational, there is a lot more than just Penn that will be there,” said women’s head coach Lou Duesing. “There are good schools that are going to be there. All the regular Ivies will be there along with schools like Villanova and Penn State.”
The event has historically been a place of brilliance for the Red. Last year’s invitational saw the men post seven event winners including senior Zach Beadle’s first-place finish in the shotput. Sophomore David Pell also looks to improve on last year’s second- place finish in the high jump.
An interesting event at tomorrow’s event will be the men’s long jump, as last year’s Penn meet watched six Cornell jumpers place in the top-7, with the event being won by current senior Ryan Schmidt.
The women, not to be outdone by their male counterparts, also fared well in last year’s meet, as they won three events and placed in the top-5 15 times. Senior Kari Steed will defend her title in the 400-meters and sophomore Sarah Wilfred will compete to win the high jump after she tied the highest mark at last year’s event, but finished in second on attempts.
Despite success at last year’s event, Cornell looks to be even better at this year’s meet. Last year’s trip to Philadelphia featured heavy rain and swirling winds, which interfered with the athletes’ performance. Tomorrow’s forecast calls for temperatures in the high 50s.
The weather should prove to be a nice change of scenery for Cornell, especially since rain has been following them wherever they go — proving to be a factor at both the California meets and last week’s home meet against English teams Oxford and Cambridge.
“Once it gets over the 80s, sprinters love it but distance runners hate it,” Duesing said. “When it’s in the 50s, the sprinters won’t love it but it’s better than being cold and damp and risking injury.”
The competition will take place at Franklin Field, which should present a challenge for Cornell, as it is notorious for having some interesting features unique to most track and field venues.
The old stadium, which has been reformatted to fit a football field, is known as a soft track, meaning it is built for wide turns. This could make the sprints interesting for a Cornell squad that is used to dominating in short distance events.
Another unique feature of the invite is that the throwing events will take place outside of the stadium, preventing athletes such as Cornell junior Jamie Greubel from participating in both the javelin and hurdles.
“For us, the uniqueness of Franklin Field shouldn’t deter us from having success,” Duesing said. “It will prove to be a little different for our freshmen, but our upperclassmen will have been here before.”
Archived article by Tim Kuhls
Sun Staff Writer