The track teams travel to Easton, Penn., this weekend as they gear up for the Leopard Invitational, set to start tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. The meet, which separates the prestigous Sea-Ray Relays and the highly competitive Penn Relays, serves as a breather for the tracksters as they prepare for the final stretch of the outdoor season.
In an effort to prepare for the Penn Relays — considered the pinnacle of the outdoor regular season — the Red will rest many of its top runners. The meet does serve a purpose for the “middle of the pack” athletes that are trying to secure the last final spots on the Heps roster.
“We can take 36 athletes to Heps and we know for sure who 25 or 26 of those guys are,” said men’s head coach Nathan Taylor. “We need about 10 more, so this weekend is an opportunity for them to solidify those last few spots.”
After a fast start to the second half of the season and an impressive showing at last weekend’s Sea-Ray Relays, the track teams hope to keep momentum going into tomorrow’s meet at Lafayette College.
The meet will feature smaller schools including St. Joe’s, Colgate, and Division II powerhouse Kutztown. While none of the Red’s top athletes will compete in their normal events, there are some other events in which the Red hope to improve dramatically.
“A place where we need some repetitions is in the 4×100-meter relay,” Taylor said. “Because of some injuries we haven’t run a very good team yet. We hope to put a fast one on the track this weekend and get that baton around.”
The 4×100 relay team will feature a new addition to the team as sophomore Rayon Taylor will run his first relay of the year.
Taylor, who is currently the 18th-ranked athlete in the triple jump event in the nation, will join freshman Adam Seabrook, classmate Mike Fox, and senior Kenan Goggins.
Another event that will prove worthwhile for the track squads is that of the 400-meter hurdles. The event, which isn’t run in the indoor season, is a race that is far from polished for Cornell, as the track teams have only run the event four times prior to this weekend. Seabrook, who has been a star in the hurdles events for the men thus far in the season, won’t run any hurdles events this weekend as he rests in preparation for the Penn Relays.
Last year’s Leopard Invite saw the men win first place in five events.
The meet was highlighted by a first place tie between sophomore Evan Whitehall and senior Adam Sansiveri in the pole vault, and an identical result in the high jump as junior Pat McDonough and sophomore David Pell shared the top spot.
Even more impressive was the women’s final results last year, as they won 10-of-11 track events.
Sophomore Cameron Washinton led the Red with a first-place finish in the 100-meter dash, while seniors Kate Boyles and Alison Koplar combined for a one-two finish in the 1,500-meters, respectively.
Senior Stacey Nadolny led the Red in the field events with a first-place heave in the shot put.
Another athlete to watch at tomorrow’s meet is the Cornell sophomore Morgan Uceny. She was named ECAC Division I women’s track athlete of the week last Tuesday after she ran a personal best in the 800-meters at the Sea-Ray Relays. She was the top collegiate finisher in the event.
Uceny was also a part of the Cornell 4×800-meter relay team that ran the fastest time in the nation so far this year.
Archived article by Tim Kuhls
Sun Staff Writer