May 3, 2005

Track Records Strong Results at Penn Relays

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At last weekend’s esteemed Penn Relays, the Red’s men’s and women’s track and field teams competed to standards worthy of the historic and nationally televised event. Having broken the Ivy League record in the women’s 4×800-meter and running the third fastest time in Cornell history in the men’s 4×400-meter at the Sea-Ray Relays two weeks ago, the pressure was on to see if either squad could achieve record results once again.

And the Red came out in flying fashion last weekend. Seniors Carrie Richards, Alison Koplar and Jessica Brown, and sophomore Morgan Uceny crushed their previous Cornell and Ivy League record in the women’s 4×800-meter relay, running 8:35.70 to place third.

For the men, senior Oliver Tassinari, freshmen Adam Seabrook and Jimmy Wyner, and junior Bruce Hyde smashed the Cornell DMR record by seven seconds (9:33.72).

Not to be outdone, the women’s 4X400 placed second in the ECAC Championship final, while the men’s 4xmile impressed with a fifth place finish and the men’s 4×800-meter finished eighth — the ninth fastest time in Cornell history.

The women’s 4×400 of junior Linda Trotter, Jess Brown, sophomore Cameron Washington and senior Shonda Brown ran 3:40.38, to place behind East Carolina in the ECAC Championship race. In finishing ahead of Penn, the Red avenged a hard fought loss to the Quakers at the last Heps 4×400-meter relay.

Despite these superb results, some felt that the Cornell could have fared much better at the Relays.

“It was good, not great,” said women’s head coach Lou Duesing of last weekend’s results. “I think people were disappointed with how they did on Thursday [at Penn]. There are days that are slow days … this was the slowest time to win the DMR in 20 some odd years. Not running fast was a malady that hurt everyone.”

However, Duesing did note that the Red ran faster than big programs such as Indiana — despite its own slow times — which is a good sign for the program.

“All in all, in one respect, I’d like to be hitting on all cylinders going into Heps, but there’s nothing that has me concerned.” Duesing said.

There were impressive individual performances as well. For the men, sophomore Evan Whitehall won the Eastern pole vault, while freshman Muhammad Halim and sophomore Rayon Taylor placed in the top two spots in the Eastern Triple Jump.