The outdoor postseason starts tomorrow for the track teams, as both the men and women travel to New York City to compete in this year’s Heptagonal championships. Cornell has a history of dominating this annual event, as the men’s team hopes to attain its third straight outdoor Heps title, while the women vie for their fourth in a row.
After an impressive indoor season that resulted in championships and All-American honors, the Red has only raised its expectations as this spring outdoor season has proved to be one of the most successful in recent years. Hard work has paid off and all will be left on the track tomorrow and Sunday at Columbia’s Baker Field Complex.
“I’ve been very impressed with this group in terms of how hard they’ve worked,” said women’s head coach Lou Duesing. “I told them that I don’t know if they are more athletic that other teams, but I know for a fact that they have worked harder than any other group.”
Two athletes that have been performing beyond expectations are freshman Adam Seabrook and sophomore Evan Whitehall. Both were named ECAC Division I Men’s Track and Field Athletes of the Week last Wednesday for their performances in the Penn Relays, which saw Seabrook break a Cornell record as a part of the distance medley team and Whitehall finish first in the Eastern pole vault.
The women have been achieving success all season long by relying on the depth of the squad. The women will send out a 4×100-meter relay team that won the event last year by more than half a second. The team of seniors Shonda Brown and Kari Steed, junior Linda Trotter, and sophomore Cameron Washington hold the best pre-Heps time after running a 46.58 at the Penn Invitational. Cornell’s 4×400-meter relay team is a three-time defending champion and sends all four athletes from last year’s team to Columbia. The 4×800-meter relay team also has a chance for success, as they have posted the fastest time in the nation and join Yale’s 1986 foursome as the only Ivy League schools to run a sub-8:40.
The men will send a relatively young — but talented — team to Heps this weekend. The team is led by seniors Emory Mort (3,000-meter steeplechase), senior Zach Beadle (shot put), defending long jump champion Ryan Schmidt, and junior cross country All-American Bruce Hyde.
Sophomore Rayon Taylor and freshman Muhammad Halim have posted the best best pre-Heps triple-jump and should dominate the event this weekend. Freshmen Jimmy Wyner also makes his outdoor Heps debut, running in the 800-meter.
The meet should be a test for the Red, as they face stiff competition from Yale, Princeton, Brown, and Penn. After recent dominance of the Ivy League event, the Red finds itself with a bull’s eye on its chest as it goes for another championship.
“People would love to gang up on us,” Duesing said. “They would love to see someone beat us, but that is only because it’s customary in sport to not like single-team dominance. I just hope people would respect how hard we work and the quality of the efforts that this team puts forth.”
Archived article by Tim Kuhls
Sun Staff Writer