November 14, 2005

Cross Country Teams Shine at NCAA Regionals

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The men’s cross country team had the race it has been waiting for all season this past Saturday at the NCAA Northeast Regional cross country qualifier at Boston’s Franklin Park. After a disappointing showing at the Heptagonal championships two weeks ago due to illness and injury spreading through the team, the Red bounced back and finished fourth out of 37 teams – its best showing in 13 years – with 104 points. Iona captured the team title with 33 points. They were followed by Dartmouth (50) and Providence (57).

The men’s team show marked improvement, jumping three places from last year’s seventh-place finish. Four men earned All-Region honors for their performances, an honor given to the top-25 finishers in the event.

“All seven guys ran really strong races,” said distance coach Robert Johnson. “This was the happiest I’ve been since I’ve been [at Cornell]”

Junior Brad Baird and senior Bruce Hyde led the way, placing 14th and 15th in 30:29.7 and 30:40.3, respectively, on the 10K course. Sophomores Sage Canaday and Jimmy Wyner were not far behind, placing 20th (30:51.9) and 23rd (30:59.7), respectively. Junior Ricky Lader had a slow start, but moved up steadily to finish 32nd in 31:09.8. Freshmen David Krause finished 54th (31:40.7) and Zach Hine came in 58th (31:45.8) to round out the Red’s top-7.

“I was very pleased with the weekend, especially with Jimmy,” Johnson said. “He has worked so hard over the summer and during the season, but has not been racing that well. This was a big race for him.”

Perhaps the only disappointment for the men was Baird and Hyde’s failure to qualify for nationals. Hyde, an All-American and NCAA championship qualifier in 2004, along with Baird, had hopes of running in the 2005 championship to be held next Monday in Terra Haute, Ind. The top-2 teams along with the top-4 individuals not on those teams automatically qualify for the event. Baird and Hyde were the fifth and sixth individuals to finish Saturday.

“Obviously this is disappointing for Bruce and Brad. It would have been great for them to go to nationals,” Johnson said.

Johnson mentioned Hyde’s feelings on the conclusion of his collegiate cross- country career, as he will not be participating in the season’s final race next Saturday.

“This is probably not the way he envisioned the end of his cross country career. But I think he has been satisfied on a team level – he has really seen the program grown and improve since he started. He feels good about that,” Johnson said.

All seven men finished faster at Franklin Park than the Red’s best finisher did at the race there two years ago, showing the Red’s improvement over such a short time.

The women also had a strong showing, as the young team consisting of three juniors and four freshmen finished seventh out of 38 teams with 230 points. The Red’s finish as a team was good enough to defeat Ivy League rival Brown, who finished ahead of Cornell at Heps. Boston College won the team title with 87 points, followed closely by Columbia (88) and Providence (96).

Freshman Marie Parks was the first to cross the line for the Red, finishing 28th and clocking 21:47.4, the fourth fastest time for a freshman in the race. Junior Nyam Kagwima led the women for most of the 6K race, remaining in the top-20 for the first three miles. After falling back a bit, Kagwima tripped in the final straightaway and nearly passed out but still finished a respectable 46th in 22:11.4. Freshman Katie Roll (50th, 22:13.9), junior Toni-Lynn Salucci (51st, 22:14.3) and freshman Aeriel Emig (55th, 22:15.6) crossed the line within a few seconds of each other to close out the scoring five. Freshman Danielle Schaub (62nd, 22:26.6) and junior Christy Paul (68th, 22:32.0) were among the best sixth and seventh runners.

Next up for the Red is the final event of its season, the IC4A/ECAC Cross Country Championships at Van Cortlandt Park on Saturday.

Archived article by Erin Garry
Sun Staff Writer