By January 27, 2006
The men’s and women’s track team will undertake a flurry of action this weekend as they travel across the East Coast to face off against numerous teams. The men’s team will kick off its weekend schedule tomorrow when it travels to New York City to compete in the highly competitive Big East vs. Heps rivalry meet.
This matchup pits arguably the top-3 Ivy League programs – Cornell, UPenn, Princeton – against three elite Big East squads – Rutgers, Seton Hall, and UConn. The Red will take down its best two athletes in each event to race in the meet.
“Big East vs. Heps is a good opportunity for the team to perform at a high level against some very strong competition. I’m definetely looking forward to it,” head coach Nathan Taylor said.
Meanwhile, the rest of the squad will travel up to Boston tomorrow for a three-way meet with two tough Ivy League foes – Harvard and Brown.
On the women’s side, Harvard boasts several top athletes, including sophomore Lindsey Scherf and freshman Becky Christensen. Scherf returns from a season in which she earned All-Ameircan honors and currently is the national leader in the 5,000-meter event as well as the Heps leader in the mile run.
Christensen, in just her first year with the Crimson, has already established herself as one of the best high jumpers in the Ivy League with a leap this year of 1.76 meters.
Brown, on the other hand, has only competed in one meet this season and its athletes are relatively unknown to the Red squad.
“Brown is really a mystery to me, I’m not sure what to expect out of them,” women’s head coach Lou Duesing said.
Regardless of the strength of the squads the Red is facing, however, Duesing recognizes that his team cannot take this meet lightly.
“Because of our success in the past few years, all Ivy League teams seem to be gunning for us. I’m sure they would love nothing more than to knock off the seven-time defending Heps champs,” Duesing said.
The Red will rely on many of its top athletes at the meet, especially senior co-captain Sheeba Ibidunni in the weight throw and junior Morgan Uceny in middle dsitances.
Beyond her invaluable leadership as a captain, Ibidunni set a Barton Hall and Ivy League record at the Cornell Relays this season with a throw of 62 feet and 10 inches. Uceny – who was an All-American last season – also set a Barton Hall record at the Cornell relays in the 1000-meter event.
On the men’s side, the Harvard meet will test the Red’s durability more than anything else. After competing in the Big East vs. Heps competition, the top-2 athletes in each event will have to take the long bus ride up to Boston that same night to compete against Harvard and Brown the following day.
Despite this challnge, however, Taylor is confident that his team is up to the task.
“I am very pleased with our progress as a team thus far; we are exactly where I expected us to be at this point. Overall I feel the depth of our squad is simply overwhelming for most teams – Harvard and Brown included,” Taylor said.
The men will need to participate without many of their top cross country runners, however, including senior All-American Bruce Hyde who is retuning from a knee injury.
With these losses, the Red will continue to rely on the same athletes who have driven its success the entire season. Sophomores Saidu Ezike and Jordan Lester will be relied upon to dominate the sprinting and hurdling events, just as junior Evan Whitehall will look to continue his sensational run in the pole vault.
Finally, junior Rayon Taylor and sophomore Muhammad Halim – who have both already made IC4A qualifying marks in the triple jump – should also be expected to turn in top-notch performances.
“We have about a dozen athletes which every program in the nation wishes they had,” Taylor said, “and I will look for these kids to lead the way throughout the remainder of the season.”
Archived article by Lance WilliamsSun Staff Writer
By January 27, 2006
Tomorrow’s game could be a major turning point the women’s basketball team’s season as the Red will be looking for its first season-sweep of an Ivy League team in nearly three years when it takes the court tomorrow against Columbia. The Red won the first meeting last weekend in New York, 75-60.
Despite a 5-11 record, the women are fourth in the Ivy League standings at 2-1, the highest position the squad has held in over two years. A win would also give the Red its best start to an Ivy League season since the 2001-2002 campaign when the team won its first three games against Ancient Eight foes.
“Oh, definitely,” said sophomore guard Lindsay Krasna, the Red’s leading scorer last season, about whether this game is especially important.
In the Red’s win last weekend, all five starters scored in double figures for the first time in five years. It’s just one of many signs that the Red’s offense is coming alive since the start of league play.
The team is averaging 73 points per game against Ivy League opponents, nearly 10 points per game better than its scoring record in its non-conference contests.
The offense has been led by an unlikely hero in rookie Jeomi Maduka, who has earned five Ivy League Rookie of the Week honors this season, including this week’s award. Against the Lions, the freshman tied career-highs with 22 points and five steals to go along with her 14 rebounds.
“We’ve been able to establish an inside game and an inside presence,” said head coach Dayna Smith. “Jeomi had a very good game, so I expect them to focus on that.”
The Red has scored 155 points in its last two games, and scored 80 points against Princeton in its opening league game. The difference, according to Krasna, has come from the ability to run the floor and maintain an efficient offense.
“I think one of things has been running the ball and getting transition baskets,” the shooting guard said. “We’ve been getting some easier open looks