The men’s and women’s track team turned in solid performances this weekend, splitting its athletes between the Sykes/Sabock Challenge Cup at Penn State and the Robert J. Kane Invitational back home in Ithaca.
The squads’ results were encouraging for coaches, as the two teams head into the coming indoor Heptagonal championships to be held at Dartmouth in just two weeks.
The men produced 14 IC4A-qualifying performances and established a new school and freshmen record, while the women posted 13 ECAC qualifiers, two NCAA provisional qualifiers, and a new school and freshmen record.
“I was very pleased with how things went this weekend across the board,” said women’s head coach Lou Duesing. “There were more personal records set this weekend than I have seen in a long time.”
On the men’s side, the Red placed third in a field of 13 teams at Penn State, with a solid overall score of 72.5 points.
The team’s lone event win came from sophomore Jimmy Wyner, who won the 3,000 meters with a personal record time of 8:18:56.
On the women’s side, the Red placed fourth with 72 overall points. Leading the way for the Red was junior Sarah Wilfred, whose mark of 5-10 in the high jump placed her second in the competition, set another school record, and made her an NCAA provisional qualifier.
“Sarah’s performance really stood out to me as one of the weekend’s most impressive,” Duesing said. “She had been flirting with greatness the entire year and was finally able to break through this weekend. It was hands down the best jump I have ever seen out of her.”
Other major contributors for the Red included many of the usual suspects. Junior Morgan Uceny continued her stellar season by placing second overall in the 800 meters with a time of 2:07.26, while senior co-captain Sheeba Ibidunni also took second in the weight throw with a mark of 61-9. Both performances were NCAA provisional qualifying marks.
Meanwhile, back in Ithaca, the rest of the squad played host to 23 teams and over 1,400 athletes.
On the men’s side, senior co-captain Vito Spadafino paced the Red, as he took first in the heptathlon with 4,546 points.
Cornell also received event wins from sophomore Neil Baker in the 400 meters (50.54), classmate Mike Fox in the 60 meters (7.02) and the 4×400 team (3:26.48) of sophomore Aaron Merrill, classmates Dave Mengel and Baker and senior Mikhaile Savary.
On the women’s side, freshman Jeomi Maduka stole the show by running a preliminary round-leading 7.78 in the 60 and winning the long jump with an ECAC qualifying mark of 18-8 1/2.
“Even though I am very pleased with how our team is performing right now, all I can ask out of my athletes is their full effort every time it is their turn to compete. I’m confident that I will get that at the Heps,” Duesing said.
Archived article by Lance Williams
Sun Staff Writer