The track teams will have their last chance this weekend to prepare for the Penn Relays and the all-important outdoor Heps, as the teams head to Pennslyvania for two different meets. The men’s team will compete at the Lafayette Invitational in Easton, Penn., while the women take on Penn in a dual meet in Philadelphia.
This will be the second consecutive weekend the track teams have split up, as some athletes travelled to the elite Sea Ray Relays in Knoxville, Tenn., while others headed to the Bucknell Classic in Lewisburg, Penn., last weekend. Although the teams did well in certain events at both meets, men’s head coach Nathan Taylor expressed hope that his team will turn in a more well-rounded result this weekend.
“Some groups are moving ahead quickly, but of course I want them all to be going forward at the same time,” Taylor said.
The jumpers for the men’s team have been particularly strong of late. Last week, sophomore Rayon Taylor and junior Evan Whitehall took third at the Sea Ray Relays in the triple jump and pole vault, respectively, while junior David Pell won the high jump.
However, the Red’s middle-distance runners – who have had great success for most of the year – were not among the meet’s top performers. Taylor noted he will be looking for the runners to bounce back this weekend.
“I felt like this past weekend the middle-distance guys missed some opportunities,” he noted. “But in general, I thought we had a pretty good meet.”
Taylor also noted the importance of having a deep squad for the important Penn Relays next week, and at the Heps the week after that.
“We need to have a second runner in each event ready to step up at a higher level,” Taylor said. “We won’t win the Heps with just our first guys.”
This weekend’s meet will feature several Division I teams, and the Red will likely be challenged in most distances.
“It’s a very competive meet,” Taylor said. “It will give the guys an opportunity to run against a lot of good people, and hopefully do well.”
Meanwhile, the women’s team will head to Philadelphia to take on Penn in a dual meet. Penn has strength in the short distance races, including the 2006 Indoor Heps winner in the 400 meters, Jesse Carlin. Penn was sixth overall at the Heps.
The Quakers competed at a tri-meet with Princeton and Yale last week, taking second place and winning several of the field events including the hammer throw and shot put.
Cornell, meanwhile, has had some excellent work in the throws, as senior Sheeba Ibidunni broke the school record in the hammer throw last week at the Bucknell Classic. Her throw of 179-3 was also an NCAA regional qualifying mark. Junior Danielle Dufrense also threw 164-0 at the event.
The women’s team has also managed some good results in the jumping events. Senior Sarah Wilfed set a school recrord in the high jump at the Sea Ray Relays last week, as she cleared 6-0 1/2.
Senior Jamie Greubel also jumped 5-8 3/4 last week, which was also an NCAA regional qualifier mark.
Archived article by Ted Nyman
Sun Senior Editor