April 24, 2006

Track Teams Solid on the Road

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A little rain didn’t slow the women’s track team down this weekend, as it traveled to Philadelphia for a dual meet with Penn. The Red won 106-57, winning 13-of-19 events. The men were scheduled to compete on Saturday at the Lafayette Invitational, but the meet was rained out. A few of the men, however, competed on Friday evening at Princeton.

The dual meet with Penn is used as a preliminary way of determining who will travel to England over the summer to participate in a series of competitions throughout the country. Each event winner is guaranteed a spot on the combined Cornell-Penn team this July. Other team members will be decided upon at a later time.

“The conditions were far short of ideal for track and field,” said women’s head coach Lou Duesing. “That may explain why some performances were not what [the athletes] wanted them to be.”

Despite the cold, intermittent rain and occasionally strong winds, the women still pulled a number of personal bests as well as 13 ECAC qualifying performances and four NCAA Regional-qualifying performances. Juniors Robyn Ellerbrock and Toni-Lynn Salucci both broke the school record and set personal bests in the steeplechase, crossing the line in 10:38.26 and 10:40.12, respectively. Senior Emily McCabe also had an outstanding day, winning the 5,000 meters in a personal-best 16:49.62. McCabe won the event by nearly 40 seconds and put herself in sixth on the Cornell all-time best list.

“Emily did all of that work on her own,” Duesing said, noting the difficulty of running such a distance without anyone to push her.

Junior Morgan Uceny had similar results in the 800 meters, winning the event in 2:09.54 – five seconds ahead of the next finisher. Uceny used the first 400 meters to set a pace for the other runners, but still managed to pull away from the group in the final 400. The Red swept the top-5 places in the event.

Freshman Jeomi Maduka continued an excellent season, winning the 100 meters (12.37 seconds), long (19-2 3/4) and triple (38-9 1/4) jumps as well as placing third in the first 200-meter (25.43) race of her career. Maduka also ran the second leg of the 4×100 team of classmate Janice Nsor, senior Linda Trotter and junior Cameron Washington, sprinting to a season-best time of 46.76.

The Red was also successful in the field, capturing three of the throwing events. Senior captain Sheeba Ibidunni won the hammer (177-1), freshman Maria Matos took the discus (149-7) and senior Jamie Greubel was victorious in the javelin (130-7).

Although the weekend was important so that the women could secure a place on the England, trip, Duesing emphasized the importance of the meet as another opportunity to get out and compete.

“This was just one of our meets – a step in the process,” Duesing said. “In no way is this the end. A lot of people did a lot of good things.”

The men were not as lucky with the weather this weekend, but a few middle distance and distance runners were able to compete on Friday at Princeton. Senior captain Gordon Hall had the best finish of the evening, placing ninth in a very competitive 800-meter race in 1:52.52.

Freshman Andy Miller and sophomore Mike Smayda also competed in the 800, finishing 17th (1:53.64) and 21st (1:54.07), respectively. Sophomore Joe Walsh (3:54.57) and junior Aaron Arlinghaus (3:58.18) set personal records in the 1,500 meters.

Archived article by Erin Garry
Sun Staff Writer