October 23, 2006

Harriers Succeed at Reif

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This weekend the men’s and women’s cross country teams hosted the Reif Memorial Invitational in style with strong performances in the five mile and the 5K despite dismal weather conditions. The men took the individual titles in the 5K and the five mile while the women had a third-place finish in the 5K, including three runners in the top-10.

“The Reif course conditions were brutal — it was cold, rain-drenched and slow,” said junior Jason Brown. “My game plan was to stay relaxed through the 3-mile mark, then work hard from there to catch the leaders.”

His game plan worked, as he was able to win the five mile race for the Red despite the conditions.

The Reif Memorial is the final tournament for the harriers before the Heptagonal championships, which is the team’s focal point for much of the season. Many of Cornell’s top runners sat out in order to rest for the big meet. This did not affect the Red as it sent out many underclassmen to the race and showed the depth of the team with a dominant performance.

In the five mile the men had four runners in the top-5. Brown and sophomore Dan Gorman were neck-and-neck for most of the race but Brown edged out his teammate for the victory with a time of 26:55 while Gorman was the runner-up in 26:56. Coming in after them was sophomore Andy Miller, who finished third with a time of 27:01. Freshman Kyle Wolpert was right behind him with a time of 27:26.

While Brown was able to pull off the victory in the five mile, senior Brian Mongeon was able to find his own glory by winning the 5K with a time of 16:40.

“I was pleased with my performance,” Mongeon said. “I think the team did a good job and people did what they needed to do.”

Following Mongeon was fellow senior Matt Strasberg with a time of 16:42 and freshman Andrew Levy finishing 4th with a time of 16:54.

With its top runners sitting out, the Red hopes that its team is now rested and ready to compete in the Heptagonal championships next weekend.

The women also competed in the Reif Memorial this weekend and were led by freshman Kerri Lyons, who finished with a time of 18:32 and a third-place overall finish. Next for the Red were sophomores Fiona Cundy (18:53) and Shannon Crane (18:59), recording sixth and seventh-place finishes, respectively.

“I thought people did a very good job,” said women’s head coach Lou Duesing. “In particular I’m proud of Kerri Lyons and Fiona Cundy and I’m also proud of the improvement of Shannon Crane.”

The women have had a very solid season so far and believe that they are prepared for one of their biggest tournaments of the year.

“I cannot be happier with the effort people have given,” Duesing said. “Their preparation and enthusiasm throughout the entire season has been outstanding.”

Duesing’s squad was not satisfied with its performance at the Pre-National tournament last week, but he believes that the team can get back on track with a good performance at Heps.

“Princeton is the favorite going in because they’re a top-ranked team and everybody’s going to be chasing them,” Duesing said. “But I think the scores could be very close. We’ve kind of separated ourselves into the top-5. And I’ve always said that if you could be in the top-5, then you could be in the top-3, then you could win.”[img_assist|nid=19118|title=xc|desc=|link=popup|align=left|width=100|height=61]