February 2, 2007

M. Track Travels to NYC; W. Track Splits Up

Print More

Staying on top of the men’s and women’s track accomplishments is already a hard job. After this weekend, the job might become even more difficult.
“It’s a hectic weekend,” said senior co-captain Cameron Washington. “A lot is going on.”
Washington, along with a majority of the women’s team, will compete in the Cornell Open held in Barton Hall. In addition to the Open, the team will be rooting for senior co-captain Mogan Uceny while she is running in South Bend, Ind., in addition to a host of other teammates competing in New York City.
Tonight, the men’s 4×400 and 4×800 team will compete in the Millrose Games at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The games will be covered by ESPN2 at 7 p.m., giving the team a possible television appearance at 7:25 and 7:30 — the times when the two races are scheduled to run.
The 4×400 team will feature junior Adam Seabrook, sophomore Marcel van Eeden, senior Kolby Hoover and freshman Michael Kippins. Seniors Brian Mongeon, Jimmy Wyner, junior Michael Smayda and sophomore Andy Miller will be the Red’s 4×800 squad.
[img_assist|nid=21084|title=Fleet Feet|desc=Rookie Jessica Weyman tries to catch up to her opponent in the Upstate Challenge on Jan. 20 in Barton Hall.|link=none|align=left|width=69|height=100]
“We better run fast,” said men’s head coach Nathan Taylor.
Competing in the hurdles will be juniors Saidu Ezike and Aaron Merrill. In addition, freshman Brian Cortina and sophomore Erik Roneker will participate in the shot put.
Currently the nation’s third-ranked high jumper, senior co-captain Sarah Wilfred will look to find the same success she found in outdoor competition last year, in which she finished fifth in the NCAA.
“We want her to have the same success that she had in outdoor competition, if not more,” said women’s track and field head coach Lou Duesing. “It is one thing to jump high but it is different when it comes against good competition.”
There will be even more opportunities tomorrow. Senior co-captain Morgan Uceny will head to Notre Dame University’s Meyo Invitational to run in the 800, trying to improve on her fifth-place finish a year ago.
“I’m pretty excited,” Uceny said. “I’m in a better position this year and will be able to perform better than last time.”
Uceny is one reason that the women’s team is currently tied for No. 22 in the nation with Florida, Southern Illinois and Duke. A win this weekend against top competition could launch the Red into the top-20.
“Every race [Uceny] has won, she has been the fastest,” Duesing said. “She’s had nobody to run with and [this weekend] should help her.”
Back in New York City, the men’s team will compete against top competition in the New Balance Collegiate Invitational. Participating in the triple jump will be juniors Mohammad Halim and Rayon Taylor.
“We feel ready, we know it’s going to be a battle. … We are up to it,” said Halim. “My goal is to be at the top of the rankings and qualify for nationals.”
Halim, who registered the best triple jump in the nation on Jan. 20 in the Upstate Challenge, was surpassed this past weekend by freshman Anthony Flemons of Texas Tech and junior Kyle Jenkins of Indiana.
“It [the New Balance Collegiate Invitational] is a good chance to compete against other competition. It’s nice to beat somebody who isn’t your teammate … or vice versa.” Halim said.
After a record performance last weekend in the pole vault, freshman Natalie Gengel will head to the Big Apple to compete in the New Balance-sponsored event. In last weekend’s meet against Brown and Harvard, Gengel cleared 12-5 3/4 meters.
“I don’t feel pressure, I’ve been to a lot of big meets,” said freshman Natalie Gengel. “Being a freshman doesn’t put any pressure on me, I do what I can.”
Now, Gengel will have a chance to compete against some of the nation’s best.
“Natalie is one bar raise from reaching the national championships; it is important that she gets that experience,” Duesing said. “It’s a challenge and it’s a learning experience that will hopefully pay dividends for this year and her next three years.”
Sophomore Garrett Huyler and senior co-captain David Pell will compete in the high jump in the Invitational as well.
Although many members of both teams are out of town, the remainder of the team will compete in the Cornell Open. Lehigh, Ithaca, Cortland, Mohawk Valley and Binghamton are some of the teams that will travel to Cornell for tomorrow’s meet.
“I don’t have to get them psyched up for the meet,” Taylor said. “They do that on their own. It’s hard for some of the kids who stay here but they know that their success contributes to others’ successes.”
Coach Duesing is in favor of the scheduling, claiming that it is important not to have the team competing so fiercely from week to week.
“Last weekend was the first chance to go against Heps teams and they were pumped,” Duesing said. “We don’t want to play the World Series every weekend.”
Still, with all the various meets this weekend, the Red will have more than enough to handle.
“Everyone should be well served this weekend,” Duesing said.