February 9, 2007

Track Competes in Penn State, Kane Invitationals

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For the second consecutive weekend, the track team will split up to participate in various events. Some members of the team will compete in the Penn State Invitational while others will remain in Ithaca to compete in Friday’s pentathlon, or the Robert J. Kane Invitational on Saturday.

Last year, sophomore T.J. Toro finished second in the heptathlon behind Vito Spadafino ’06, setting a Cornell freshman record in the competition. Classmate Troy Mullins finished fifth in the women’s pentathlon in last year’s competition.
[img_assist|nid=21266|title=I think I can.|desc=Sophomore T.J. Toro clears the bar at last Saturday’s Cornell Open at Barton Hall, where the Red won ten events and boasted 23 top-3 performances.|link=none|align=left|width=100|height=79]
In last year’s Penn State Invitational, the men’s team placed third out of 13 teams, behind Big-10 schools Penn State and Michigan. The women’s team finished fourth among 14 teams.

This weekend, the Red plans on continuing to fine-tune its skills in preparation for the indoor Heps championships, which will take place during the final weekend of February.

Today, junior Joan Casey will participate in the Penn State Invitational, before returning to Ithaca to participate in the Kane Invitational. Casey will compete in the 60-meter hurdles at the Kane Invitational — won by senior Stephanie King last year. Sophomores Jeomi Maduka and Katie Roll, junior Maria Telloni and Sheeba Ibidunni ’06 also won events for the Red last year.

“[This weekend’s events are] kind of like a Heps simulation because we are running hurdles two days in a row, just like at Heps,” Casey said. “I’d like to be able to come back Saturday and run a really good race and hopefully set a seasonal [personal record],”

Casey also expressed the importance of this weekend for the entire team.

“I think we’re all just looking to take it up another notch here,” Casey said. “We are two weeks away from our championship and we are looking to get into a groove.”

The men’s team boasted a strong performance at the Kane Invitational in 2006. In last year’s competition, junior Neil Baker won the 400-meter race while classmate Mike Fox won the 60-meter dash. Freshman sprinter Bryant Williams will look to repeat the success of his teammates this year.

“The team is always looking to improve and as the season is starting to come down, we are all starting to get really excited,” Williams said.

With Heps approaching quickly, the men are also looking to shift things into top gear.

“The sprinters have started to work on faster, shorter workouts to get into top shape and peak for Heps.” Williams said.

After this weekend, the Red has only one more competition before the Heps championships.