February 19, 2007

Track Receives Three MVPs in Heps Tune-Up

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In the final weekend before the Heps Indoor championships, the Red competed in an event to honor Marc Deneault ’01. The Marc Deneault Invitational, held in Barton Hall, honors former Red sprinter Deneault, who was victim to a fatal car accident seven years ago. Marc’s immediate family was in attendance, including his twin brother Richard Deneault ’01, who presented Meet MVP awards to three members of the Red.

On the women’s side, there were co-MVPs for the Red. Senior tri-captain Morgan Uceny and sophomore Jeomi Maduka each set school records en route to winning their honors.

Maduka’s jump of 6.20 meters won by almost half a meter, broke her own school record and met NCAA qualification standards. Maduka also won the preliminary 60-meter dash, but did not compete in the finals as the multi-talented athlete made the short journey to Newman Arena where she would lead the women’s basketball team in both scoring and rebounding during its loss to Penn.
[img_assist|nid=21489|title=Leader of the pack|link=node|desc=Sophomore Andrew Levy (3) finished second in the 800 meters during Saturday’s Marc Deneault Invitational, which honored Marc Deneault ’01, who died in a car crash.|link=node|align=left|width=100|height=92]
“She did amazingly,” said senior tri-captain Cameron Washington.

Uceny set a school record in winning the 500 meters with a time of 1:11.72. 10 other Cornell women won events Saturday. Washington finished first in the 200-meter dash. Classmate Nyam Kagwima earned a victory in the 800-meter race. In the high-jump, fellow senior Shawna Rossini placed first.

In the weight throw, sophomore Maria Matos earned a victory. Classmate Emily Newton won the 400 meters. Sophomore Janice Nsor took advantage of Maduka’s absence by winning the 60-meter dash.

Junior Joan Casey finished first in the 60-meter hurdles. Freshmen Jessica Weyman and Erin Roberts won the 300 meters and 3000 meters, respectively. Classmate Natalie Gengel won the pole vault.

“It was a great day,” Washington said. “People really surprised themselves and had some really great performance.”

On the men’s side, the meet MVP went to sophomore Erik Roneker. Roneker set personal records in winning both the weight throw and shot put. His 19.05-meter weight throw moved him into sixth place in school history.

“It felt great,” Roneker said. “We’ve all been working hard all season. It felt good to put out a good performance in the team’s last home meet.”

Along with Roneker’s two victories, the men’s team won 10 other events this weekend. Sophomore Aaron Gadson led a 1-2-3 Cornell sweep of the triple jump, in which all three of the Red’s top performers qualified for the IC4As championship.

Freshman Jay Pierce earned a victory in the high jump while classmate Doug Cloninger finished first in both the 200-meter dash and the 60-meter dash.

The men’s other multi-event winner was junior Aaron Merrill. Merrill displayed his versatility by winning the 60-meter hurdles and the 500 meters.

Classmate Neil Baker used a time of 50.40 seconds to win the 400-meter race.

Sophomore Joe Walsh won the 3000 meters.

In the pole vault, classmate Josh Kirkpatrick easily bettered his competition by a margin of 0.25 meters.

The Cornell men also earned a victory in the 4×400 relay race.

“This was our last meet at home before Heps,” Roneker said. “For some of the guys who want to make the trip to Heps, this was their last chance to prove they deserve a spot.”