February 26, 2007

W. Track Wins Heps, Men Take Second

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The men’s track team fell three points short of giving both the men’s and women’s sqauds a clean sweep in the Heps championships this past weekend. Held in New York City, the meet determined the best indoor track team in the Ivy League. The women dominated the competition, winning the title by scoring 159 points in the two-day meet, 88 points better than second-place Brown. Despite some great performances, especially from the jumps unit, the men were unable to grab its third consecutive title, falling to Princeton by a mere three points.
[img_assist|nid=21668|title=Fight the pain.|desc=Senior Toni Salucci helped the women’s track team win the Indoor Heps meets, winning the 5000.|link=none|align=left|width=53|height=100]
Sophomore Jeomi Maduka helped pace the women’s victory — its sixth consecutive indoor Heps title. Maduka’s wins in the long and triple jump gave her the Heps award for best female athlete.

“I didn’t jump my best, but I’m happy that I won,” Maduka said.

Maduka, who also placed second in the 60-meter dash, reached the City late Friday after scoring 14 points in the women’s basketball team’s 59-55 win over Yale.

“I feel the pain now, but I didn’t on Saturday or during the meet today,” Maduka said after the meet finished. “But I have been doing track for such a long time, even before basketball, I feel at home. I just go out do whatever I have to.”

Maduka, who has the No. 13 long jump in the nation, was not the only female to have a standout performance. Senior co-captain Sarah Wilfred won the high jump by clearing 6-1 1/2. Senior co-captain Morgan Uceny led the 4×400 unit to a victory with a time of 3:42.37 — topping a two-years old Heps record by a second and a half. Uceny also became the first women’s three-time indoor Heps 800-meter champion with a time of 2:04:58 — the fastest women’s indoor 800-meter time ever run by an Ivy League student, and good enough for third in the nation. Senior Toni Salucci won the 5000 in addition to finishing third in the 3000 with a time of 9:36.74. Garnering her second straight indoor Heps crown, senior Stephanie King won the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.74. Junior teammate Joan Casey followed in second place.

“No one is really surprised that we won by a lot,” Maduka said. “But we are still happy about it.”

The men’s team placed second in the meet, losing to Princeton, who totaled 154 points to Cornell’s 151. Leading the Red’s efforts was junior Mohammed Halim, the meet’s best male athlete award-winner. Just like Maduka, Halim won the triple and long jumps with classmate Rayon Taylor placing second in the triple jump. Halim’s mark of 53-2 1/2 set a meet record by more than a foot.

“Individually, it was a great time,” Halim said. “It was the most fun I have ever had at a meet.”

Before Halim performed his record-setting triple jump, he had to watch teammate Taylor set an impressive mark for him to beat.

“When he jumped, he looked at me and said ‘let’s see what you can do,’” Halim said. “There is always mutual respect when we are jumping against each other.”

Continuing Cornell’s success in the jumping unit was senior co-captain David Pell and sophomore Garrett Huyler. Both cleared the high jump bar at 7-0 1/2, becoming the first Red athletes to win the event with a mark higher than seven feet.

“I knew I had to jump well, I’m happy its him [Huyler] who won and not a Princeton guy,” Pell said.

But the Red could not stop the Tigers from securing the overall men’s team victory. Coming down to the 4×400, the men needed Princeton to place fourth or worse in order to leave the city with the men’s indoor crown. The Red’s team of senior Kolby Hoover, junior Adam Seabrook, sophomore Marcel van Eeden and freshman Michael Kippins won the event in a record time of 3:12.98, but the Tigers followed in second with a time of 3:13.07, securing Princeton’s 10th Heps indoor title in the past 14 years.

“Anytime you perform, it would be a lot better to win as a team, [my win] is bitter sweet,” Halim said. “I’m really happy but I hate losing as a team, I hate losing period.”