April 6, 2007

Track Teams Travel To Quaker Invite

Print More

The men’s and women’s track teams will head to Philadelphia this weekend to compete in the Quaker Invitational hosted by Penn. The event marks the Red’s first outdoor meet of the year in the Northeast, where Cornell will face many of its ECAC conference rivals.
The women’s event traditionally hosts about 15 schools including Villanova, LaSalle and several ACC teams. The team, however, will focus on slowly improving its own performance to try to peak later in the year.
“It’s hard with the long indoor season to quickly adjust to the outdoor season and compete every single weekend,” said head coach Lou Duesing. “So it’s good that we got a week off [last week], the players are ahead of where they were at this point last year, so that’s good.”
Unlike other sports, the women’s track team must focus both on this meet and the future, building up its conditioning to reach optimal levels in May. After its successful trip to California over Spring Break, the team has been practicing hard to gear up for the rest of the season.
“Routine is important in track, and we’ve kept it exactly the same over the last two weeks,” said Duesing. “There shouldn’t be a drop in performance level [this weekend].”
Because the team is in the early part of its season, some of the mid-distance and distance runners may be running in different events. These may include seniors Nyam Kagwima and Toni Salucci — who typically run the 1500 — sophomore Robin Daniels and junior Angelica Gregory, who usually run the 800.
The men’s event, meanwhile, pits about 35 teams against each other at Penn’s Franklin Field. The men’s squad is approaching this meet as a chance to improve conditioning and face quality competition to help them later in the year. The Red conducted some of its most rigorous workouts of the year this week, likely impacting its performance in Philadelphia.
“Coming off a really hard week of practice, guys will be tired,” said head coach Nathan Taylor. “They should still compete well, though, and this type of training will really help them out later in the year.”
The coaches are particularly interested in seeing how the team’s freshmen, particularly mid-distance and distance-runners Charlie Hatch and Owen Kimple, perform in some of their first outdoor meets. The Red will also focus on the 400 hurdles, an event that is not included in the indoor season. Junior Adam Seabrook, senior co-captain Kolby Hoover and junior Adam Merrill ran impressively in their openers in California.
Since the weather is expected to be 44 degrees in Philadelphia, Duesing hoped his team will make it out of the weekend without getting injured.
“Because of how cold it is, there are injury concerns for the runners,” he said.
The men’s players and coaches said that the weather will hurt players’ performances, making it difficult to post good times.
“You can have some really unusual wind conditions at Frankling Field…it’s a peculiar place to perform,” said Taylor. “The weather has the biggest impact on the jump events.”
“It’s going to be harder to jump,” said senior jumper David Pell, one of the Red’s top performers last year. “I just want to try to perform as well as I can.”