April 16, 2007

Track Sets Records at Sea Ray Relays, Bucknell

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The unpleasant weekend weather probably wasn’t enough to alter the weekend plans of many students here at Cornell, and the same can be said for the men’s and women’s track teams, who split up to attend the Sea Ray Relays in Tennessee and the Bucknell Invitational in Pennsylvania.
Despite the harsh conditions, the women produced five new school records and the men made three changes to the school’s top-10 list.
One of those record-breaking performances came from the senior quartet of Nyam Kagwima, Cameron Washington, Morgan Uceny and Toni Salucci. The group finished in third place, but its time of 11:14.74 was enough to earn first place on Cornell’s all-time women’s distance medley relay list.
“I was ecstatic, it was the first time we ran together,” Uceny said. “We had a lot of fun doing it. … We wished we had done it before.” [img_assist|nid=22904|title=Captain Falcon.|desc=Sophomore T.J. Toro runs a sprint in the Kane Invitational on Feb. 2.Robert Bonow/Sun Senior Photographer|link=node|align=right|width=54|height=100]
The time was good enough to surpass the indoor and outdoor top marks. Fortunately for the four seniors, they didn’t feel the brunt of the harsh weather, which forced the cancellations of the long jump, steeplechase, 4×400 and the 4×800 relays.
“When I ran it was perfect, it was cooler and I like to run in cool conditions,” Uceny said. “There was no wind when we ran, so the weather was good for the middle distance.”
The period of nice weather helped Uceny propel the team up four spots as she ran the third leg of the race.
“When I get in a relay, I am pretty confident in what I have to do,” Uceny said. “When you are chasing somebody it is a lot easier, and it is something that I have done, so I am used to those types of situations.”
Freshman Natalie Gengel also contributed to the record-breaking performances with her clearance of 12-5 1/2 in the pole vault, an NCAA Regional qualifying mark.
“It was little bit cold but it wasn’t too bad since I was wearing pants,” Gengel said. “I’m really excited because it also qualified me for Regionals. I knew I could do it, I was just waiting for it to happen.”
Her fifth-place finish set a freshman and school record.
The men produced three NCAA Regional performances at the Sea Ray Relays. One of those came from senior David Pell, who finished fourth in the high jump.
“It was really good to go against good competition,” Pell said.
Among the field were a few All-Americans but Pell and sophomore teammate Garrett Huyler managed to both place in the top-5, with the latter finishing in fifth.
“Our coach told us to not get intimidated by the jersey or the person,” Pell said.
Nearing the end of the competition, the rain started to come on strong, canceling the remainder of the day’s events.
Before the weather closed the day, junior Mohammad Halim placed second in the triple jump with an outdoor personal record of 52-4. The mark was good enough for No. 2 all-time on the Cornell outdoor list, and placed Halim one spot in front of Louisville’s Andre Black, who was the Indoor NCAA champion in the triple jump last season.
Sophomore Jeomi Maduka did her damage at the Bucknell Invitational. Maduka set two school records and broke two stadium records with her performances in the triple and long jumps. Maduka leaped 20-6 1/4 in the long jump and 43-2 1/4 in the triple jump — both top-10 marks in the nation. Sophomore Maria Matos broke the stadium record with her discus toss of 163-0.
Eight men broke 15:00 in 5000 meters to set personal bests at the Bucknell Invitational. Sophomore Zach Hine ran 14:14.22 to finish sixth — and No. 3 on the Cornell all-time list. Sophomore Brian Cortina reached No. 10 on the Cornell all-time list in the shot put with a mark of 52-11 1/2, earning first place in the event.