April 23, 2007

Track Teams Earn Solid Results Between New York, Pennsylvania

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With the championship portion of the season looming, the men’s and women’s track teams welcomed a weekend of light competition and good weather. Splitting up to compete at the Moravian Invitational in Bethlehem, Penn., and the Cortland Classic upstate, the teams put together some impressive performances.
The men produced eight IC4A qualifiers and an NCAA Regional qualifier over the weekend. One of those IC4A qualifiers was junior Saidu Ezike, who claimed first place in the 110-meter hurdles.
“I thought [the meet] went o.k. even though I didn’t get the start I wanted to,” Ezike said. “Between the first and the second hurdles I had difficulty, but it turned out to be o.k.”
Ezike and other members of the teams were happy to enjoy the warm weather, which has been a rarity in Ithaca recently.
“[Having good weather] is always good, the weather before was depressing,” Ezike said.
Ezike attributed his success to his conditioning, which he has maintained despite bad weather conditions and the normal Cornelian workload.
“I think [my success] has come from my lifting exercises being consistent,” Ezike said. “It is just a matter of time management, sleep is very important. … Probably the most important thing is getting eight hours of sleep and that is how I am able to get through.”
Ezike, who has already qualified for the NCAA Regionals, is looking forward to the culmination of the season.
“One, I would like to win the Heps. … Two, I would like to qualify for nationals,” Ezike said.
In order for Ezike to make Nationals, he will have to finish in the top-5 during regionals.
Another athlete who starred in the pleasant weather was sophomore Jeomi Maduka.
Maduka finished second in the long jump with a mark of 21-2 3/4, setting a school record.
“I was happy with myself,” Maduka said. “I really wanted to jump 21 feet, and I did.”
However, Maduka’s feats did not stop at the long jump. Maduka also won the triple jump with a mark of 43-1 1/2 — just two centimeters off the school record. In addition, Maduka joined senior Cameron Washington and classmates Janice Nsor and Jessica Retelny to win the 4×100 with a time good enough for No. 3 in school history — and to qualify for ECACs. π
“It went well, one of our goals was to run faster and we did,” Maduka said.
Maduka was not the only female to earn top honors at the Moravian Invitational as seniors Sarah Wilfred and Shawna Rossini placed one-two, respectively, in the high jump.
Other top performances at the Moravian Invitational came from junior Muhammad Halim, who won the triple jump and was followed up by freshman Duane Teixeira. Sophmore Garret Huyler finished first in the high jump while classmate Jim Smith and freshman Jay Pierce tied for second.
At the Cortland Classic, another sophomore, Brian Cortina won two events — the shot put and discus. Junior Rommel Medina placed first in the hammer as well.
“I think we are really prepared, some of the meets have not been competitive … but with the meet and the good weather this weekend I think we are ready,” Maduka said.