September 20, 2007

Red Has New Dynamic After Championship Season

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After a banner season in which the Red women won the ECAC championships, placed third at the Heptagonal championships, won two invitational meets and earned national All-Academic honors, the runners return without a single senior. Still, expectations are again high.
“We’re all a really young team, but we have a lot of talent,” said junior captain Aeriel Emig.
“The goals really never change and we keep them very, very simple,” said head coach Lou Duesing. “[The goal’s are to] appreciate the opportunities that are provided and to give the very best effort that they can. We always figure that if we’re doing that, we’re going to be competitive, we’ll do well individually and if we do well individually, we’ll do well as a team.”
The team is off to a strong start, having beaten Army by a decisive 18-43 score in its first meet. The Red will compete in the Iona Meet of Champions, the Paul Short Invitational, the Penn State Invitational and the Reif Memorial Run before postseason races begin the final week of October.
The ECAC Championships are Nov. 17 this year. Last year, the Red successfully defended its team championship there; for Cornell to make it three in a row, the team will have to compensate for losing three of the five scoring runners from last season’s race.
“That’s looking a little ahead of ourselves,” Emig said. “If we have a successful season, [an ECAC title] is not out of reach.”
Duesing argued that it is unfair to compare this year’s team to the one from a season ago and is not looking to replace last year’s seniors.
“I really don’t think in terms of trying to replace people,” Duesing said. “It’s a very different team. When the dust settles at the end, it could be a better team.”
“I think that every year you have a different dynamic,” Emig said. “In working together in workouts and becoming a new closely knit team, we can have a lot of success.”
Some of the top runners on this year’s team are juniors Marie Parks and Fiona Cundy, sophomores Stephanie Pancoast and Kerri Lyons and freshmen Kim Standridge and Katie Sullivan. Standridge and Pancoast were the team’s top two finishers in the race against Army.
“I don’t know that the people who are running well now are necessarily going to be the ones running well at the end [of the season],” Duesing said. “However, looking at the results from that first meet … that’s a pretty accurate reflection of where people are right now.”
“It’s not really a rebuilding year, just a new dynamic,” Emig said. “Everyone’s having a blast so far.”