October 1, 2007

Men’s Harriers Take 11th; X.C. Women Seize Seventh

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Whether by bus or by plane, the Red’s miles of travel and miles of summer training paid off this past weekend.
The women’s cross country team bussed it to the 34th annual Paul Short Invitational at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa. The men’s team flew to South Bend, Ind. to compete at the 52nd Notre Dame Invitational. Though each team faced their strongest competition yet, racing against 47 and 23 teams respectively, the Red returned to Ithaca with its share of success.
In a field of 47 teams and 317 runners, the women’s team placed 7th overall, defeating nationally ranked teams such as Tennessee (28) and Heps rivals Penn and Harvard.
“It’s the biggest race we’ve had all season, in terms of how many teams were there,” said junior captain Aeriel Emig, “So it was a good experience for everyone to get out and race against other runners from other strong programs.”
The Red moved up steadily throughout the race, lead by freshman Kim Standridge, a consistent top-finisher for the Red, who finished 22nd. Sophomore Stephanie Pancoast, with a personal best, came next in 38th, followed by freshman Katie Sullivan in 52nd, Emig in 79th, and fellow classmate Katie Roll in 89th. Sophomore Kerri Lyons and junior Marie Parks finished out the top-seven squad.
Yet, strong performances from the rest of the team proved its depth, with junior Fiona Cundy placing 14th out of 400 in the Open Race, with six more runners, sophomore Caroline Heidt, freshman Maura Carroll and juniors Rachel Kirsch, Emily Bartlett all finishing in the top 35.
“Heps isn’t based on this past weekend, so it’s hard to judge where we’re gonna stack up,” Emig added. “There’s still a few really good meets and several weeks of training before Heps.”
The varsity men took a rare weekend off last weekend to prepare for their biggest meet to date at Notre Dame, where they competed against a dozen teams either nationally ranked or having the potential to be nationally ranked. The Red just missed a top-ten finish, placing 11th overall with 248 points, nipping the heels of Liberty and Illinois, who scored 246.
Junior Zac Hine finished first for the Red with a blazing time of 24:35 on the 8K course, with senior captains Sage Canaday and Jimmy Wyner crossing the line seconds later.
“I thought it was a good starting point, I feel like our team usually runs best towards the end of the season,” Hine said. “We still have a lot of work to do, but overall I think the team ran pretty well.”
Though the team was hurt by the illness of a consistent varsity finisher sophomore Charlie Hatch, junior Andy Miller and sophomore Kyle Wolpert, who were the top-two finishers at the Iona meet last weekend, stepped up with strong performances.
The top-three were followed by freshman Adrien Dannemiller, Miller, sophomore Owen Kimple, junior Sam Luff and Wolpert.
Eight of the nine runners ran a personal best.
Captain Jimmy Wyner, apparently back in form after a summer injury, gave a preview to the races preceding the championships in the next several weeks.
“This past race as well as our race in two weeks at pre-Nats will be a great benefit for us going into Heps, just because of the magnitude of the races,” Wyner said. “I think that having us run two big races before will make it easier for us to run well in a smaller race with less clutter like the Heps.”
The women will compete October 12th at the Penn State National Invitational and the men will compete at the Pre-national race in two weeks before competing in the Heptagonal Championships October 29th at Van Cortland Park in NYC.