October 22, 2007

XC Squads Run Through Rain, Host John Reif Meet

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The men’s and women’s cross country teams hosted the John Reif Memorial Run at the Moakley Course on Friday in their final race before the Heptagonal Championships. It rained throughout the women’s race, but stopped in time for the men to race later in the day, allowing freshman Nate Edelman to earn the last spot on the men’s Heps roster.
Both Cornell squads rested a majority of their top runners in hopes that they will have fresh legs for Heps. The men’s squad rested its top eleven runners, leaving an opportunity for the winner of Friday’s race to earn the 12th and final spot at Heps. The competing members of the Red put forth a strong effort before Edelman and sophomore Joel Frost-Tift eventually separated from the pack.
“It was really intense. He and another runner both passed me going down the gorge and then I passed both of them going back up the gorge,” Edelman said. “I was ahead coming out and then Joel came and caught me and we were just going all out for a solid 600 meters at the end.”
The 600 meter sprint resulted in Edelman winning by a tenth of a second after five miles of racing. As a result, the freshman will be heading to Heps next weekend.
“Its way beyond what I expected I’d do this season,” he said. “I’m really excited.”
Three Cornell sophomores rounded out the top-5, with Dan Cerqueira, Steve Soprano, and Peter Loy finishing third, fourth, and fifth, respectively.
The women’s team rested all twelve of the runners who are expected to compete at next week’s championships. For those who did run, it was their final race of the season.
“It’s probably their last cross country race of the season, so they’d like to go out on a good note,” said women’s coach Lou Duesing. “Unfortunately, the weather didn’t provide optimal conditions to measure whether or not they had improved from earlier in the season. I think people had fun and I think they went out and they raced hard.”
Red senior Anjelica Gregory finished first with a time of 20:14.9 on the 5000 meter course. Four Cornell juniors filled out the top-5 as juniors Kat Beck Danielle Schaub, Sonia Haerizadeh, and Melinda McAleese finished behind the senior.
But accoridng to Duesing, the race was about much more than just cross country competition.
“The John Reif Memorial Run honors a person who was on the team back in the mid-80s and was killed in a bicycle accident,” Duesing said. “It was a meet created by his teammates that I have gladly continued to hold. In terms of what its greater meeting might be, I hope there’s an appreciation of what Jon Reif stood for as a teammate.”