October 26, 2007

Cross Country Heads To Heps in the Bronx

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It’s the race they’ve been waiting for all season.
Today the men’s and women’s cross country teams will compete in the race they have been preparing for all season. Heps will take place early this afternoon at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx.
Each school from the Ancient Eight will be represented in the conference’s cross country championships.
On the men’s side, an experienced squad is determined to build upon last season’s results. In 2006, the Red placed fifth among the eight schools. However, according to senior Jimmy Wyner, the team should have much more success this season.
“I definitely think we should improve,” Wyner said. “On paper, we’re the second best team in the Ivies based on the last meet that we ran. If we run to our potential, we should finish in the top-3.”
The Red may even have a shot at first, although Wyner conceded that, “Princeton looks to be the team to beat.”
All five runners who scored for the Red last season return. Wyner had the second best individual finish at last year’s competition, despite a fall mid-race.
“I definitely think I can [win],” he said. “Going in tomorrow, anything less than [winning] would be a little bit of a disappointment for me. I was so close last year. It would really mean a lot, especially my senior year.”
Seniors Sage Canaday and David Krause, who placed 12th and 45th last year, respectively, are looking to excel in their final chances at Heps.
Joining them are junior Zac Hine and sophomore Charlie Hatch, who both finished in the top-30 one year ago. Seven other runners will compete for the Red, including freshman Adrien Dannemiller.
The Cornell women feature a less experienced squad than the men. Each of the Red’s top-3 finishers last year were seniors, meaning younger runners will have a chance to establish themselves.
Sophomore Stephanie Pancoast, freshman Kim Standridge and classmate Katie Sullivan are among those younger runners who have been contributing so far this season.
Juniors Aeriel Emig and Katie Roll are the two returning runners from Cornell’s top-5 finishers last year and look to stabilize a young team.
“Everyone talks about how good last year was, and it was [good] — we had a lot of seniors step up,” said Emig, the team’s captain. “But we have quite a few freshmen on our team. Everyone is doing really well, no one is injured, no one is hurt.”
Emig says that the right combination of staying relaxed while still being excited for the race will be key for some of the team’s younger runners.
“I think it’s important for them to realize that [the race] is nothing to fret,” she said “It’s a 5K race. We’ve been running these all season. There’s no reason to change anything now.”
As for where the team may finish, Emig would not give a prediction but did state that after Princeton, the race is wide open.
“Everyone is really excited to run really hard and I think that everyone will have a good race,” she said.