November 14, 2007

XC’s Small Senior Class Showed Good Work Ethic

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With the fall sports season coming to a close, men’s cross country seniors Sage Canaday, Jimmy Wyner, David Krause and Mike Smayda are all facing the end of their collegiate cross country careers. Although Canaday and Wyner will soon be making the transition into the winter track season, the presence and contributions of the teammates will be missed next year.
Canaday has been a leading scorer for the team this season as well as a strong leader as a co-captain. His impressive season included qualifying for the Olympic trials and the NCAA national championship, the only Red runner to do so. Canaday didn’t come to Cornell as a particularly highly touted recruit, though.
“Even when he wasn’t doing well, he didn’t give up and kept working harder,” said head coach Robert Johnson. “He’s someone who lives and breathes running. On a personal level, it’s been really neat to see someone like that have such an incredible season.”
Canaday, who took the spring of his sophomore year off, will be at Cornell for a fifth year. Although he will be ineligible to run cross-country for another season, he will still have two seasons of track after this year.
Wyner, the other co-captain on the team, has also been a consistent top performer for the Red this season. Due to personal reasons, he was unable to put in a high level of summer training and started off the season weaker than he would have liked. Despite this setback, he managed to finish in one of the top-3 spots in most of the team’s races this season.
“I was quite pleased that he made the most given his fitness level,” Johnson said. “He made big gains, and without his huge improvement we wouldn’t have been able to have the season we did.”
Originally coming to Cornell as primarily an 800 runner on track, Wyner impressed coaches with his performance as a cross-country runner. He hopes to continue improving his running in the upcoming track season, looking to run a sub-four minute mile, among other things.
Although he wasn’t able to run this season, David Krause will also be graduating the team this year. Due to a recurring injury, Krause has spent most of this season supporting the team from the sidelines and acting as an assistant instead of competing.
A talented runner, he spent his freshman year at Bates — a Division III school — before transferring to Cornell his sophomore year. After excelling last year, Krause became plagued by stress fractures suffered because he is born bowlegged. These recurring injuries have prevented him from training and competing to his full ability.
Smayda was a decent single-event runner in high school, but impressed coaches with a work ethic that got him onto the traveling squad at Cornell. His numbers improved each year as he expanded his repertoire.
Above all, though, Canaday, Wyner, Krause and Smayda have shown incredible dedication to the cross country team during their years on East Hill, having all experienced roadblocks. They have also contributed to the development of a team that went from a seventh-place finish in the conference their freshman year to a second-place finish this year.
“[They] would give anything to be successful at running,” said Johnson. “We had our best year in about fifteen years here at Cornell. Hopefully, there’s more to come.”
As a team mostly led by younger runners, the women’s cross country team won’t be losing any senior members this year. Instead, the squad can look forward to the experience and expertise gained this season by the younger runners.