February 4, 2008

Harriers Flex Muscles At Sykes-Sabock Cup

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In their largest competition of the year so far, the men’s and women’s track teams continued their success and showed their strength against a nationally competitive field at the Sykes-Sabock Challenge Cup.
The women placed third out of the 13 teams and were highlighted by junior Maria Matos’ NCAA Provisional Qualifying 61-7 1/2 throw to place third in the weight and put her in third place all-time in that category at Cornell.
The women also had 12 ECAC qualifiers and 11 top-5 finishes.
“I like what’s happening so far this season,” said women’s head coach Lou Duesing. “So many people are setting personal bests and breaking school records.”
Sophomores Kerri Lyons, Jessica Weyman, Katie Murdoch and freshman Kim Standridge finished in fourth place in the women’s distance medly relay, which also gave them the seventh-best time in school history.
On the second day of the event Standridge broke the freshman record with a time of 4:55.46, and a sixth-place finish.
The Red had two ECAC qualifiers and four of the top-9 spots in the 5K with junior Marie Parks placing second with a 17:14.01, and sophomore Stephanie Pancoast and freshman Katie Sullivan coming in right behind her with third- and fourth-place finishes, respectively. Sophomore Erin Roberts finished in ninth with a 17:58:50.
Another ECAC qualifier for the women was sophomore Natalie Gengel, who came in second in the pole vault after clearing 12-1 1⁄2.[img_assist|nid=27237|title=Running on empty|desc=The men’s track team won two events and had 18 IC4A qualifiers on the way to a second-place finish at the Sykes-Sabock Challenge Cup.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
Senior Anjelica Gregory continued her stellar performance this season as she placed fifth and had an ECAC qualifying performance with a 2:11.87 in the 800. Lyons ran a 2:12.49 in the 800, which broke her personal record, gave her a seventh-place finish and also propelled her to an ECAC qualifying performance.
The men actually split up the squad to compete in two national events simultaneously, with a small portion going to the Millrose Games at Madison Square Garden, and the rest of the team joining the women at the Sykes-Sabock Challenge Cup.
At the Milrose Games, the men’s 4X400 led during the final lap until the baton was knocked out of senior tri-captain Aaron Merril’s hand. Merrill was still able to recover and get the team a second place finish.
The men’s 4X800 of seniors Jay Harding, Ian Ward, Mike Smayda and sophomore Charlie Hatch also had a brief lead but was unable to hold on and finished sixth in the event. Senior Saidu Ezike had a strong showing with a fourth-place finish in the hurdles.
Back at Penn State the men had an impressive second-place overall finish out of 11 teams. They were in contention for the title but Missouri was able to finish it off and beat the Red by 10 points.
The Red won two events, had 18 IC4A qualifiers and also boasted senior tri-captain Muhammad Halim’s NCAA provisional qualifying 50-8 3⁄4 in the triple jump.
“In track you can really only compare yourself to your past performances to see if you’re improving,” said men’s head coach Nathan Taylor. “Most of the guys are performing well and still improving and some of the records being set as a result are very impressive.”