February 27, 2008

M. and W. Track Set to Sweep Heps in Barton

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Only one thing separated the men’s and women’s track teams from both claming the Ivy League title last season: 1/100 of a second.
The women were victorious and got to feel the satisfaction of achieving their season-long goal, but the men were left with a horrible, lingering taste in their mouths that they’ve been longing to get rid of since falling short exactly 368 days ago.
[img_assist|nid=28257|title=Good form|desc=Track will host Heps this weekend in front of cheering alumni.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
The culprit of all the dismay for the men’s squad was none other than Ancient Eight rival Princeton, which has again been neck and neck with the Red this season as the top-2 track powerhouses of the Ivies.
“Princeton is a well coached, very deep team and they will leave it all out on the floor,” said men’s head coach Nathan Taylor. “I wouldn’t be surprised if the finish was just as close as last year. It will be a knock down, drag out affair.”
“The other teams are very solid as well, but I don’t know if they have the same depth as Cornell or Princeton,” Taylor added. “We have four NCAA qualifiers already but Princeton has five. It will be a clash of the titans just like last year.”
The Red got its final warm up last weekend at the Marc Deneault Invitational where junior Eric Roneker stole the show and won the men’s MVP for the second year in a row.
“I thought the guys competed very well at the meet,” Taylor said. “The pole vaulters did well. Dave Mengel had a terrific race in the 60, and Roneker obviously, had a great meet also.”
Senior Dave Mengel ran an IC4A qualifying 6.90 to win the 60 and set a personal record.
The women are just as pumped for Heps as their male counterparts and they will have a chance to defend their title on their home floor this season.
“I really think we’re going to win Heps,” said women’s senior tri-captain Joan Casey. “We’re all excited, and it’s going to be really fun.”
The women also had their final chance to address any last minute issues last weekend at the Marc Deneault Invitational. Sophomore Jessica Weyman showed that she was more than ready after winning the 300 with the second best time in school history, a time that propelled her to be named women’s MVP for the meet.
The women also swept the top-4 places in the 300, with junior Tameka Royal finishing behind Weyman and posting the ninth best time in school history and sophomore Kate Backel and junior Erin Payne finishing third and fourth, respectively.
Another factor that the men and women will be thinking about is the alumni that will be present at the meet — cheering the Red on.
The alumni are all invited to the event and are expected to have a strong presence. Both the men and women would love to impress them by bringing home a title right here in Barton Hall.
“I just want to encourage everyone to come down to Barton Hall, where they take their finals, and watch Heps,” Casey said. “We’re really building a legacy here.”