March 7, 2008

Harriers Bring New Faces to IC4As, ECACs

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In 2007, the indoor IC4As marked a historic success for the men’s track team. The Red earned first-place honors among the 53-team field, winning the event for the first time since 1930. Cornell was the first Ivy League university to win the competition in more than three decades.
This weekend, Cornell hopes to repeat its success in Boston. The IC4As are designed to crown a champion from the more than 70 schools that comprise the Eastern College Athletic Conference, of which Cornell is a member. Last year, Cornell tallied 50 points to beat out Seton Hall and Georgetown, which accumulated 45 and 42 points, respectively.
Cornell also had success in the ECACs — the women’s version of the IC4As. The Red placed fifth out of 51 teams which scored. Connecticut won the competition with 61 total points, while the Red finished just behind Duke with 37.
On the men’s side, Cornell succeeded last year mainly as a result of three event wins and two second-place finishes. In the 4×800 meter relay, the Red captured their second consecutive indoor IC4A victory and came within a few hundredths of a second of breaking the facility record they had set just one year earlier. Cornell also had an impressive second place showing in the 4×400 meter relay.
Cornell dominated the high jump a year ago when David Pell ’07 finished just ahead of then-sophomore Garrett Huyler as the teammates had the top-2 marks and combined to earn 18 points for the Red. Ray Taylor ’07 picked up 10 points in winning the triple jump.
Without Pell or Taylor, other members of the Red must step up to repeat last year’s triumph. 34 members of the team qualified for the IC4As, which means that there will be plenty of opportunities for the Red to pick up points.
“We have a good shot with all the guys prepped and ready coming off the high from winning Heps,” said senior Saidu Ezike. “It all depends on everyone’s attitude.”
Ezike earned three points in 2007 with a sixth-place finish in the 55 meter hurdles. His time was 7.44 seconds, but based on his performances thus far this season, it is reasonable to expect him to fare even better this year.
“I tend to do a little bit better in 60 meter hurdles because I have a little bit more time to run,” Ezuke said. “Despite that, I still feel like I can run really fast. I definitely expect big things.”
The women’s team will need some of its athletes to outperform expectations if it hopes to succeed again this season. Last year, the only individual members of the Red to score were members of the class of ’07, as the Red earned most of its points in relay events.[img_assist|nid=28633|title=Eyes on the prize|desc=The men’s and women’s track teams will head to the IC4As and the ECACs, respectively, this weekend.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
Cornell runners took second place in both the 4×400 and 4×800 meter relays a year ago. In the distance medley relay, the Red picked up three points by finishing sixth. Sarah Wilfred ’07 jumped higher than anyone else in the field to earn 10 points for the Red. Classmate Toni-Lynn Salucci placed second in the 3000 meter run to round out scoring for the Red.