September 10, 2008

Cross Country Looking to Make Progress in Ivy League

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As the fall season of collegiate sports gets under way, the men’s and women’s cross country teams are both eager to show off their respective talents. While the men’s team looks to build upon a successful 2007 campaign, the women’s team has aspirations of making a move up the Ivy League standings.
The women’s team is poised to improve dramatically on last season’s results. All of last year’s top performers are returning to the squad with an additional year of experience and training under their belts.
“This may be the first time that I’ve had the entire top-7 returning,” said head coach Lou Duesing. “They’re feeling more confident coming into the season, I’m feeling more confident and people just seem very excited about the season and are looking forward to it. If they can carry that attitude about the importance of having fun, working hard, and looking forward to each opportunity, we’ll see significant improvement.”
In addition to the fact that every prominent member of last year’s team is back, the class of 2012 provides a whole new crop of talented runners who may be able to contribute to the team. While Duesing did not speculate about which rookies might make the biggest impact, he anticipates that members of the freshman class will help the team.
“Pretty much every year I’ve been here, there’s been a freshman who’s broken into the top-7 and made a significant contribution and it’s not necessarily the ones I would have expected,” Duesing said. “I’m kind of looking forward to see how [the freshmen] make the adjustment to college running. It’s way too early to tell [who the biggest contributors will be].”[img_assist|nid=31561|title=Coming along nicely|desc=The men’s cross-country team will have to make up for the loss of Sage Canaday ’08 and Jimmy Wyner ’08, two of the team’s top runners from last year.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
It is not, however, too early to project which returning members of the team will lead the way. Seniors Aeriel Emig , Marie Parks and Katie Roll will look to provide stability and leadership, along with great performances. Emig is the team’s captain for the second consecutive season. Junior Stephanie Pancoast was named the team’s most valuable runner last season and should be among the team’s elite again this year. A trio of sophomores, Kim Standridge, Katie Sullivan and Caroline Schultz, will each look to improve upon very successful freshman campaigns. Those seven runners should set an example for the rest of the team to follow.
Unlike the women’s team, the men will have to compensate for the departed class of 2008, which included two of last year’s top runners: Sage Canaday ’08 and Jimmy Wyner ’08. With that said, the majority of last year’s squad, which placed second at HEPs, is ready to maintain, if not improve upon, the team’s recent success.
“We’re still a fairly similar group of guys,” said junior Dale Taylor. “We didn’t lose too many people [from last year’s team]. We know what everyone’s capable of. We were really able to train very successfully.”
Seniors Zac Hine and Andy Miller, junior Charlie Hatch and sophomore Adrien Dannemiller are expected to set the pace for the Red this year. Freshman Chandler Kemp appears to be the rookie most ready to contribute this year.
Cornell will open its season this Friday in West Point.