October 17, 2008

Tough Competition Awaits Cross Country

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The men’s and women’s cross country teams will attempt to divide and conquer this weekend. On the men’s side, the team will be split into two squads — eight members of the team will travel to Terre Haute, Ind., while the rest of the team makes the journey to Pennsylvania.
The eight members of the Red heading to Indiana will compete in the Pre-National Invitational, which will be hosted by Indiana State University on Saturday. The race is annually one of the most competitive collegiate cross country meets and nationally ranked teams flock to Indiana to see how they stack up against other elite squads. Last year, Cornell placed 18th among the 40 teams at the meet.
“You have chances to beat so many good teams because pretty much every good team is going to be there,” said junior Charlie Hatch. “One of those good teams might not be on their game or maybe we’ll just have a really good race and be able to beat one of those good teams.”
The Red’s seven-man squad would like to finish in the top half of the field again this season. Hatch, seniors Zac Hine, Sam Luff and Andy Miller and sophomores Adrien Dannemiller, Nate Edelman and Max Kasak will represent the Red. Junior Peter Loy will also participate in the meet, however only seven runners per school can be eligible to score, so Loy’s time can not affect the team’s point total.
The remainder of the team is competing today at the Penn State Invitational. Most members of the Red stayed in shape over Fall Break by remaining in Ithaca to practice and train as a team.
On the women’s side, the top-10 runners will be joining the top-8 Cornell men at the meet in Indiana. Again, only seven runners are eligible to contribute to the team’s score. Those runners are senior captain Aeriel Emig, her classmates Fiona Cundy and Marie Parks, junior Stephanie Pancoast, sophomores Kim Standridge and Katie Sullivan and freshman Meghan Brown. Senior Danielle Schaub, junior Caroline Heidt and sophomore Maura Carroll will also race in Indiana.
Women’s head coach Lou Duesing indicated that the aforementioned 10 runners are likely to be among the 12 runners who represent the Red at Heps.[img_assist|nid=32736|title=Haute stuff|desc=Eight men’s runners and 10 women will head to Terre Haute, Ind., for the Pre-National Invitational.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
“It’s definitely important for us to get out there and run really well and run as a team,” Emig said. “Every race right now matters as far as getting ready for Heps.”
There will be 17 other members of the Red competing in the Rochester Invitational tomorrow. The final two spots on the Heps roster are up for grabs, and a strong showing at the meet would boost the chances of individuals eager to compete in the Ivy League Championships. A strong team performance in Rochester would also demonstrate just how deep this Red team is, as it will be forced to compete without its top runners.
“We’re excited about them going and they’re excited to go,” Duesing said.