October 27, 2008

Red Finishes Regular Season With Local Race

Print More

In the final race of the regular season, the men’s and women’s cross country teams took on local competition as Cornell hosted the 22nd Annual John Reif Memorial Run. Both teams showed strong depth, as the Red boasted impressive results despite the fact that many of the top runners were resting in preparation for Heps.
The men had two separate races on Friday. In the five-mile race, freshman Chandler Kemp led the way for Cornell and showed why he has a good chance of making a Heps squad sometime in the next few years. He placed fourth among the 26-runner field. Juniors Dan Cerqueira and Kyle Wolpert finished fifth and sixth, respectively.
Unlike most races during the year, the 5K race was co-ed and open to runners not affiliated with a varsity team. With over 100 people racing, junior Chris Tilger crossed the finish line in 16:45.8, which was almost 20 seconds faster than any other competitor. Classmate Doug Gibbons placed fifth.
Among the women, Cornell had four of the top-6 finishers. Women’s coach Lou Duesing singled-out each of those four runners in his assessment of the team’s performance.
“A number of people ran very, very well,” Duesing said. “[Freshman] Shelby Herman [third place] did a very good job and had probably her best race for Cornell. [Junior] Caroline Heidt [fourth place] did a very nice job as did [freshman] Christine Curtis [fifth place]. [Senior] Kat Beck [sixth place] had an outstanding race. Those people, among others, did a very nice job.”
Duesing would not commit to which twelve runners will represent Cornell at the Ivy League championships this weekend. He indicated that he has an idea about who will race, but does not want to announce the final roster until later in the week.
“It’s not time to decide yet,” he said. “Nobody knows what’s going to happen between now and Thursday, when we leave. People can get sick. People can get hurt.”
For those runners who will not compete at Heps, the Reif Memorial was their final race of the season. Overall, coach Duesing does not think the team performed as well as it could have in some of its recent races, however believes that the team has successfully prepared itself for Heps.
“[Cross Country] is not like football where the Ivy League championship is determined over the course of head-to-head competition. With us, the championship is determined at that one final race,” he said. “Everything you do is preparing to do your best at that time.”
Both the men and the women are already focused on Heps.
“People are excited about what is coming in the way of these championship meets,” Duesing said.