January 20, 2009

Men’s and Women’s Track Dominate at Penn State

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Men’s and women’s track and field had a fruitful weekend at the Penn State campus in University Park, Pa, against some of the top track teams in the Northeast. Both the men’s and women’s squads put up impressive performances, setting new school records, Ivy League records and ECAC records.
The Red was able to take four event wins against top teams from Penn State, Seton Hall, UNA, St. John’s and others. The Red spent the weekend proving it can hang with the best.
The success seen by the women’s team in Pennsylvania was due in many cases to underclassmen. Freshman Melissa Hewitt had a particularly impressive day on the track, winning the 60-meter dash in record-breaking fashion. Hewitt’s blistering 7.46 was fast enough to break not only the meet record, but the school, freshman and Ivy League records. [img_assist|nid=34216|title=Everybody runs|desc=Records were quick to fall on both sides as members of the men’s and women’s teams continued to improve in their respective events.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
Senior Jeomi Maduka showed showed her athleticism, performing well in multiple events. Maduka won the triple jump with a NCAA provisional qualifying distance of 43-6. The win highlights her improvement in triple jump); Maduka last broke the school record for the event in December. Junior Natalie Gengel also had a solid meet, topping the ECAC qualifying standard for pole vault. Gengel won the pole-vaulting event at Penn State with a vault of 12-5 1/2.
The men’s team had strong performances from upperclassmen in Pennsylvania, with 10 IC4A qualifiers. Senior Andrew Levy continued to shave his time in the 1000-meter, winning the event in a comeback with a new personal record. Levy has shaved 11 seconds off his personal best since the beginning of the season and is growing faster down the stretch. All three men running the 1000-meter improved on the IC4A time.
Junior Gary Jones made his debut for Cornell in the triple jump this weekend. He put up a second-place finish with a distance of 49-5, establishing himself as someone to watch as the season winds up in the upcoming weeks.
The team returns to Barton Hall this weekend to host the Upstate Challenge. The Upstate Challenge will not be as competitive as Penn State was, and may be a confidence boost going into tougher meets later in the season. As the season goes on, the team will be looking to increase its numbers at IC4A championships and NCAA championships down the stretch.