February 20, 2009

Men’s, Women’s Track Hosts Marc Deneault Invitational

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With the Championship season looming in the distance, the men’s and women’s track teams will compete in Barton Hall tomorrow for the last time this indoor season. The Red will host the Marc Deneault Memorial Invitational, in memory of Marc Deneault ‘01, who sprinted for the Red before passing away eight years ago.
“It was a very difficult situation for everybody,” said head coach Nathan Taylor, who was only in his first year at Cornell when Deneault died tragically in a car crash. “He was a fantastic kid. One of those kinds of kids that everyone wanted to be around and liked being around. His loss for us, and his family, obviously was a huge blow. So we dedicated this meet to him. … Marc was such an inspirational kid. There’s a certain amount of that legacy that lives on.”
In what promises to be an emotional meet this weekend, a member of the Deneault family will award MVP awards for both runners and field event athletes.
The men will look for a strong showing from those who have yet to qualify for Indoor Heps, as well as from some athletes looking to stay in rhythm.
“A number of the guys who are definite for the Heps and have things going smoothly won’t compete,” Taylor said. “A group of twenty or so guys are trying to earn those last couple spots to make the Heps team, so they’re really going after it. Then we have events like the high hurdles and the pole vault, where guys are trying to get into a good groove and stay in that groove. So they don’t want to take a weekend off.”
The women will also be competing in Barton Hall this weekend. The meet will be somewhat unorthodox for the women’s side. With the season winding down, and many athletes having qualified for Heps already, the coaches will have to juggle the runners’ events.
“It’s going to be different for different people,” said head coach Lou Duesing. “Not everyone is in the same spot, relative to their fitness, relative to their event, relative to a lot of different things. [We are] really going to focus on trying to do what’s right for everyone. In some instances that means running out of their event.”