March 2, 2009

Track Continues to Dominate at Indoor Heps

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The Ancient Eight came together this past weekend to redefine the age-old moniker, “Ivy League,” at the Gordon Track in Cambridge, Mass. At the most important track meet of the season, the Indoor Heptagonals, both Red squads flew by their Ivy counterparts in dominating fashion.
On the women’s side, the Most Outstanding Performer went to track phenom senior Jeomi Maduka, who is now tied for the most individual Indoor Heps championships with 10. Maduka broke three meet records in the triple jump, long jump and 200 m, with measurements and times of 43-10 1/2 ft., 20-6 1/2 ft. and 24.51 s. Her measurements in the triple and long jump were both NCAA autoqualifiers.
In the 200 m, Maduka was followed by freshman sprinter Melissa Hewitt. In the 60 m, Maduka led a Red sweep with a meet record time as she, Hewitt and senior Janice Nsor went Nos. 1, 2 and 3.
Senior Maria Matos won the weight throw with a measurement of 59-09 3/4 ft., and the Red placed first in the 4 x 400 with a time of 3:46.76. Sophomore Lauren Tanz and junior Natalie Gengel placed third in the 60-m hurdles and pole vault, respectively.
The men’s side was victorious by 55 points over Princeton.
“This is what we spend all this time working hard for. 28 of the 33 athletes that went to the Heps scored … [showing the] contributions of a large number of guys on the team,” said head coach Nathan Taylor.
Cornell senior runners prevailed as Jimmy Wyner, Andy Miller and Zac Hine won the 800 m, 1 mile and 5000 m with times of 1:52:15, 4:15.63 and 14:17.64, respectively. Wyner’s victory in the 800 m was particularly impressive, as he was injured in the preliminaries, leaving his status for the finals uncertain. According to Taylor, he “turned on a terrific kick at the end and won by a couple hundredths of a second … very inspiring.” In the mile, the pace of the race was slow, thus Miller’s time was not exemplary compared to past races, but he still managed to run the last 400 meters of the mile in under a minute. Hine’s performance at the meet was also very strong, as he had placed second in the 3K the night before his victory in the 5000 m.
The Red tallied up points by combining in several events, such as when freshman Nick Huber and senior Marcel van Eeden went Nos. 1, 2 in the 400 m, junior Duane Teixeira and senior Aaron Gadson went Nos. 1, 3 in the long jump, and senior Andrew Levy and sophomore Adrien Dannemiller went Nos. 2, 3 in the 1000 m. In the 500 m, freshman Kenny McClain placed second with a time of 1:03.37.
Senior Garrett Huyler placed second in high jump, and junior pole vaulter Joshua Kirkpatrick placed third. Teixiera placed for the second time at the meet by finishing third in the triple jump. Senior Erik Roneker placed second in both the weight throw and shotput with measurements of 64-10 3/49 ft. and 55-11 3/4 ft. The Red relay teams also excelled, winning the 4 x 400 and Distance Medley.
The men’s score was the second-best in the 74-year history of the race, only falling short of the Red’s performance last year at the meet.
“Last year’s team was exceptional, maybe the best in the history of the Ivy League,” said Taylor. “For these guys to bounce back and be nearly as dominant, with so many superstars from last year having graduated, that’s a testament to their ability to pull themselves together and make themselves a championship team.”