April 28, 2009

Track Excels at Both Penn Relays, CU Invite

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The men’s and women’s track and field teams competed in the prestigious Penn Relays this weekend, and returned home with several key event wins and personal best times, which they then compounded with a strong showing at the Big Red Invitational back in Ithaca.
Cornell enjoyed beautiful weather while facing some of the best track and field competitors in the country at the 115th running of the Penn Relays at outdoor Franklin Field in Philadelphia. On Thursday, the men notched several great performances in the distance events, as senior Zach Hine and sophomore Nate Edelman both met the NCAA Regional qualifying time in the 5000 meters, finishing 14:10.72 and 14:04.14, respectively.
Before the full bill of events kicked off, sophomore Alex Holcomb finished fourth in the decathlon, competing on Wednesday and Thursday. The decathlon event, as its Greek moniker suggests, is comprised of various ten track and field events, and is traditionally held over two days. [img_assist|nid=37269|title=Breaking the tape|desc=Both the men’s and women’s track teams succeeded at the prestigious Penn Relays, before returning home to dominate at their own invitational.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
On Friday, the Red won the Heptagonal 4×400, as senior Nate Crabtree, junior Mike Kippins, freshman Nick Huber and senior Marcel van Eeden finished with a time of 3:14.65.
Perhaps the highlight of the meet however came on Saturday, when junior Charlie Hatch, senior Andy Miller, sophomore Adrien Dannemiller and junior Jimmy Wyner finished fourth and broke the school record in the 4xMile relay.
The Cornell women also had several noteworthy event wins. Junior Kate Backel, junior Megan Williams, senior Erin Payn and junior Jess Weyman won the Heptagonal section of the 4×400, while junior Stephanie Pancoast won the 3000-meter steeplechase. The distance medley relay also placed second in the college championships section, finishing with a time of 11:48.88.
Meanwhile, in the field junior Natalie Gengel finished fifth in the pole vault, while senior Maria Matos placed third in the championship section of the discus on Friday.
The Red took the momentum from these solid showings back to East Hill on Sunday for its own invitational.
Facing unseasonably warm temperatures, 13 teams in total competed in the Big Red Invitational, with host Cornell bringing in 15 event wins, as well as eight IC4A, two ECAC and two NCAA qualifiers.
Having clearly found a groove with her throw at Penn, Matos broke the Ivy League record with a 173-3 toss in the discus event, which also broke the facility all-time record. Her toss from a few days earlier was an also impressive 165-1, which had been her best finish of the season.
Other event wins in the throws from the women included freshman Erin Rossi (hammer) and senior Erin Fogler (javelin). Victories on the track included junior Krystal Williams in the 100 meters, sophomore Maura Carroll in the 3000 meter steeplechase, and sophomore Kristin Sellers in the 10,000.
The men meanwhile were not to be outdone on their home turf. The long jumpers swept three of the top-5 spots in the event, with junior Duane Teixeira earning the fifth-best finish of all-time at Cornell with a jump of 24-10 ½. Senior Jim Smith won the high jump with a leap of 6-6 ¾, while on the track freshman Daniel Thomas won the 400 meters.