February 8, 2010

Track Finishes Third Out of 14 Teams

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The men’s and women’s track and field teams showed up strong at Penn State to finish third overall at the two-day Sykes-Sabock Challenge over the weekend. The men’s team scored 80 points to finish behind first-place Princeton’s 111 and second-place Penn State’s 83, while the women’s team recorded 78 points behind first-place Penn State’s 134 and second-place Auburn’s 111.

On Saturday, sophomore Dan Hagbert led the way with a second-place finish in the 60m hurdles and the third-best time in Cornell history. Senior Owen Kimple placed second in the 3000m and also produced the ninth best school time. The Red showed great depth in the 400m dash with three runners placing in the top-10; sophomores Ken McClain and Nick Huber and junior Cody Boyd went Nos. 2, 3 and 6, respectively. Junior Aaron Anderson finished fifth in the mile run and sophomore Brian Freitas took fifth in the 600m run.

The women’s side was also impressive on the first day of events with senior captain Stephanie Pancoast winning the 5000m run with the 10th-best time in school history. Sophomore Melissa Hewitt won the 60m dash while fellow classmate Taylor Baird finished eighth in the 60m hurdles. Sophomore Sam Brady continued her great season with a seventh-place finish in the pole vault.

On the second day, junior Kim Standridge took second in the 800m run and recorded the eighth-best time in Cornell history. Kelsy Karys broke the longstanding freshman record of former Cornell Hall of Famer Sara Day ’87 for a freshman in the 3000m run to capture second place at the meet and also record the 10th-best time in school history. Senior captain Jessica Weyman finished eighth in the 400m dash while sophomore Bry Bonavita and freshman Mari Girustante finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in the 600m run. Junior Kim Lienhoop finished 10th in the long jump, while the 4×400 team took third overall.

The women’s team was satisfied following its performance over the weekend, especially since the meet featured many tough teams.

“Our team is staying strong,” Lienhoop said. “It was good competition and the team really stepped up. [The meet] gave us exposure to a good level of competition for the Heps and other future meets. We did fairly well against good teams”

Lienhoop also noticed a difference in the way the team has been carrying itself lately.

“Our team is getting better with our confidence,” Lienhoop said. “Everyone has had rough meets and rough performances but eventually people will have their big days and breakthroughs. … We’re staying positive, staying with the training, doing what [head coach Nathan Taylor] tells us to do and working hard for Heps.”

Even with this newfound mentality, the Red is still aware that the championships are only three weeks away and will require some more hard effort to win.

“We all know Heps won’t fall into our laps, and we have to work for it,” Lienhoop said.

The men’s team has the same sense of urgency regarding the Heptagonals Championship.

“There’s only three weeks left before Heps,” Belden said. “We still have a lot of things to work on and get better.”

With such a short time left before the championships, the team enjoyed competing against tougher teams over the weekend.

“It was really good competition,” Belden said. “It was nice to see a competition against Princeton to see where they are and where we are. … It was a good chance to measure your work so far and see where we need to go from here.”

Despite the impressive finish, the team still feels it could perform at a higher level.

“There were a lot of pretty good performances,” Belden said. “But a lot of guys, myself included, need to perform better.”

Original Author: Wankyu Lee