February 17, 2010

Track Teams Host Invitational in Honor of Marc Deneault

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After a strong performance in the Robert Kane Invitational last weekend, the men’s and women’s track and field teams will host the Marc Deneault Invitational at Barton Hall this Saturday. The meet serves as a memorial for Marc Deneault ’01, a Cornell sprinter who tragically passed away 11 years ago in a car accident.

The popular athlete was in the midst of a strong Cornell career when it was all terribly cut short on Dec. 18 1999, when Deneault died in a car crash on upstate New York’s Interstate 88. The then-sophomore sprinter was a huge contributor in the 100m and 400m events and will be commemorated through the meet this weekend. The deceased sprinter’s family will attend, and his parents will present the MVP trophy for both the men’s and women’s sides.

“The coaches always talk about how great of an athlete [Deneault] was and how good of a person he was,” said junior jumper Kimberly Lienhoop. “It’s a cool tradition we have, and it also honors previous good athletes.”

Along with the meet’s emotional importance, the Invitational is the final meet before the Heptagonal Championships, which is the following weekend. Although this marks the track and field teams’ last opportunity to compete before the Championships, not all of the athletes will be participating.

“Most of us will be resting this weekend,” said freshman sprinter Bruno Hortelano-Roig. “We don’t want to tire up.”

A big reason for resting is to combat the wear and tear of the track season and recover in hopes of posting great performances the following week.

“Some of my teammates with minor injuries don’t want to push it too hard,” Hortelano-Roig said.

While the athletes who have already made the Heps team rest, other team members could use this opportunity to impress with qualifying times.

“This is an opportunity for some of us to work out some last minute kinks,” Lienhoop said. “Some of us can use it as a great chance to get a qualifying mark.”

“The meet this weekend will have a different purpose for different people,” Hortelano-Roig said. “People can get their marks to where they want them [in order] to make the Heps team.”

Either way, the meet this weekend will not be wasted for the Red athletes.

“Whether we compete or not, we will all be using this weekend either as a rest weekend or a competition weekend,” Lienhoop said.

Hortelano-Roig has much confidence in the team to excel this week and the next as the season nears its end.

“We’ve worked really hard, and I think it’s all paying off now,” Hortelano-Roig said. “We have a great history [at Heps] so we’ve got a heavy load on our shoulders, but we’re looking pretty good. It’s a little scary, but I’m confident we’ll do well.”

Original Author: Wankyu Lee