March 1, 2010

Men’s Track Finishes Second at Heps, Women Take Third

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Men’s track team senior captain Duane Teixeira and sophomore Melissa Hewitt of the women’s team both added their names to a list of Cornell greats, as each won two events over the weekend at the Indoor Ivy League Heptagonal Championships at the Leverone Field House in Hanover, N.H. Teixeira became the fifth male Cornell athlete to ever achieve the feat by winning the long jump and triple jump, while Hewitt was the 13th female double-event winner –– claiming the 60m dash and long jump titles.

Teixeira led the men’s team to 149 points overall and a second-place finish behind Princeton’s 181 points at the two-day event. Hewitt and the Red scored a total of 96 points at the meet to finish third behind Princeton’s 125 and Columbia’s 110 points.

Despite its third-place finish, the Red thought it showed its best effort over the weekend.

“Everyone stepped up and we competed with a lot of heart,” Weyman said. “We even had a bunch of ECAC qualifiers on our team. In fact, we have the most qualifiers out of every team.”

“We attacked every event,” said senior pole vaulter Natalie Gengel. “There was a little frustration we didn’t come out with a win.”

The Red surpassed the predictions released before the meet, which had Cornell finishing as low as fourth or fifth. The women’s team came into Heps looking to surpass these expectations.

“We actually enjoyed being the underdog,” Weyman said. “There’s less pressure and we wanted to go after it. We wanted to make a difference. ”

“We worked to prove everyone wrong about their predictions,” Gengel said. “We gave Princeton and Columbia a good fight out there.”

Gengel, who was sidelined with an injury for four months, managed to claim second in the pole vault after only six weeks of practice.

On the other hand, the men’s team was not pleased with its overall performance. Although many athletes did well, there were many more who failed to step up against Princeton.

“We dropped a lot of points,” said sophomore sprinter/hurdler Nick Huber. “A lot of the events [in which] we were guaranteed second or third, we failed to actually score that high. We were not happy with our performances.”

Even the Red athletes who turned in personal records were beat by better personal records from Princeton and Dartmouth.

“Princeton and Dartmouth were able to get really hyped up for this meet,” Huber said.

One of the main reasons the Red did not do as well was because of the loss of certain athletes due to injury. In Huber’s case, a pulled hamstring forced the sprinter to become a spectator instead. Princeton and other teams did not have any injuries to their top performers.

Another reason may have been anxiety as many of the members were freshmen or transfer students who were competing in their first Heps.

“We have a lot of freshmen with no experience and a couple transfers not used to Heps yet,” Huber said.

This inexperience and anxiety should not figure into the Outdoor Heps, which Huber is already looking forward to compete in.

“We’ll be better in [the outdoor Heps],” Huber said. “Our team is more geared to outdoors. We’ve got more strong athletes and are really deep … but we’ll bounce back.”

Original Author: Wankyu Lee