April 4, 2010

Track Teams Find Success in Easter Weekend Open

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Under sunny skies and slashing winds, the Cornell men’s and women’s track and field teams had great performances in the Easter Weekend Open at Robert J. Kane Sports Complex in Ithaca, N.Y.

Syracuse, Rochester Institute of Technology, Roberts Wesleyan and Ithaca College all were represented in the event. The meet was also open to any collegiate or post collegiate athlete.

Despite sitting many of its top athletes, the Red continued to find success as the members who competed gained valuable outdoor experience after training and competing at indoors facilities for an extended period of time.

“While the meet might not have been highly competitive it did provide an opportunity for many to get back into competition,” said women’s coach Lou Duesing. “It also provided an opportunity for those contesting new outdoor events to work on technique in a competitive setting.”

Top finishers for the men’s squad include junior Rick Semenick in the 200 meter dash (21.73); senior Marcel Van Eeden in the 400 meter dash (49.01); sophomore Chris Jakobson in the 800 meter run (1:59.21); sophomore Dan Hagberg in the 110 hurdles (14.75); sophomore Kenny McClain in the 400 hurdles (53.08); senior Duane Teixeira in the long jump (25-10.25) and triple jump (49-10.00); sophomore Bob Belden in the shot put (51-06.25) and discus (161-03), and sophomore Nick Huber (7019 points) in the decathlon.

In addition, the 4X400 relay team of Van Eeden, senior Michael Kippins, and sophomores Brian Freitas and Daniel Thomas won the event for the Red (3:18.6) over Syracuse and RIT.

Of the standout performances, men’s head coach Nathan Taylor was extremely impressed by Teixeira and Huber.

Huber’s score in the decathlon smashed the existing Cornell record in his first meet in over two months since overcoming an injury, while Teixeira’s results in the long jump just missed the school record and is either the second or third longest jump in the nation so far, according to Taylor.

“The conditions were really ideal for our long-jumpers,” Taylor said.  “The weather was fantastic and we had a great tailwind that definitely helped us achieve great results.”

While the wind helped the horizontal jumpers, it wrecked havoc on many running and field events.

“I was happy the weather at least partially cooperated,” Duesing said. “The temperature was great but the wind became a real hindrance. Despite the wind, which is a necessary evil in outdoor track, people did a good job of adapting and adjusting, which will be required in a number of upcoming meets I’m sure. I hope this was the worst wind we’ll face, but I know better.”

The Red’s next event is the Bucknell Invitational on April 9 in Lewisburg, Pa.

Original Author: Jimmy Xi