September 27, 2010

Men’s Cross Country Trio Proves Critical to Team’s Success

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Adrien Dannemiller.  Nate Edelman. Matt Da Silva. While these three Cornell seniors may not possess the name recognition of a “Jordan, Pippen, Rodman” trio, the men’s cross country team will rely heavily on their steady leadership, and of course speed in the upcoming months as the Red makes a run for the Heptagonals title and a strong showing at Regionals.

After missing last year’s cross country season studying abroad, Dannemiller has shown no ill effects from his time overseas, returning for an excellent track season during which he excelled in the steeple chase and served as team captain.  Dannemiller’s preparation for the upcoming cross-country campaign picked up right where his track season ended.

“My preparation for this season has been better than my preparation for any season I’ve had so far. I was able to do a lot of mileage and train at a very high level this summer,” Dannemiller said.

In the first race of the year against Army, the summer training paid off as Dannemiller finished first followed closely by Edelman, who was four seconds behind, as the pair finished far ahead of the pack in 25:23 and 25:27, respectively, in the eight-kilometer race.

“It’s nice for me as a cross country captain to have [Dannemiller] as a track captain … he has a lot of experience and is an extremely tough person in workouts and races. He’s very dependable and will give 100 percent on the course. … With Adrien it’s never a question,” Da Silva said.

For Edelman, after qualifying for Nationals and finishing fourth at Heps as the team’s undisputed No. 1 runner last year, the standards are set high. However, in the early stages of the season, Edelman appears to be up to the task despite finishing behind Dannemiller at Army. After suffering from mononucleosis last season, Edelman is back on track.

“Nate is a very good runner and I think we’re very close to the same level,” Dannemiller said. “I think we have a healthy competitive relationship and I think throughout the course of the season there will be times when he beats me and I beat him. We’ll definitely be pushing each other to compete at a higher level so it’ll be great to have Nate right there to run with the entire team.”

While Dannemiller and Edelman lead the pack in workouts and races, Da Silva — the team’s captain — also brings a steadying, experienced presence. As a transfer from Purdue in his fifth year of college running, Da Silva is undoubtedly the most seasoned member of the Red

“I definitely feel like I’ve had a lot of experience with running and you want to pass that on to younger guys and help them get better,” he said. “It’s rewarding to be able to give back to the team and try and build it for the future.“

While Da Silva’s advice will undoubtedly help the Red in future years, the 2010 season is promising enough in its own right. With the trio of Da Silva, Dannemiller and Edelman leading a talented sophomore class this year, the Red has turned in quality training over the past two weeks since the Army meet and has high hopes for the remainder of the season.

“The goal for this year is to look past Heps and focus on Regionals,” Da Silva said. “As a team, we’d like to win Heps. I think we have a shot at that. Just a few more things have to come together.”

Original Author: Nathan Lowry