October 3, 2010

Men’s Cross Country Places Fourth at Short Invite

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In their first large scale meets of the 2010 season, the men’s and women’s cross country teams yielded mixed results at the Paul Short Invitational at Lehigh in Bethlehem, Pa. For the women’s team, the trip was undoubtedly a success, as the Red finished fourth out of over 40 teams, beating all other Ivy competitors as well. However, for the men’s team, which entered the season with Heptagonal Champion aspirations, Paul Short was a bit of a setback, as the Red fell to Dartmouth and Columbia. The Red managed to defeat Penn and Brown en route to a ninth place finish.

After finishing second to senior Adrien Dannemiller at Army, classmate Nate Edelman finished first for the Red in 24:15 at Paul Short as Edelman and Dannemiller swapped places, with Dannemiller finishing second in 24:46. Edelman was 15th, while Dannemiller placed 40th for the Red. After the seniors, a group of underclassmen composed of sophomores Brett Kelly, Bobby Micikas and Matt McCullough and freshman Gabe Heck rounded out Cornell’s scorers.

Freshman Dave Forward was also in the mix for the Red, completing the race in 25:27. Times were comparably slow all around for the Red on the eight-kilometer course, as runners raced in muddy and rainy conditions.

“Cornell’s gap between the No. 1 and No. 5 runners improved from over 1:30 at Army three weeks ago to only 55 seconds today,” said assistant coach Zeb Lang.

On the women’s side, the Red enjoyed a similar spread, according to sophomore Katie Kellner.

“Our top five was really close together which is very good,” she said. “I was told that out of all 41 teams that raced, we had the second smallest spread between our top five. Georgetown had the smallest, which just shows the depth of our team and how well we can work together and pull each other along.”

Undoubtedly, the Red’s pack racing abilities contributed to its excellent fourth place performance. The Cornell women were only beaten by national powerhouses No. 6 Georgetown and No. 16 Virginia, as well as a surprisingly impressive James Madison squad.

“Going into the Ivy League Championships, it’s good to feel like we’re a leg up from them,” Kellner said.

Freshman Devin McMahon led the way, while Kellner finished second. Sophomores Kelsey Karys, Genna Hartung and Cara Costich rounded out the top five for the Red, as Cornell rode an underclassmen heavy squad to success, similar to their performances at Army and Colgate. However, while Cornell’s finishing order at the end of the race resembled that of the previous meet, there was considerable jostling between the Red throughout the race.

“Kelsey had a tremendous start and she was right up in the front from the start. Devin had a really good start too. I personally didn’t have a very good race so I spent most of my race trying to catch up,” Kellner said.

However, Karys eventually faded around the four-kilometer mark, as McMahon surged ahead, and Kellner passed Karys in the final stretch, finishing six seconds ahead.

Both teams will next race on October 16th at Penn State’s National Invitational.

Original Author: Nate Lowry