At Penn State this past weekend, the tables turned for the women’s and men’s cross country teams as the men finished fifth and the women finished seventh amidst a field of nationally ranked contenders. The women, who have benefited from a consistent top five all season, were bereft of sophomore Katie Kellner, who has been a solid No. 2 runner behind freshman Devin McMahon. Kellner was absent due to a knee injury. On the opposite side of the spectrum, the men, who have not enjoyed a full roster this season, returned senior captain Matt Da Silva after lengthy deliberation from the NCAA regarding Da Silva’s fifth year of eligibility.“Matt Da Silva is eligible for us to run now. He hadn’t ran for us this year yet so we’re very excited to have him back along with Adrien and Nate,” said sophomore team manager Kevin Johnson Jr. prior to the Penn State Invitational. As per usual, seniors Nate Edelman and Adrien Dannemiller led the way with a 10th and 16th place finish respectively on the 8K course. However, the return of Da Silva mixed up the rest of Cornell’s order as Da Silva finished third on the Red and 39th overall with a time of 26:11. Freshman Gabe Heck continued to excel, finishing behind Da Silva with a time 26:23, while sophomore Brett Kelly rounded out the scoring, finishing in 62nd. Junior Chandler Kemp and senior Steve Soprano finished sixth and seventh on the team respectively with identical times of 26:44. For the men, Saturday’s performance reflected the extent of their potential: the Red was only beaten by nationally ranked teams and defeated both Yale and Penn. Likewise, the women’s team found itself ahead of the Ivy competition, which portends successful results at next week’s Heptagonals. “We beat both Yale and Penn. Yale finished right behind us and Penn was after them. It was a good test for next week,“ said sophomore Cara Costich, who finished second on Cornell. Freshman Devin McMahon finished first for the Red in 21:16 on the hilly 6K course; McMahon’s time was the second best in Cornell history on the course. Next, Costich kicked in the last kilometer to finish in 21:50, good for fifth in Cornell history. Both sophomore Genna Hartung and senior captain Maura Carroll had strong races as well, finishing 51st and 52nd for the Red. Senior Kristin Sellers finished in 22:10, good for 59th place to round out the top five for Cornell. As a team, the Red entered the Invitational with goals for pacing which, for the most part, they fulfilled.“We wanted to focus on getting a good start and starting fast. As a team we did a really good job of getting out there at the beginning. I think it’s a little bit frustrating because we didn’t finish as strong as we wanted to as a team. But it was a really good prep race before [Heptagonals] next week,” Costich said.Times were noticeably slower as well for the Red; the team’s No. 1 runner McMahon failed to break 21 minutes, a testament to the difficulty of the course.“The first half mile was very down hill … then it evened out and the last mile and a half was uphill. It was definitely a harder course than Paul Short,” Costich said. Both the men’s and women’s teams will race next at the Ivy League Championships (Heptagonals) in Van Cortlandt Park, N.Y., on Oct. 29.
Original Author: Nathan Lowry