August 25, 2011

X-COUNTRY | New Runners Bring Fresh Talent

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The cross country team is welcoming several talented new freshman this season. The times and records that the new recruits posted during their high school careers are hopefully promising predictors for a strong upcoming season for both the men’s and women’s teams.

The women have added 17 new recruits to their roster, making this incoming rookie class a majority of the 55 member roster. Among the freshmen are two state champions and several top ten finishers at national events. The new runners, representing four different colleges at Cornell, hail from eight different states across the country.

Promising additions to the roster include Christine Driscoll, a new student in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, who was the New York State Class B cross country champion in 2010. Joining her is Corey Dowe, the New Hampshire Division II state champion in the indoor 3K who also placed sixth at the New Hampshire Meet of Champions in cross country.

Twins Anna and Katie Johnson, who hail from Temecula,Calif., are set to start classes in the College of Arts and Sciences this fall. Anna placed sixth in the open race at the Nike Cross Country Nationals during her 2009 season at Great Oaks High School before placing third in the 3200 at the California CIF Finals the following year. Proving that talent runs in the family, Katie was Inland Empire Champion in the 3200 meter race two times in high school in addition to qualifying for the Nike Cross Country Nationals during her senior season.

Last year freshman Devin McMahon, who finished 98th at the 2010 NCAA Cross Country Championship race, was named to the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association 2010 Division I All-Academic Cross Country Team. Her notable accomplishments during her rookie season will hopefully inspire the new recruits to achieve great things during their first year at Cornell.

Rich Bowman was recently named the The Alan B. ’53 and Elizabeth Heekin Harris women’s track and field and cross country coach. Joining him on the coaching staff are assistant coaches Artie Smith and Kim Standridge.

The men’s recruits also appear to be valuable additions to the roster.  Among the new runners are Calvin Patten and Tyler Eustance from New York and Sam Belcher from Mass. Belcher was a NEPSTA champion in cross country and track. Eustance has also proven his running prowess, posting a personal best of 9:27.45 for the two mile.

Last year the men’s team finished fifth at the 2010 Heptagonal Championships and sixth out of 38 teams at the NCAA Northeast Regional meet. The team hopes to continue its success through 2011 and is already preparing for NCAA Regionals and Championships this November.

Many of the runners will continue their running seasons through winter and spring track. However, for now the cross country team is focusing on its upcoming season. The men and women have their first meet in Ithaca, N.Y., against Army on September 9.

Original Author: Rebecca Velez