Cornell cross country will be competing in its first competition of the season this weekend against both Army and Binghamton. This is the first time since 2008 that cross country will host a race at home.
The moakley course runs along Cornell’s golf course, just one mile from the center of campus. The men’s track is five miles long, while the women’s is just over three miles.
“I expect Army and Binghamton to be competitive teams,” said women’s assistant coach Artie Smith.
The women have several accomplished runners retuning this season. Junior Genna Hartung is the course record holder, with a time she ran during her freshman year.
In the same year, junior Katie Kellner achieved the third best time ever recorded. It will be interesting to see what these girls can accomplish this weekend, as this is the first time since setting these times that they will return to the course.
“This meet is really about getting back into a racing mindset,” said senior captain Meghan Brown. “Since it’s a home meet the whole team gets to race, so it’ll be great having everyone out there running together.”
The men’s squad will use this opportunity to see who is ready to step up and lead the team.
“The junior class is probably the most talented class I’ve ever had,” said assistant coach Robert Johnson. “But there are no proven stars … they’ve got to rise to the occasion.”
Cornell graduated its Top-3 runners last year and has only one senior returning this year — captain Chandler Kemp.
“For the first meet we want them pack running,” Johnson said. “[We want them] running together for the first one to two miles, working on team unity. At the three mile mark we can let them go from there.”
Binghamton is expected to be the stronger competition this weekend for the men’s side.
The Red has defeated Army for the past six years, but with a squad of more inexperienced runners, the team is not taking anything for granted.
“We want to get in tough competition in the beginning … We need to be realistic and see where we are,” Johnson said.
“There are a lot of open spots,” Kemp added. “There are five to seven of us with similar performances in the past and at similar levels of fitness. We all need to work together.”
The race will be the runners’ first opportunity to show how much they have accomplished during summer and preseason training.
So far, both teams have been producing favorable results.
“Everyone is doing better than they did a year ago in the same workouts,” Brown said.
“We have a very talented group of guys,” Kemp added. “Our team is excited, and we’re looking forward to our first meet.”
Cornell will face Army and Binghamton on Sept. 9.
Original Author: Rebecca Velez