March 27, 2012

TRACK AND FIELD | Ithaca Invitational Around Corner for Red

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The men’s and women’s track and field teams head across town this weekend to compete in the Ithaca Invitational. The meet, hosted by Ithaca College, will bring a medley of teams to Ithaca to compete, giving the Red a chance to face some fresh competition.

Both teams began the outdoor track and field seasons with a Spring Break trip to California. However, while many Cornell students relaxed in the sun over break, the teams were hard at work, competing in meets at both Cal State Northridge and UC Irvine during successive weekends.

Coming out of the successful trip out west, the teams will have a big showing at the Ithaca Invitational.

“It will be great opportunity to run, particularly for some of the kids who didn’t get to run next week as well as some of the technical events that need more time in good conditions,” said men’s head coach Nathan Taylor.

“We’ll have some good performances over there, especially from kids who are going to be kicking it off for the outdoor season,” said women’s head coach Rich Bowman. “There should be anywhere from 10 to 14 teams, so there should be some strong competition.”

While the competition during this meet will mainly be from Division III schools that the Red most likely will not face during future championship meets, the competition will be very important to get many of the athletes into the swing of the outdoor track and field season.

“It’s going to be a good training meet for a lot of the guys to get a look at where they are going into the outdoor season,” said men’s senior captain Nick Huber.

One of the noticeable differences between the indoor and outdoor seasons is that many field events which are not featured in the wintertime finally make an appearance.

“This meet will be important for the athletes participating in field events that weren’t present during the indoor season,” Bowman said. “In particular, the hammer, the discus, the javelin and all of those throwing events should be pretty exciting.”

Ithaca’s elevated location could potentially factor into the competition, as athletes will need to consider the wind during the meet. According to Taylor, the winds might drastically change the results of events during the meet.

“The track is right on top of the hill, the wind comes whipping down the lake and straight up the hill across the track,” he said. “As a result, it can be really nice or really miserable.”

The weather looks to be fairly mild, with temperatures in the mid-fifties and sixties — providing many of the athletes with good conditions to compete in during the invitational.

Invitational meets provide the opportunities for many teams to compete in the same place, ensuring that each event will be competitive. While the Ithaca Invitational will not be scored, it will provide athletes a practice environment to compete in before some of the scored team-based meets happen. The first scored meet of the outdoor season will be the Upstate Challenge on April 21.

“Getting back home and getting the whole team back together should be a lot of fun,” Bowman said. “We’re definitely looking forward to it.”

“We’re fired up [for the outdoor season] — Heps will definitely be a showdown, so we’ll have to show up and work hard this whole season,” Huber said.

Original Author: Shayan Salam