The men’s and women’s track teams will compete at home this weekend as they host a variety of teams during the April Open. Competing at the meet will be Syracuse, Binghamton, Buffalo and other schools. Additionally, two Canadian universities, Carleton and Toronto will both make the trip down to compete at Cornell.So far, the Red has had a successful start to the outdoor season. Both teams fared well during their spring break trip to California meets, and numerous athletes placed in their events during last weekend’s Ithaca Invites.According to women’s head coach Richard Bowman, the meet should be an opportunity for every athlete to experience some fresh and strong competition.“It will be competitive in almost every event with some great athletes. It’s time for people to start to make their mark in the outdoor season,” Bowman said
According to senior captain and decathlete Nick Huber, the meet is an important one for the men’s team at well, because there will be a rare opportunity to compete in the decathlon.
“It’s really big for a lot of guys, we’re going to race really hard,” he said. “The decathletes are going to be competing in probably one of three decathlons this year. Pretty much everyone on our team is competing and we’ll be going full strength.”The decathlon, a grueling two day event composed of the 100m dash, long jump, shot put, high jump, 400m dash, 110m hurdles, discus throw, pole vault, javelin throw and 1500m, will test competitors over the course of the weekend.This meet will also be the first outdoor meet where everyone on the team will compete together.“Choosing the people to compete in each event will be really hard when we have so many good girls in each event. However, I think that’s a good problem to have because it means we have depth on the team,” said senior sprinter Melissa Hewitt.“We’ll have everyone at the same place at the same time which will help us feed off each other and get into a rhythm,” Huber said. “It will be very unified this weekend compared to the California meets and Ithaca Invite.”The April Open, along with the Bucknell Invite and Upstate Challenge will be the three meets the teams will participate in before qualification meets like Penn Relays begin.“These next three meets will be determiners of who will be able to qualify and go to our championship meets,” Bowman said. “These are meets where almost everybody on the team can compete and get a chance to make their mark.”Both teams will soon find themselves in championship season, with only a month to go until the Ivy League Championships..“We try to take it one weekend at a time and do the best we can, but when championship time comes around we’ll be really excited,” Hewitt said. Bowman echoed her sentiments, but understands that his team needs to be cautious about becoming complacent, even though it performed well in indoor season.
“We felt pretty good about the indoor season, and we’re really lucky to have these meets to sort ourselves out,” he said. “We want people to understand that just because something went well during indoor season doesn’t mean that we can let up all. That was a long time ago and we want the good things to carry over but we also don’t need anybody settling.”
Original Author: Shayan Salam