It was another exciting weekend for the women’s cross country team, competing in the NCAA Northeast Regionals. The Red matched last year’s third place finish, but unlike in 2011, a strong 2012 regular season campaign propelled Cornell to be selected as an at large bid to compete in the cross country NCAA Finals.Women’s cross country coach Artie Smith ’96 spoke about how much last year’s finish proved to be motivation for this year’s team.“It’s something that this group has been striving for since last year,” he said. “We finished third at this same meet last year, but didn’t have the regular season resume to earn a bid to the NCAA finals. They’ve been looking to do this for a whole year.”Although the men’s team did not earn a bid to the NCAA Finals, they improved on last year’s eighth place finish by finishing seventh this year in what was a competitive field.Men’s cross country coach Zeb Lang ’03 was happy that even though his team did not earn a bid to the finals, there was tangible year-to-year growth.“I was happy with my team,” he said. “Our point total was the best that it was since 2008. Four of my runners ran in this meet last year, and they all finished better than they did last year.”The women’s team is on its way to Louisville, Ky. for the NCAA Championships on Nov. 17th. Smith expressed strong confidence for his team heading into the weekend.“It is such a fun group to coach,” he said. “They love to compete, they love to train hard, and they like to do it as a team. [This season] has really gone the way we wanted it to. I feel really confident about the direction this team is moving in.”Smith has spoken all season about how competitive his group is, and pointed to its strong desire to compete as something he’s looking forward to about this next meet.“I’m looking forward to seeing them display their competitiveness and confidence,” he said. “It’s always neat to see people have the opportunity to achieve their goals.”Although the Red has had a successful season to date, Smith held strong to his feeling that the season is not over yet.“There’s still unfinished business in the week ahead,” he said.
Original Author: Juan Carlos Toledo