While the majority of Cornell students were home on break, the track and field teams have had meets each of the past three weekends and are taking steps in the journey to reclaim the indoor Heps championship. This past weekend, the Red hosted the Upstate Challenge in Barton Hall — a meet in which the Red competed against six other teams.
According to men’s head coach Nathan Taylor, the Upstate Challenge saw most of Cornell’s athletes get the chance to finally compete.
“The Upstate Challenge was the first meet where just about everyone was competing,” he said. “It was good for this meet to show us where some of the athletes are.”
Taylor said that this meet was challenging for him as a coach.
“It’s a challenge to really push yourself when there isn’t really very much competition,” he said. “Some guys can do it, and some guys can’t. [Junior Montez Blair] and [sophomore Stephen Mozia] demonstrated that they can. Both are ranked second in the country [in their respective events].”
Sophomore thrower Stephen Mozia shattered the Barton Hall and Cornell record in the shot put with a throw of 65’ 3.25”, while junior high jumper Montez Blair broke his own Barton Hall and Cornell records three times, finally clearing a height of 7’ 5.5”.
Blair said he reamins motivated to compete, despite the strength of the field around him.
“I don’t compete against others,” he said. “Every time I jump, I compete with myself and the bar. Even though sometimes I don’t win against the bar, it’s a constant war.”
Next up for the Red is the Terrier Invite at Boston University this weekend.
Women’s head coach Rich Bowman said the Red will have the opportunity to compete against other Ivy teams that it does not usually face during the course of a regular season before the Heps.
“We like our depth,” Bowman said. “The more people we can get [competing], the better we’ll get. We’ve a lot of team members that can compete and contribute. They’ve been great up to this point and we’ve got a long way to go.”
Taylor said he is asking the team to trust individual abilities to contribute to a team win this weekend.
“I think fear is a limiting factor for athletes,” he said. “And for most kids at Cornell, it’s the fear of failure, than the fear of success. Really putting yourself out there in a situation where you have the opportunity to fail is a big thing. I hope that they overcome their fears.”
Both coaches said that the track at BU is a fast one, which will probably affect how the Cornell runners compete.
“I’m excited because it’s one of the fastest tracks around,” junior sprinter Ebolutalese Airewele said. “It’ll be nice to see if I can run all events that I want to run for the Heps in this meet.”
Original Author: Juan Carlos Toledo