When senior distance runner Nick Wade crossed the finish line of the mile race at the SPIRE Invite in Geneva, OH Saturday, the clock read 3:59.998. A mere .002 seconds had boosted Wade into Cornell track and field history as he became the first Red athlete to ever run a sub-four-minute mile — breaking the school’s record in the event.
Wade’s performance is just one example of what the men’s track and field team has been working towards throughout the season — to reach each individual athlete’s peak.
“I think every meet is an opportunity to ramp it up and get really close to your maximum performance,” said head coach Nathan Taylor. “That’s what we work on week in and week out, and I think we’re getting close to that.”
With less than two weeks to go until the Heps Meet, hosted by Harvard, the men’s and women’s track and field teams split up into two different groups this weekend. Part of the team competed at the SPIRE Invite while the rest stayed at home to compete at the Kane Invitational hosted in Barton Hall.
Originally scheduled to compete at Boston University for the Valentine Invitational, the meet was cancelled due to adverse weather, according to men’s head coach Nathan Taylor.
“We didn’t end up traveling to Boston,” he said. “[But] the team performed very well [in Geneva]. We had some great performances this weekend.”
Wade’s was just one of those impressive finishes, as senior Brett Kelly moved up to No. 2 all-time at Cornell in the 5k with a 14:09.17 finish. In shorter distances, sophomore Hong Cho became No. 10 all-time in the 800 with a time of 1:51.96.
The women’s team also had a successful weekend, qualifying a total of 15 runners for the ECAC championships next month. Women’s head coach Rich Bowman said he was pleased with how his team fared.
“It went very well,” he said. “It was fantastic [at the SPIRE]. Back home, there were [also] some fantastic performances.”
While the ultimate goal for the team is winning the Heps championship, Bowman added that it is important for each athlete to continue to grow and improve until the championship meet comes around.
“I think that each week, we’re trying to put people in position to do well when the championship part of the season comes in,” he said. “And I think we’ve been doing that. Each week, we seem to be having good things happen.”
Freshman Hillary Holmes finished fourth in the 60 hurdles with a time of 8.88 and won the long jump event with a leap of 19’5.25.” Seniors Claire Dishong andLindsey Patterson went 1-2 in the pole vault, clearing 12’1.5” and 11’9.75” respectively.
Up next for the Red is the Marc Deneault Memorial Invitational hosted in Barton Hall on Saturday, Feb. 16th. The meet is dedicated to the memory of Marc Deneault, who ran for the Red before passing away in a car accident 12 years ago. Taylor spoke about how this meet in particular is an emotional meet, due to both its origin and the fact that it is the last stepping stone before the Heps.
“The Denault meet is a memorial meet for Marc Denault,” he said. “It’s an emotional meet, but a lot of the kids who know they’re going to be competing at the Heps will take that weekend off. But for the rest of them, it’s the biggest meet that they’ll be in to this point because it’s their chance to make the Heps team.”
Original Author: Juan Carlos Toledo