August 25, 2013

TRACK AND FIELD | Runner Competes on World Stage

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The Red’s own Bruno Hortelano-Roig ’14 set the standard high for track and field in an international competition this summer, breaking both Cornell and Spanish national team records along the way.

Hortelano-Roig started off this summer competing in Tempere, Finland for his native country of Spain at the European Under 23 Championships. Hortelano-Roig’s fifth-place finish in the 200-meter qualified him to compete at the IAAF World Championships, which were held in Russia in mid-August.

At the World Championships, Hortelano-Roig competed as part of the 200-meter dash and 4X100 relay. Although he and his teammates missed advancing to the semifinals of the relay by less than a tenth of a second, their time of 38.46 was good enough for a Spanish national team record. He also broke the Spanish team and Cornell team’s records with his 20.47 second performance in his heat of the 200-meter dash. Although he did not advance to the finals in this event, Hortelano-Roig’s performance led to his selection to complete in the 200-meter dash at the Stockholm Diamond League meet this past Thursday, where he finished with a time of 21.15 seconds.

After breaking the record for the 200-meter dash in Moscow, Hortelano-Roig now holds the Cornell record in the 200-meter indoor and outdoor and in the 400-meter indoor and outdoor. Hortleno-Roig attributes his time working with Cornell coaches to his success.

“The training I’ve received from coach Nathan Taylor and coach Adrian Durant has been critical to my athletic development this year,” he said. “After a great preseason and NCAA season, my summer was set up extremely well, and I was able to use this inertia to carry me through the summer months. My main training happened while I was at Cornell, and my workouts in Spain were essentially to maintain the form I had achieved.”

Although he has been racing for Spain, Hortelano-Roig is still practicing and training under Cornell sprint coach Adrian Durant and Head Coach Nathan Taylor. He said that while no college meets quite reach the high level of the World Championships, meets such as HEPS and the NCAA Regionals allow him to practice running under pressure.

“It’s this competing under pressure during the university season that has helped me get a feeling for the pressure felt on the world scene,” he said. “I would consider [college competition] as mental training. The physical training is almost the same, except I focused more on recovery and rest during the weeks leading up to the World Championships, while at Cornell I focused more on volume and intensity.”

Going into the upcoming season, the Red looks poised for success. With Hortelano-Roig’s senior year left, the Red has a tremendous amount of leadership, as well as another strong recruiting class coming in. Incoming freshman Rudy Winkler, a high school hammer throw record holder, and hurdler Jordan Sherwood both qualified to compete this summer in Pan Am Junior Championships in Medellin, Columbia.

“I feel great motivation to slam down this year as the most successful to date,” Hortelano-Roig said. “I’ve had fun training and competing in Spain this summer, but I love being at Cornell and training in this winning environment. The Cornell track and field team is a family that looks out for one another, and as a senior I feel a responsibility to make sure younger athletes are motivated and committed to making this team greater than it has ever been.”

With a summer of international competition under his belt, Hortelano-Roig says he looks to do even greater things this coming year.

“This summer I’ve learned many valuable lessons,” he said. “Some of those lessons were technical and meant to help me train better and become faster. I also learned how to keep cool even under the highest pressures of the World Championships. But the most important lesson I learned was that anything is possible, as long as you believe it is.”

He added that success in high-level competitions is not solely reliant on physical fitness.

“Competing among the fastest men in the world has made me realize that the step from amateur running to international success is relatively small, and that it really is mostly mental fitness that defines success,” he said. “So if you believe that you will make it, and you work hard enough to make it, there is really nothing stopping you.”

Original Author: John McGrorty