By ARIEL COOPER
Freshman Mackenzie Lemieux did not expect her shoelace to untie during the first two kilometers of the open race at Saturday’s Princeton Invitational. She also did not expect to finish third in her very first race for the Red.
“I wasn’t expecting it,” she said. “I was kind of planning on getting out hard because I thought everyone would be super fast so I was kind of expecting to be further back in the pack. [But] I got a really good start and I led for the first mile.”
The women had a strong showing at Princeton, placing first as a team in the open race and 10th in the championship race. The men’s team also sent some runners to Princeton, finishing eighth as a team. But the men truly shined in Saturday’s Pre-National meet, where the Red gave an outstanding performance and finished 10th out of 46 teams.
“We beat a bunch of teams that were [ranked] higher than us in our region and we even beat a nationally ranked team,” said senior tri-captain David Melly.
Cornell triumphed over No. 28 North Carolina State, who took 13th place, and Ivy League rival Yale, who finished 15th. The results reflect a big improvement for the Red, who has previously found the Pre-National meet particularly challenging.
“I think hard would be an understatement,” men’s head coach Zeb Lang said. Last year we went out to that same meet … and we only finished in 34th place.”
Lang feels that it is the strength of the team and its positive response to recent changes in its training program that contributed to the Red’s success this weekend.
Junior Brian Eimstad, the Red’s top finisher at Pre-Nationals, finished with a time of 24:54.4. (Connor Archard / Sun Sports Photography Editor).