By BRITTANY BIGGS
As the final stretch of the season rolls on, both the Red men’s and women’s cross country teams looked to cap off a season of highlights at the Ivy League Heptathlon in Bronx, New York. The teams competed against the other seven Ivy League schools; the men’s team was able to notch a fourth place finish while the women’s team fought for a sixth place spot in a very tight field.
On the women’s side, junior Taylor Spillane was able to continue her strong season by securing a 10th place finish for the Red, coming in at a time of 21:33.4. Senior Caroline Keller was the next Cornelian to cross the line, finishing in eleventh place, and was followed by freshman Eve Glassgreen, who was able to achieve a 24th place finish to round out the top three finishers for the team. Losing to the UPenn in a tiebreaker and missing fourth place by five points, there are bittersweet feelings about the meet.
“I feel that we didn’t achieve the result that we wanted exactly, but that the way we competed was an achievement in itself,” Glassgreen said. “Everyone rallied in the second half of the race to move the team up from where we were in the first half. I believe that this competitive spirit and toughness will carry through for us at the next meet, regionals, and that we need to combine it with some new strategy and tweak a few details to race our best. We learned good lessons from this race which will help us in two weeks.”
But regardless of the teams placing, there is much to be said about effort the team put into the meet and all season long
“I was very happy with the competitive effort,” said women’s coach Artie Smith. “Our team fought very hard and really did great in the second half of the race. Despite not getting the starting position that we wanted, they really dug deep in the second part of the race. We still haven’t put together a complete race in terms of getting the starting position we want but our toughness and fortitude in the second of the race continues to be a great strength.”
In the men’s fourth place finish, senior Ben Rainero was able to continue his dominate season, coming in a solid fourth place. He was followed by classmate Brian Eimstad, who finished in eighth and sophomore Dominic DeLuca’s 11th place to round out the team. Similarly to the women’s meet, the men’s team was on the losing end of a tiebreak with Yale, which pushed the team back to fourth place instead of third.
“We ran pretty well, but didn’t quite get the job done,” said men’s coach Zebulon Lang. “Our guys got after it and we were in the thick of the team race throughout, but we came up short. I’d rather have a team that goes for it and comes up short than a team that doesn’t put it out there, so I’m proud of my guys for doing that, but I do feel that we still have at least one better race in us this season.”
Regardless of this week’s shortcomings, both squads believe they are prepared for the NCAA Northeast Regional this week, where they will fight for a spot in the NCAA championships.
“We’ve been training to be at our best in November all year, and everything I see tells me that our best races are still in front of us,” Smith said. “We’re excited to see what we can do and to continue to get better.”