To round out its indoor season, the Cornell men’s track and field team had an impressive showing at the Indoor National Championships at Texas A&M this past weekend. Senior co-captains Austin Jamerson and Rudy Winkler competed for the Red in the heptathlon and weight throw, respectively.
Jamerson, who recently set a new school and Ivy League record in the heptathlon, finished 13th in the event at nationals. He scored 5,509 points in the event, going on to be named second-team all-American.
Head coach Adrian Durant was very pleased with the outcome of the meet and his do-it-all senior’s performance.
“It was a good competition,” Durant said. “It was the best any heptathlete from the Ivy League has ever placed. And coupled with the record that he broke, he is undisputedly the best heptathlete in Ivy League History.”
Most notably, Jamerson finished third in the high jump segment of the competition, reaching 6’10.75”. This height ties his best and is an inch higher than his jump at Heps two weeks prior.
“I would have liked to do better overall, but after such a long season, I can’t be too upset with the finish,” Jamerson said. “It was my first time being at a meet of that caliber, so it was definitely a learning experience. All of my first day events went fairly well, with high jump being the best.”
2016 Rio Olympian Winkler finished fourth in the weight throw, throwing 73’2”. He received the first-team all-American honor for the event, one he won by a landslide at Heps for the third consecutive year.
“Once again, it’s the best any Ivy athlete has ever done in the weight throw at nationals,” Durant said. “Rudy is a hammer thrower, he just throws the weight because he’s good at it. And to be able to finish fourth at that high of a level in an event that is not considered to be his best, that’s a great accomplishment.”
For both Winkler and Jamerson, this is the last time they will compete for the Red indoors. The senior co-captain duo leaves a lasting legacy for the team that will have large shoes to fill next season.
“I love Cornell, so it feels great being able to represent the school at a national level,” Winkler said before competition. “It feels really good getting to show that you don’t have to sacrifice a great education to get a great athletic experience in college.”
Winkler’s performance put Cornell on the national scoreboard to finish 36th out of 92 teams represented. Durant explains that Indoor NCAAs is the most difficult championship to qualify for, as the competition only takes the top 16 in the nation for each event.
“You look at that list and see a lot of really good people that had to stay home,” he added.
Durant hopes to add more of his team to that list this spring as outdoor competition is set to get underway just a week from Friday.
“This was just a start for us,” Durant explained. “We are going back and training hard and we are getting ready for the outdoor season. We want to win outdoor Heps, we want to send more guys to nationals and have more guys leave as all-Americans.”
The team now turns its attention to outdoor season, beginning with the Cornell Springtime Invitational starting on March 24.