Winter weather kept track and field indoors for the start of their outdoor season, but that did not keep the team from having a good competition. The Cornell Springtime “Cabin Fever” Invitational featured unconventional events that are not typically held indoors, and the team had a chance to race in a fun, low pressure environment.
Events included the 100, 150 and 300 meter dash, the 300 hurdles, 2000 steeplechase and shot put — to name a few. None of the events held this weekend counted toward the Red’s outdoor season, but it was another chance to compete instead of taking a weekend off. Men’s head coach Adrian Durant was especially pleased with his team’s performance after a very difficult week of training leading up to the meet.
“Times were relatively fast, especially considering … I had worked them pretty hard this week,” Durant said. “It’s a good sign for the upcoming season.”
Highlights from this weekend include senior sprinter Tobe Attah’s 300, posting the ninth fastest time in school history at 35.27 seconds. In addition, freshman Abbey Yatsko, set a track record for the first inaugural 300 hurdles at Barton Hall.
A small contingent of hurdlers also travelled to Philadelphia to compete in the Penn Challenge.
The Cornell track and field teams are ready to leave their snowy track behind for warmer weather in California. The team brings 31 men and 31 women to compete in Los Angeles over spring break. First up for the team is the UCLA Legends of Track and Field Invitational beginning March 31 at Drake Stadium. Other teams competing are mostly from the west coast, some of which Cornell faced earlier this season at the East-West Challenge.
The Red brings a well-rounded team from many different event groups. It is critical for some athletes to have an opportunity to train and compete outdoors.
“Spring break is an optimal time for training, though it’s a little late for us this year compared to other schools,” said senior co-captain and 2016 Rio Olympian Rudy Winkler. “The most important thing is getting to train in warm weather. People tend to compete really well there.”
The second weekend the Red will be back at UCLA for another invitational after training in Irvine all week. This trip serves as an opportunity for both teams to move forward with training and gain experience competing against different programs.
Being able to train and compete for 10 days will provide both teams with a leg up toward their end-of-season goals. They are still six weeks out from Outdoor Heps, which they hope to win. These two invitationals will also give athletes a chance to qualify for NCAA Regionals.
“I’m looking to get more experience in my races and build on what we’ve been doing in practice,” Yatsko said. “It’s going to be a great start for the team to get together and work towards our outdoor track goals.”
Durant has high hopes for his team, specifically the men’s 4×100 relay. They have a good shot of breaking the Ivy League record in the event.
“We’ll be training faster, with less volume workouts and trying to taper, see if we can start dropping some fast times,” Durant said. “I expect it to be competitive and a good competition.”