Cornell men’s and women’s track and field opened their outdoor seasons in the Golden State this past weekend. The trip began with the UCLA Legends of Track and Field Invitational on Friday, March 31, and concluded with the Rafer Johnson/Jackie Joyner-Kersee Invitational this past Saturday. The Red brought 31 men and 31 women to compete and train in California.
“We went there for business, but we got to have fun as well,” said head coach Adrian Durant. “Without that it would be very difficult to have the type of outdoor season that we want.”
The women’s team had one of their most successful season openers at the UCLA Legends of Track and Field Invitational.
Junior captains Shannon Hugard and Taysia Radoslav set the bar high for competition. Hugard finished second overall in the 1500 with a 4:24.79, just slightly off her career best, and Radoslav finished first in the 400 hurdles in 58.36, her fastest season opener to date. Radoslav was joined by sophomore Kat Quigley, freshman Michelle Garratt and freshman Jinjer Pearce for an impressive second place finish in the 4×400.
Sophomore Briar Brumley placed second in her 3000 steeplechase debut in 10:22.65, good for a sixth all-time mark for Cornell, and over a minute faster than her season opener last year.
The women topped off the week with a third place finish at the Rafer Johnson/Jackie Joyner-Kersee Invitational, just narrowly beaten out by UCLA. Brumley won the 3000 steeplechase by over ten seconds, and junior Erin McLaughlin swept the field with a 10 second victory in the 3000.
The men’s team was equally as successful. The first weekend, senior captain James Gowans broke the outdoor school record in the mile, running 4:00.73, and the sprinters ran especially well, topping many IC4A qualifying standards. Sophomore Zach Menacha and junior Brailin Paulino finished sixth and seventh in the 100, respectively. In the 200, Paulino placed ninth, and freshman Andy Snyder finished just a tenth of a second ahead of him for eighth.
The men’s 4×100 was fifth in 41.06 and the 4×400 third in 3:18.26. Both relays now hold this season’s top times in the Ivy League.
“The trip went really well and we really bonded as a team,” Snyder said, who also ran on the 4×400 relay both weekends. “Performance wise we are on the right track and it should come together by the end.”
The second weekend, the team mustered the strength to compete well again, after a busy week of hard training. The men finished fifth. Most notably, junior Myles Lazarou reached 7’0” to place second in the high jump.
“A little bit of fatigue sets in when you’re training a full week and are out in the hot sun,” Durant said. “But we love it, it’s a great training environment and we got a lot of good work done.”
Both teams have a busy week ahead of them. Tuesday, Cornell will welcome the teams from Oxford and Cambridge in Ithaca as part of their quadrennial Tour of the United States. Cornell will then join forces with Penn to face the combined teams of Oxford and Cambridge at Franklin Field in Philadelphia on Saturday.