The Cornell track and field teams are in the process of fine-tuning as they near conference championships. This past weekend, the teams competed at the Cortland Classic and the Larry Ellis Invitational at Princeton.
The weather did not cooperate as it was cold and rainy, making conditions difficult for the team to perform well.
“Overall, it was a tough competition,” said head men’s coach Adrian Durant. “But that’s the nature of the game when you’re talking about outdoor track in the Northeast.”
At Princeton, the men’s team had a difficult time with the unfavorable weather, but still posted several good times and had a chance to compete against teams they will face at Heps in a week and a half.
Sophomore Zach Menchaca was second in the 100m dash with a time of 10.73, and freshman James Norris was 12th in 11.02. The 110m hurdles gave Cornell two top-five finishes, with freshman Clayton Jeffrey finishing third and sophomore Austin Lyons finishing just behind him to take fourth.
Junior Myles Lazarou placed second in the high jump, clearing 6’10.75”. He looks to defend his Heps title next weekend in the event.
“I was hoping for a 7’1” jump to push me further into the region,” Lazarou said. “I don’t think the team has fully hit our potential, but with Penn Relays and Heps coming up I know that we have the ability to step up and take care of business.”
The women’s team rose to the challenge. At Princeton, Sophomore Briar Brumley finished third in the 3000m steeplechase, a time that puts her in the top 20 in the nation this season and fourth all time at Cornell.
The women’s 4×100 m relay gave the Red a win over Princeton. Sophomore Kat Quigley, senior Adrian Jones, freshman Brittany Stenekes and junior Ellen Shepard solidly won with a time of 45.72, also a season best. Jones and Shepard carried this momentum to finish first and third in the 100m later that day.
Junior tri-captain Taysia Radoslav destroyed the field in the 400m hurdles, winning by 3.5 seconds. In the 110m hurdles, freshman Brittany Stenekes ran 13.90, a personal best and a freshman record for Cornell.
In Cortland, the team did not have any better luck with the weather, but still competed just as well. Many highlights come from the younger members of the team. Freshmen Brooke Laskowski won the 3000m steeplechase, Ciara Roche won the 1500m and Abbey Yatsko was second in the 400 hurdles.
Both teams have a very busy week ahead of them. Ithaca College had to move its meet this Tuesday to the Kane Sports Complex, so out of convenience, some members from Cornell will participate.
“Some guys are on the cusp of making the Heps squad, so we will have them compete today so that we can make our final decision on who gets to represent the team at the conference meet,” Durant said.
This weekend, the teams will send small contingents to the Penn Relays and have a small group compete this Sunday at the Big Red Invitational.
The Penn Relays is a historic meet that usually draws a large crowd, but withsince it is taking place just a week before the Ivy League conference championship, it does not make sense to send a large group. Traveling and competing consecutive weekends is exhausting and unnecessary for most of the team right now.
Women’s head coach Richard Bowman plans to send some of his distance runners to compete at Penn this weekend.
“It’ll put them in a little bit of a different setting that they may not have here,” Bowman said. “Sometimes Penn Relays draws different and better teams, and a higher competition level in certain events. The distance races happen at night under the lights and it’s a really exciting atmosphere.”
Bowman explained that his team still has some work to do, and is hopeful that they will get done what they have to over these next three competitions.
“Recent team performances have been nothing short of amazing,” Radoslav added.
“We have such a great team this year.”