The Cornell women’s track and field team is proving itself to be a force to be reckoned with early this season, dominating the competition this past weekend at the Upstate Challenge. The top-finishing Red put up an impressive 315 points — a nearly 250-point margin over second-place finisher Binghamton.
After putting on impressive displays at the Greg Pace Relays, the Southern Tier Collegiate Open and the Penn State Challenge, Cornell built on its early-season momentum and came out of the Upstate Challenge with 12 event wins and 25 top-three event finishes.
Head coach Artie Smith, who assumed the position this past August, pointed to his five senior captains as sources of the early triumphs.
“Our captains have done a terrific job of keeping our large and diverse team connected and have fostered a very supportive team environment that has made practice and meets a lot of fun,” Smith said.
One of the captains, senior Taysia Radoslav, also praised her new head coach while acknowledging the contributions of now-assistant coach Rich Bowman. Bowman served as head coach for the previous six years and has been a part of the program for 36 years.
“The transition from Coach Bowman to Coach Artie as head coach has been pretty seamless,” Radoslav said. “We are extremely lucky to have Coach Bowman continue to be part of our fantastic coaching staff. He has helped out the two new coaches immensely and is always a good resource for Coach Artie to run things by.”
This weekend, Cornell looks to come out on top of the competition at the Kane Invitational, flipping the focus to individual performances.
“As a team, this weekend’s focus is shifted more towards individual performance,” Radoslav said. “Coach Artie wants us to use the opportunity of an unscored meet to really focus on ourselves and fine-tuning so we are ready to compete for the team the following week at Penn State.”
Last season at the Kane Invitational the Red had strong results — eight ECAC qualifiers, five event wins and nearly 22 top five event finishes — and is hoping to have similar results this time around.
“This will be a very large meet, and after an intense scored team meet this past weekend, [it will be] an opportunity for most people to focus on just one event and hone skills that will help them in our next team scored competition: Feb. 2-3 at Penn State,” Smith said.
Onlookers will be able to see the Red host the Kane Invitational all day on Saturday in Barton Hall.