In a busy weekend that included trips to Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and even South Hill, the Cornell track and field teams posted big numbers this weekend and had a number of program and personal successes.
Many of Cornell’s men performed incredibly well at the Scarlet and White invitational in Boston, most notably senior Dominic DeLuca and junior Alex Beck. DeLuca, a distance runner, had a time of 4:06.95 in the mile, which was a personal record. Beck, a sprinter, earned a personal record of his own in the 400-meter race with a time of 48.56 seconds.
“The biggest performances would be the three new additions to our All-Time top ten list,” said men’s head coach Adrian Durant. “Alex Beck with the Cornell [No. 5] all-time mark in the 200m (21.64), Brailin Paulino [No. 8] all-time in the 200m (21.83) and Zach Hawley replacing his previous [No. 10] all-time mark in the shotput throwing 54 feet, 8.25 inches.”
The women’s track and field team had a successful day on Friday as well. The Red travelled to State College to compete at the Sykes-Sabock Challenge Cup at Penn State.
“We had a fantastic meet this weekend, with all event groups on our team contributing to the team title at Penn State,” said women’s head coach Artie Smith. “This was the first time in our program’s history that we’ve won this meet.”
There were a few standouts for the women, particularly in the 5000-meter race. Cornell dominated the leader board, placing first, second, third and fifth. Senior Erin McLaughlin topped the event with a time of 17:08.78.
Along with their successes last Friday, both men’s and women’s teams competed in the Ithaca College Bomber Invitational, hosted in the Ithaca College Athletic and Events Center, this past Saturday.
Once again, both teams performed impressively. Freshman Paul Casavant had a personal record in the mile with a time of 4:27.07. Junior Tyler Fisher also had a personal record in the mile with a time of 4:33.20.
On the women’s team, sprinters Rebecca Ekeanyanwu and Anastashia Alfred did particularly well. Sophomore Ekeanyanwu placed eight in the 60-meter dash, with a time of eight seconds.
“This past week I’ve been working on my block starts to help me with my drive phase,” Ekeanyanwu said. “In addition, I’ve been running a couple of 150m sprints to help me with my quick feet.”
Alfred placed 11th in the preliminaries of the 60-meter dash, with a time of 8.11 seconds. She placed 13th in the 200-meter dash finals, with a time of 27.00 seconds.
“In practice, I show up every day with the mentality to give a 100 percent regardless of what may have or may not have occurred during the school day,” Alfred said of her work ethic. “To constantly have a clear, focused mind is critical in order to execute sprint workout.”
Both the head coaches, as well as the participants in this weekend’s meets, commented on their further goals for the semester. They noted particular areas that need work and how they will use their practice time to improve for next weekend’s meets.
“Our ultimate goal is the win the Indoor HEPS Track & Field Championship in three weeks,” Durant said. “Going forward we’ll focus on competition rather than training. We’ve just about done all of the training we can do, now all that’s left is to compete hard.”
“We want to continue to improve each week and continue to hone our competitive skills,” Smith added. “In practice, each event group is doing a nice job building on their fitness and skill sets and we’ll continue with those progressions..”
The women’s team travels to Boston University on Friday for the Valentine Invitational. Both women’s and men’s teams will also be competing at NYU in the Fast Track Invitational next Friday.