The Ivy League Heps tournament was marked by disappointment for the Cornell track and field teams, both of which finished in fifth place at Dartmouth last weekend.
“We placed fifth in the Ivy League which is unheard of for Cornell since the early 2000s,” said junior Alex Beck. “How do I feel about the score? It’s pretty awful to say the least.”
The men’s and women’s teams were both disappointed with their results given their preparation.
“I was very happy with the women’s competitive efforts although we were certainly aiming for a better finish than fifth,” said head coach Arthur Smith. “ We converted on a lot of scoring performances but didn’t end up with the team place that we wanted.”
“We’re accustomed to finishing higher but at the same time this group competed hard and accumulated a lot of points in a lot of places,” Smith said. “The points just [weren’t] enough to move up the standings, but we’re proud of the efforts.”
“Overall the men’s team was extremely unsatisfied with our performance,” said senior sprinter Stanford Cooper. “The final score was in no way indicative of how hard we had trained and what my team deserves, and it leaves a bad taste in our mouth.”
Despite the disappointment, both the women’s and men’s teams had a few standout performances. Most notably for the women, senior Michaela Smith won first place in the shotput with a personal record of 49’11.75”. Junior Annie Taylor, a former staff writer in The Sun’s sports department, won the 1-mile run with a time of 4:48.9, Cornell’s first victory in the event since 2005.
In addition to their two Heps champions, the Red had three women’s runner-ups: senior co-captain Shannon Hugard in the 1000 meter, junior Leena Morris in the weight throw and the 4×800 of sophomore Sara O’Malley, junior Tina Welzer, freshman Leya Salis and Hugard.
For the men’s team, junior Austin Lyons ran a personal best of 7.94 in the 60-meter hurdles, and sophomore Zach Hawley set a personal best in the shot put.
Another bright spot was the injury-plagued men’s 4×400 relay of Beck, Ben Fields, Max Comer and Michael Smith, which emerged victorious at the championships.
The tough Heps meet has both teams looking ahead to stronger performances as the season progresses.
“I do know that the team as a whole is hungry for the outdoor season,” Beck said. “We really can’t have this kind of meet happen again. I know we’re going to be more aggressive in our meets and just compete to compete instead of over-thinking.”
“Everybody on the team will focus on improving themselves individually,” Cooper said. “The team title is won by each of us doing our part. Whether it’s staying healthy or perfecting technique, we all have a different job to do, and that’s what we’ll do going into outdoors.”
Both teams are travelling to Boston this weekend for the ECAC championships.