Braving last weekend’s snowstorm, Cornell track and field’s 16 women competitors and a single athlete from the men’s team arrived just in time to participate in the ECAC championships at Boston University.
And it had no trouble dominating the field, placing third out of 70 teams.
Although the team was originally supposed to leave Friday afternoon, road and weather conditions delayed its departure until Saturday morning.
“Thanks to the efforts of our administration we were able to rearrange our travel to get to Boston safely on Saturday,” women’s head coach Artie Smith ’96 said. “Our team handled the curveballs of the weather and logistical difficulties with great poise and positivity and had a terrific performance.”
Despite the five and a half hour bus ride, the Red’s one-mile runners got ready to race quickly and advanced to the final. Junior Briar Brumley set a personal best of 4:50.10 and senior Jackie Katzman ran a 4:51.11, her best of the season.
“We literally dropped them off a couple blocks away as we were driving in so that they could get in a good warmup,” freshman mid-distance runner Gabrielle Orie said. “Upbeat, positive, and smiling, they set our team up for success by making finals and setting a PR and season PR.”
Smith said the team did a commendable job adjusting to the bizarre travel schedule.
“Our milers, who had only a 50-minute warm-up after the long ride — their positivity set a wonderful tone for the rest of the meet,” Smith said.
The women’s team’s success didn’t end with the mile-runners. The Red crowned an ECAC champion, had an ECAC runner up, set two freshman records, broke a school record and placed three athletes on program top-10 lists.
“By the time we had returned home, every woman on the trip had earned her sash,” Smith said.
Freshman Gabrielle Orie, whose time of 9:30.26 set a personal and a Cornell freshman record, was runner-up in the 3000-meter run. Her time also propels her into the top-10 in Cornell history, displacing one of her coaches, Genna Hartung ’13.
She accredited her success to her teammates.
“My team’s determination to race no matter the circumstance was exactly what propelled our team’s third place title at this meet where 70 teams competed,” Orie said. “ I credit my freshman 3k record to how amazing and optimistic every single one of my teammates and coaches are.”
With Orie’s record, the Red’s freshmen class now has set rookie records in the 600, 800, 1000, mile, 3K, 5K, DMR and high jump this indoor season.
Sophomore Zach Hawley was the lone member of the men’s team to participate in the championship meet. The ECAC is primarily the women’s conference; the men’s equivalent is IC4A.
Hawley set a personal record to place sixth in the shot put at 55-1 ½, earning All-East honors.
Next weekend, both men’s and women’s teams are set to travel to Texas for the NCAA Indoor Championships.