The Cornell track and field teams endured tough weather conditions to perform at record-setting paces at the Bison Outdoor Classic at Bucknell.
Seniors Michael Wang and Jared Failor highlighted a well-balanced effort, finishing the 1500 meter event in 3:54.17 and 3:54.33, respectively, and setting new personal records, while also punching their way to the ECAC outdoor championships next month.
Ranked ninth nationally, the women’s middle distance team continued its string of outstanding performances. Senior captain Shannon Hugard finished third overall in the 1500 meter in a time of 4:19.95. Junior Annie Taylor completed the race in sixth place with an individual-best time of 4:22.90, with senior Jackie Katzman finishing less than a second after in eighth position (4:23.50).
“We’ve been working hard every week to make sure we’re as strong as possible, but also holding back enough to make sure that we don’t burn out or rack up injuries before the end of the season,” Wang said. “Our minds and hearts are focused on [Ivy League HEPS Championship], and we want to do everything in our power to succeed come May.”
Senior captain Ellen Shepard won the 100 meter in a time of 12.08, and sophomore Brittany Stenekes took third place in the 100 meter hurdles in 14.15. Both qualified for the ECAC meet.
“After kickstarting the outdoor season with good results in California, I’ve been more excited for this season than ever,” Stenekes said. “In training my teammates and I have been getting after our workouts with positivity — even the really tough workouts.”
After missing the indoor season, senior Chase Silverman also put up a spectacular performance on Saturday, turning in a time time of 3:49.62 — yet another ECAC-qualifying performance for the Red.
But it wouldn’t end there — seniors Sam Chauvin, Josh Dyrland, Kevin Benson and Oseoba Airewele also put their names on the long list of Cornell athletes qualifying for the ECACs.
Chauvin and Dyrland completed the grueling 10,000 meter race in 30:33 and 30:58, respectively. Benson and Airewele punctuated outstanding field performances with Benson throwing 49.44m in the discus and Airewele finishing off the first day with a 14.80m triple jump.
“Even though the indoor season didn’t end the way we wanted, we’re starting to put the pieces together,” Wang said. “We’re getting guys back that were injured indoors, and we’re putting up a lot of national-level performances.”
After finishing in first place the week before at the Pomona-Pitzer Invitational and second place the week before that at the Titan Team Challenge, the women’s 4×100 meter relay team once again outraced the competition with another win. Shepard, junior Martha Sam, freshman Kellian Kelly and Stenekes completed the race in a time of 46.40 despite the chilly conditions.
“Because many of the events are individual, being able to run the 4×100 [relay] is something I always look forward to,” Stenekes said. “We have the drive to run fast together and sharpen our exchanges. [Shepard] … is such a great motivator and leader for our team.”
In Auburn, Alabama, a small group of men’s track runners ran at blistering paces for the Tiger Invite. The 4×100 relay team started things off for the Red, finishing in a time of 41.07 seconds.
Building off that performance, senior Austin Lyons ran a personal record time of 14.02 seconds in the 110 meter hurdles, putting his name in the Cornell record books with the fourth fastest time in that event in program history. Juniors Zach Menchaca and Alex Beck also had blazing performances, running 10.59 and 10.62, respectively, which are now the fourth and fifth fastest time in Ivy League history.
With just over two weeks until the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships, the Red looks to continue its outstanding performances. Both the men and women’s teams will be competing at the Larry Ellis Invitational in Princeton this weekend.