Although the race was not scored, the women’s track and field team broke University records and competed at the top of the pack against some of the country’s top squads — as well several high-level professional athletes — at the National Open on Friday and Saturday.
In the first wave of races, junior Brittany Stenekes broke her own Cornell record in the 60 meter hurdles at 8:53. She returned to finish fourth in the final race at 8:58.
The distance medley relay team of senior co-captain Briar Brumley, senior co-captain Annie Taylor, senior Tina Welzer and freshman Elise Burdette raced at “national-caliber” speed, according to head coach Artie Smith ’96, for third place in the race and the third-fastest performance in Cornell history. The time ranks among the 15 fastest performances in the nation this season.
Taylor and Brumley returned Saturday for the second day of competition and performed equally well; both finished among the tournament’s top five in the mile. Taylor finished second overall and placed seventh among Cornell’s all-time fastest miles at 4:47. Brumley finished in fifth place — two seconds behind — at 4:49.
“This meet was not scored, but we care about it. It was by far the most competitive meet we have been to all year,” Smith said. “I came out of the weekend really fired up. I cannot say I was surprised, I was very pleased. People were competitive and beat some very good people and put up great times.”
The 4×400 relay team performed its best race of the season, winning its heat in 3:46.89, the fourth-fastest time of the day, with breakout performances from Burdette, sophomore Corinne Kennedy, senior Martha Sam and freshman Kayleigh Furth.
The Ivy League Heptagonal Championships in May are also a two-day event. Smith said the team’s success on day two of the weekend weekend is a welcome sight as the team looks ahead to future competition.
“It was great to see people come back [for the second day of competition] and all do well in their individual events,” Smith said.
The only Ivy rival at the meet was Penn, last season’s Ivy League champions. Smith, who said his team “got a sense” of Penn, said the Quakers are “a very good team again.” The race results showed very competitive times between the two Ivy rivals.
The Red will return to Penn State this Saturday for the Sykes-Sabock Challenge Cup.