Jason Ben Nathan / Sun File Photo

The men's and women's cross country teams competed at both the Pre-National Invitational and the Canisius Classic.

October 21, 2019

Readying for Heptagonals, Cross Country Teams Participate in Pair of Tuneups

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With split-squad action in different states on Saturday, Cornell men’s and women’s cross country competed well in both meets, but they still displayed room for improvement moving forward. 14 athletes ran in the Pre-National Invitational hosted by Indiana State University in Terre Haute, Indiana, while 23 attended the Canisius Classic in Buffalo, New York.

At the notoriously competitive Pre-National Invitational, the men’s team finished 33rd out of 38 teams in the 8km with 852 points. Freshman Perry MacKinnon led the way, placing 115th overall with a time of 24:58.2.

“Overall [the team’s performance] was okay, but I think we can do a lot better. I feel like we have a lot more potential,” said MacKinnon.

The race also served as an important learning opportunity for the freshman-heavy team.

“I’m gaining a lot of experience running on the NCAA circuit … I’m getting used to the big races with a lot of people in them. There’s a big learning curve for me and I’ve been improving as we go. You have to earn everything in these races — there’s nothing that’s easy,” MacKinnon said.

“This weekend I really focused on getting a better finish, which I did, so I was really happy with that,” he continued, reflecting on the adjustments he’s made.

The women’s team ran the 6km and finished 20th out of 37 teams with 567 points. Senior Taylor Knibb led the way, placing 75th overall with a time of 21:10.3.

“I think [the team’s performance] was good. We definitely have places we want to work on but the point of the meet was to gain experience and we did just that,” said Knibb.

Knibb also commented on the ways in which the team could improve.

“Each individual has specific aspects of their race that they can work on,” said Knibb. “I felt like everyone had about a kilometer or two within their race that didn’t go as they wanted to … It’s just each individual running better and smarter, and that will add up to something bigger.”

At the Canisius Classic, the men’s team had three runners competing in the 8k, but without a complete five-person team, it did not receive a team score. Freshman Sean Henretta (25:51.8) finished first for Cornell with a ninth-place finish, followed by freshman Alec Hill (26:20.5) with a 23rd-place finish and sophomore Jamie Granata (26:42.8), who finished 37th.

The women’s team ran the 5k and finished strong in first place out of 13 teams with an impressive 18 points, 67 less than the second-place team. Junior Annie Glodek placed first overall and led Cornell with a time of 18:24.5. Right behind her were freshman Tess Reyes (2nd, 18:25.9), junior Nadia Stratton (4th, 18:36.4), freshman Katy Storti (5th, 18:38.9) and sophomore Rachel Green (6th, 18:46.9).

“Every time we’ve gone to this [meet] in the past, our team has dominated and that was the goal. We sort of did that — so that was awesome,” said Glodek.

Glodek discussed critical upcoming events and the team’s goal for the remainder of the season.

“Two weeks from now is the Heptagonal Championship meet, so we run against all the other Ivy League [schools], and the goal is definitely to place as high as possible, that’s kind of what we shoot for every year,” said Glodek. “I think we have a pretty good chance to do well this year… I think our training over the next couple weeks is going to set us up to be ready to compete our best at [the Heptagonal Championships].”

Next, both the men’s and women’s teams will host the John Reif Memorial Run this Friday, October 25, at the Moakley Course.