Ben Parker / Sun Assistant Photography Editor

The Red impressed at another meet in the lead-up to the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships.

February 12, 2020

Kao Breaks Pole Vault Record, Track and Field Excels at Penn State

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After hosting back-to-back home meets, Cornell track and field hit the road this past Saturday to compete in the Sykes and Sabock Challenge at Penn State. While no team scores were recorded, the Red put up impressive personal numbers — even breaking a school record in the process.

The biggest highlight of the weekend came from senior Claire Kao, who broke the school record in pole vault. At 4.08m, she topped the 4.00m record set in 2015, earning her not only a personal record, but also an ECAC qualification.

At the meet, the men’s team featured one event champion, 11 personal records and nine IC4A standards, including five new qualifications. Sophomore Paris Howland finished in first place with a 2.06m high jump and earned his first IC4A qualification.

In addition, senior James Enriquez (17.38m) for the weight throw, senior Steve Neumaier (8:24.48) for the 3000m and freshman Perry Mackinnon (4:14.46) for the mile all qualified for the IC4A championships for the first time this season.

Senior Zach Hawley (16.03m), freshman Smith Charles (6.96), junior Tien Henderson (22.02) and sophomore Johannes Stromhaug (5.01m) all earned another IC4A standard for the shot put, 60m, 200m and pole vault, respectively.

The women’s side finished with two event champions, nine personal records and 17 ECAC standards, also garnering five new qualifications. Junior Marguerite Lorenzo (1.71m) for the high jump and the A team (3:48.20) for the 4×400 both finished first in their respective events while earning ECAC qualifications.

For the first time this season, senior co-captain Brittany Stenekes (8.68) for the 60m hurdles, sophomore Kayleigh Furth (56.55) for the 400m and junior Kaitlyn Bonnet (4:57.32) for the mile all qualified for the ECAC championships. In addition, senior Victoria Casarrubias (4:54.79) for the mile and freshman Ama Boham (8.81) for the 60m hurdles qualified as well.

“The team had an excellent performance this past weekend,” Stenekes said. “We went into Penn State and, being an away meet, tried to dominate against some rivals. [We] had really good competitive energy, and I think for most people it was the best meet of their season so far.”

While the Red travels to Boston for its next meet, it continues to prepare for the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships, which it will host this year.

“One big goal is to really go into a meet with a confident and sort of dominant mindset,” Stenekes said. “We’re hosting the Ivy League Championships this year … so to be able to have that confidence in our training and high energy at meets to carry each other … is really contagious across the team.”

The team will attend the Boston University Valentine Invitational on Friday and Saturday before heading home to host three consecutive meets.