For the first time in nearly two years, Cornell’s cross country teams laced up their shoes and competed in the annual Yellowjacket Invitational at the University of Rochester. The large field of competitors proved to be no match for the Red’s domination.
The men’s team placed first in the overall team competition, racking up a total of 20 points, roughly 53 points less than Geneseo’s second. Senior Captain Matt Fusco secured second place overall, with a time of 26:01.2, leading his team to the finish line.
He was followed by junior Rishabh Prakash (3rd, 26:01.3), senior Caleb McCurdy (4th, 26:02.1), freshman Diego Aguirre (5th, 26:02.1), senior Jamie Granata (6th, 26:02.4), sophomore Thomas Foster (7th, 26:02.7) and Junior Wyatt Sulivan (8th, 26:04.0).
In the 6K women’s competition, the Red also claimed first place, with a team total of 30 points. The group was led by senior captain Isa Meyers’ first-place finish, her time buzzing in at 22:03.8. Sophomore Isabel MacFarlane (5th, 22:25.2), senior Rebecca Hasser (7th, 22:33.9), freshman Sierra Burror (8th, 22:43.4) and Marge Dalseth (9th, 22:48.3) were close to follow. Seniors Lucy Hurt (22:57.6) and Natalie Morris (23:07.7) placed 10th and 12th, respectively.
These successes have proven particularly noteworthy, as Cornell’s cross country teams were unable to compete last year.
“I think it made us stronger, because we’re better prepared to deal with challenges that come our way,” Fusco said. “Missing all that stuff has made us better prepared to handle and deal with challenges that we might face during the season. Not everything’s going to go as planned.”
After more than a year of uncertainty, Cornell’s cross country program has gained valuable assets that will support them in future competitions.
“I think our team has always been pretty resilient and that having been in a pandemic and not really raced is just going to play to our strengths,” Meyers said.
Head Coach Mike Hendersen said that perseverance is the key to the team’s success in a long season.
“It’s just continuing to persevere when you’re out there running and you’re tired and it’s tough,” he said.
The Red races next on Oct. 1 at the Paul Short invitational, hosted by Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.