Julia Nagel/Sun Assistant Photography Editor

Men's and women's head coach Mike Henderson addresses his team at the 5,000-meter Reif Memorial run on October 22, 2021.

November 18, 2021

Cross Country Succeeds at Regionals, Sends Junior to Race at NCAA Championships

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On Nov. 12, Cornell’s cross country teams wrapped up their season at the annual NCAA Northeast Regional competition, held in Boston The women’s team placed No. 10 in the overall team competition and the men’s team came in No. 7, with junior Perry Mackinnon earning a slot to compete at the NCAA Cross Country Championships. 

The women’s team had a strong performance despite cold wind and rain. They were led by sophomore Izzy MacFarlane, who finished in 21:32 to secure 33rd place among some 250 runners from 36 teams. Senior captain Isa Meyers (21:37) and junior Rebecca Hasser (21:43) paced with MacFarlane throughout the race and finished 36th and 43rd, respectively. Senior Natalie Morris (92nd, 22:30), junior Katy Storti (96th, 22:33), junior Sarah Roffman (136th, 23:03) and senior captain Lucy Hurt (162nd, 23:34) finished off the top seven runners for the Red. 

“I went in hoping to be proud of the way that I raced and pushed myself and made sure that I left nothing on the course. And [I wanted to] give it my all and have no regrets at the end,” MacFarlane said.  “The main goal was to go out there and prove myself and just be proud of the race I ran.”

MacFarlane also said that, despite the individualistic nature of cross country running, she felt the support of her teammates on the trail. 

  “I think everyone genuinely was out there working for each other — there was no real individual aspect,” MacFarlane said.  “We wanted to do well for the seniors, for the captains and just push each other and help each other.”

The men’s team also found success, with Mackinnon securing a 10th place finish with a time of 30:28. Senior captain Matthew Fusco (26th, 31:07), sophomore Thomas Foster (49th, 31:45), junior Rishabh Prakash (51st, 31:47), senior Marek Nowak (52nd, 31:48), sophomore Rhys Hammond (75th, 32:22) and senior Jamie Granata (114th, 33:14) followed to round off the Red’s top seven. 

“As an athlete, we do everything we can to arrive as prepared as possible and always make all the odds in our favor for things to really turn out on race day but they don’t always,” Mackinnon said. “When they do turn out like they did, that’s very rewarding and you never take that for granted.” 

Like MacFarlane, Mackinnon stressed the gratitude he has for the support he received from his fellow teammates and coaching staff.

“Although I was able to qualify individually to go to Florida to compete at the national championship, I trained with the team this fall. That wouldn’t have been possible without all my teammates. So although it is an individual accomplishment, the team helped me get through there as well,”  Mackinnon said. 

Mackinnon is also confident in his ability to produce similar results for this weekend’s Championship meet. 

“The season’s not over yet for me and I think that this National Championship will be a great opportunity for me to showcase my fitness against the best in the country,” said Mackinnon, “I think that I can really measure up and there’s a lot of beatable people. If I have another really good day, I know I can come out with another really big performance and I can do something special on the big stage.” 

Mackinnon will take to the trails on Friday, Nov. 20 at the National Championships, held in Tallahassee, FL.