The track and field team opened its indoor season Saturday at the Greg Page Relays. The Red dominated in Barton Hall, with the men’s and women’s teams winning nine events each.
“It was an excellent first meet,” said Men’s Head Coach Adrian Durant. “And I’d like to say that this has been over a year in the making. They’ve been training very hard in preparation for this, and they finally had the opportunity to show what they’re capable of.”
Even after a long hiatus from competition, Cornell athletes shattered multiple school records and broke top-10 all-time marks in the much anticipated return to competition.
“Our program has a pretty strong history. So any time you get performances that make our all-time top 10, it’s a big deal,” Durant added. “Breaking school records at the first meet is a good sign that we’re gonna have a pretty exciting season.”
Seniors Beatrice Juskeviciute and Brooke Overholt of the women’s team both ran Cornell school record times, with Juskeviciute running 8.49 seconds in the 60M hurdles and Overholt running 39.04 seconds in the 300M. Freshman Margaux Rawson also broke a record, now holding the Cornell freshman record in the high jump with a jump of 1.72 meters, which is also the Red’s sixth-best mark all-time.
“I’m super excited to be back because for a lot of us, it was the first track meet in two years,” Juskeviciute said. “We’ve just been working for two years now. We’re excited and I think the energy just carried us.”
On the men’s side, senior Dan Mead threw Cornell’s 10th-best distance in the shot put, junior Christian Martin ran the 8th-best time in the 60M hurdles and the 10th-best time in the 300M and freshman Domenic Barresi broke the Red’s freshman record in the 300M. Mead threw 16.90M in the shot put, Martin ran 8.08 and 35.07 seconds in the 60M hurdles and 300M, respectively, and Barresi ran 35.17 seconds in the 300M.
“The team’s looking good,” Martin said. “We have a good chance of winning Ivies, so we’re excited for that and more to come.”
After an impressive performance to kick off its season, the team is excited about its talent. The Red hopes to build upon its record-breaking performances throughout the season to finish strong and on top.
“If we’re breaking records and running fast now, we can only get better from here,” said junior captain Smith Charles, who did not compete due to injury. “We definitely have the talent and the potential to win indoor Heps.”
The Ivy League Heptagonal Championship — or Heps — is a competition between all eight Ivy League teams that will take place from Feb. 26 to 27. It is the last competition of the indoor season before possible qualification for the NCAA championship. The Red hopes to cement itself on top of the Ivy League through continued effort and preparation. The talent is there, and the team hopes to capitalize on it.
“We have our goal and that’s what we’re fighting for,” Durant said. “We want to end this season winning Heps on both the men’s and women’s sides, then it’s on to the national championship.”
The Red will return to competition at Barton Hall when it hosts the Southern Tier Invite on Jan. 8.