Men’s and women’s track and field returned to Ithaca as the fourth-place team in the Ivy League following a windy, rainy Ivy League Championship meet held at Yale this past weekend. The men’s team compiled 65 points and the women’s secured 82 at the meet. Following the first Outdoor Heptagonal Championship held since 2019, the team is walking away confident and happy with the performance.
“The athletes didn’t let the conditions faze them,” said women’s head coach Mike Henderson. “They went in, executed to the best of their abilities and really maximized as much as they could from the weekend.”
Notable performances include a first-place finish in the 110m hurdles and a second-place finish in the 400m hurdles from junior Christian Martin. Martin was the top scorer for the men’s team with 18 points and is confident in his ability to build on that success.
“I left it all on the track, and that’s the best I could do at the time,” Martin said. “I’m looking forward to building on that. We’re a young team, and if we keep performing like this, I don’t think anyone can stop us.”
Flipping those results, senior Brooke Overholt won the 400m hurdles and took second in the 100m hurdles for the women’s team.
Another HEPS champion for the women was grad student Marguerite Lorenzo, who was able to defend her indoor title and win the high jump. Due to the poor weather conditions, the vertical jumps, including the high jump and pole vault, were moved indoors for the meet.
“Winning at indoor HEPS, there was definitely a little bit of pressure on me going into the meet,” Lorenzo said. “So I definitely felt that pressure but I was confident that I could make it work. I’m really happy with how it turned out.”
The other event moved indoors also yielded a Big Red winner. Junior Victoria Atkinson won the pole vault with a leap 10 inches above second place.
The final women’s winner was senior Beatrice Juskeviciute, who won the women’s heptathlon. Juskeviciute knows the podium well, as she has never been beaten in the heptathlon or indoor pentathlon at an Ivy League Championship.
Another top scorer on the men’s side was sophomore Tomas Kersulis, securing two second-place finishes in the 200m and 400m races. Still young in his Cornell career, Kersulis is also hopeful for the future of the team.
“We have a really young team, and it was the first Outdoor Ivy League Championship for most of the team,” Kersulis said. “I think we’ll do better and better the upcoming years and hopefully win it.”
Though a handful of athletes are continuing the track and field season by pursuing an NCAA national championship, a meet that allows the top 12 from the team to compete, the outdoor season has officially come to a close for most of the team. A season filled with much success, the Red is excited and hopeful for the future.
“It’s the first time we’ve had an outdoor HEPS since 2019, so it was great to get back to it and feel the energy of the meet,” Coach Henderson said. “This season was certainly a memorable experience and we hope to build and be better moving forward because of it.”
“It was one of the most fun things that has ever happened and I’m grateful that I have a team that was there to support me throughout the whole season,” Martin said. “We’re a young team, and we have the most potential out of all the [Ivy League] schools.”
Throughout the indoor and outdoor track seasons, the Red has been continuing to break records and improve hope for the future. The team is determined to be the best and has the tools to do so.
“If we keep going, keep performing like this, then I don’t think anyone can stop us,” Martin concluded.
With a team so supportive, the few athletes pursuing nationals will have no lack of support as they begin the multi-round process of qualifying for the meet held in Oregon. The meet will be held at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon, in mid-June and will hopefully be well-represented by the Red.