This past Saturday, cross country raced at the Lock Haven Invitational in Pennsylvania. This meet presented a substantially larger competition pool for the Red, as Lock Haven consisted of more than 30 colleges. Despite the challenge, Cornell led the pack on both the men’s and women’s side.
“Nothing feels better than winning no matter what, so that was great to get wins on both sides,” said Head Coach Mike Henderson. “There were some nationally ranked Division II teams in there, so it was a good stepping stone as we head into our championship meets.”
The men raced at 8,000 meters and the women ran 6,000 meters. This marked the first time that both squads competed at peak length — the same distance they will be racing at the Heptagonal Championship at the end of October.
Senior Perry Mackinnon led the pack of 290 runners with a time of 24:15.1. Not far behind him was junior Rhys Hammond, clocking in at 24:20. Sophomore Damian Hackett and senior Rishabh Prakash crossed the finish line soon after, getting third and fourth place, respectively. Junior Colden Longley rounded out the team’s scorers in seventh place at 24:27.
The Red combined for 20 points, well ahead of Wayne State with 48 points. Dickinson came in third with 137 points, with Messiah and Slippery Rock rounding out the top five teams in the field.
This was the first meet that Henderson ran his top juniors and seniors this season, and they did not disappoint. All of the upperclassmen picked up right where they left off from last season, finishing with comparable times to their most recent 8,000 meter race.
The women also dominated their meet. Junior Izzy MacFarlane was the first Cornell runner to finish, coming in third place with a time of 21:30.6. The next group of runners to come in were senior Rebecca Hasser and freshmen Katja Jackson and Mairead Clas — they placed sixth, eighth and ninth, respectively. Right behind them was senior Katy Storti with a time of 21:55.1.
These impressive performances led the Red to win the meet with 37 points. Wayne State was also the runner up for the women with 67 points. Seton Hall, Slippery Rock and Dickinson placed third, fourth and fifth.
“We want to be ready to get out fast and be able to just keep competing… in championship races, it’s really just finding the groups that we want to be matching up against and sticking with them and hopefully close faster than them in the last mile,” Henderson said.
The team’s next meet is on Sept. 30 at the Paul Short Invitational in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.