On Friday, the cross country team competed at the IC4A/ECAC championship meet at Van Cortlandt Park in New York City. In their first championship meet of the season, Cornell raced against 30 other schools. With the Ivy League and Northeast Regional Championships around the corner, this meet was an opportunity for the Red to face their biggest competitors, such as Princeton, Harvard and Stony Brook.
The team’s top two runners have been consistent throughout the season, but it was junior Rhys Hammond that finished first for Cornell this time around, with senior Perry Mackinnon being the team’s second finisher. Hammond finished the 8,000 meter race with a time of 24:02.7, coming in second place. Mackinnon crossed the finish line in fifth place with a time of 24:07.2. Just a second behind Mackinnon was sophomore Damian Hackett. Rounding out the team’s top five scorers were senior Rishabh Prakash and sophomore Derek Amicon. Notably, junior Colden Longley did not run in this race.
“He’s fine. Just some scheduling stuff…we wanted to move guys around and get everyone ready,” said Coach Henderson
Although the team finished with an impressive 60 points, Cornell was the runner-up in this race; Princeton finished in first place with 33 points. The Red and the Tigers had three runners apiece finish top six overall in the race. The separation between the two teams came from the fifth runners; Princeton’s fifth finisher came in 13th place, while Amicon finished in 39th place. With Longley returning for the Ivy League championship, the Red are in prime position to win the title.
On the women’s side, the team had a much needed bounceback performance. At the Paul Short Run on Sept. 30, illness prevented the Red’s top two runners—senior Rebecca Hasser and junior Izzy MacFarlande—from competing. Now back at full health, the two veterans did not disappoint.
Hasser finished in ninth-place with a time of 21:37.01. MacFarlane finished in 16th place, clocking in at 21:49. Freshman Mairead Clas crossed the finish line next for Cornell, coming in 39th place. Junior Bella DiPalermo and sophomore Augustine Haquet rounded out the pack in 55th and 66th place, respectively. While the team usually likes to run in packs, these five finished the race dispersed from one another.
“It’s tricky. I think we had a few people just a little bit off… eight points out of second place, you can look at a lot of places to find eight points… we definitely want to tighten up that pack for sure,” Henderson said.
The Red got 185 points, and Cornell edged out Harvard by two points. The team lost to Richmond and New Hampshire by less than 10 points.
Cornell’s next race is on Oct. 21 at the John Reif Memorial Race at the Moakley Course here in Ithaca. John Reif was on Cornell’s cross country team and graduated in 1986 and sadly passed away in 1987.
“[John Reif] had such an impact on the program while he was here… we really enjoy being able to honor him,” Henderson said.