At this weekend’s Dr. Sander Invitational, men’s track and field made waves. With record-breaking performances by junior Thomas Kersulis and senior Rishabh Prakash, along with a historic sub-four minute mile by junior Rhys Hammond, the team clinched a fourth-place finish.
Competing against 16 other premier programs, the Red totaled 80 points, 10 points behind South Carolina’s third-place team finish.
Kersulis paved the path for success after securing two first-place finishes. In the 200m, he notched a time of 21.29. In the 400m, his time buzzed in at 46.81, setting a new school record. The previous mark, set by Bruno Hortelano-Roig ’14, had stood for eight years at 47.04.
For head coach Adrian Durant, Kersulis’s win did not come as a surprise.
“Last week at Virginia Tech on the 4×400, he led off 46.11 so we knew he could run that fast out of the blocks,” Durant said. “So I wasn’t surprised when he ran a 46.80.”
Prakash continued Kersulis’s winning streak. Competing in the elite section of the 3000m against several professional athletes, Prakash finished in fifth place with a time of 7:55.60, another new record for the Red. Prakash’s time shattered the previous 2016 record of 7:58.61 by three seconds.
“Prakash ran against some pro guys and dropped the hammer on a really fast time,” Durant said.
Hammond topped off the weekend with a historic 3:58.90 finish in the indoor mile, becoming the second person in Cornell history to run the mile in under four minutes.
“I’m sure he’ll get even faster. The team is going to Boston next week which is a really fast track,” Durant said. “We’re going to try and see if we can run a really fast distance medley relay in a couple of weeks and go for a school record there.”
Charged with this weekend’s momentum, the team is looking ahead to future competitions.
“It helps reaffirm that we’re on the right path,” Durant said. “Things are looking good and we should be able to compete and try to go for a win.”
The Red will return to the track on Saturday, Feb. 4, when it hosts the Kane Invitational in Barton Hall.