On Saturday, Sept. 29, the Red traveled to Boston to race in the Battle in Beantown Invitational. The men’s race was 8,000 meters, and the women’s race was 6,000 meters.
In the men’s race, senior Rhys Hammond crossed the finish line first for Cornell. He finished with a time of 23:56, placing fourth overall out of 142 total runners. The next of the Red to finish was freshman Pierre Attiogbe, clocking in at 24:25.
Junior Jake Gelfand was Cornell’s next runner to finish the race with a time of 24:40. The last two scorers for the Red were junior Damian Hackett and senior Colden Longley. These two veteran runners were neck-and-neck at the finish line, finishing at 24:53 and 24:56, respectively. While Hackett and Longley are typically towards the front end of the Red’s scorers, head coach Mike Henderson attributed this abnormal performance to subpar racing conditions.
“It was pretty slippery and rainy throughout the meet… [Hackett] was slipping and sliding the whole course,” Henderson said. “Dealing with the mud took a toll on [Longley] by the end of the race… I’m confident in their fitness and where they’ll be as the season progresses.”
The Red finished the race in third place with 116 points, edging out Dartmouth by one point. Harvard won the race by a sizable margin, finishing with 47 points.
“It’s always nice to mix it up with strong programs… and they battled through that really well,” Henderson said.
In the women’s race, junior Marge Dalseth finished first for Cornell with a time of 17:39. Not too far behind was sophomore Mairead Clas, clocking in at 17:48. Junior Augustine Haquet was right on her tail, crossing the finish just a second later.
With the first three Red finishers all within ten seconds of one another, its fourth runner, junior Avery Brull, did not cross the finish line for another 30 seconds, finishing the race at 18:20. Rounding out Cornell’s scorers was senior Bella DiPalermo at 18:25 after being sidelined for the first two races.
“[DiPalermo] has been a strong part of the team,” Henderson said. “It’s no surprise that she helped contribute, and we’re excited for her to keep doing that all year.”
Out of 16 schools, the Red came in ninth place with 195 points. The Crimson who came out on top, leading the pack with 61 points.
Cross country will continue its season on Friday, Oct. 13 at the IC4A/ECAC Cross Country Championships at Van Cortlandt Park, New York. This will be a big test for the Red, as it is the first championship race of the season.
“We’re starting to come together as a program and I’m really excited to see what we do in the month of October,” Henderson said.