Cornell cross country competed in Boston for the Ivy League Heptagonal Championship on Saturday, Oct. 28. With the Ivy title on the line, it was one of its most important races of the season.
“One of the most physical, tough races for both [the men and the women’s race] that I’ve seen in a long time,” said head coach Mike Henderson. “We had a lot of people’s shoes being stepped on… people were getting knocked around… it was really interesting to see the way the team battled through that.”
In the men’s race, it was Princeton and Harvard that dominated the field, with the Tigers and Crimson accounting for seven of the first 10 finishers. Senior Rhys Hammond and junior Damian Hackett were right in the mix of things, though, finishing in sixth and ninth places, respectively.
Freshman Pierre Atiogbe, finishing the 8,000 meter race at 24:48, was the next Cornell racer to cross the finish line. Right behind Atiogbe was junior Jake Gelfand. In 50th place after the first 1,500 meters, Gelfand clawed his way forward, passing 23 runners throughout the rest of the race. Similarly, sophomore Tyler Cannaday — Cornell’s final scorer — passed 15 runners in the back half of the race.
Cornell finished with 97 points, edging out Yale’s 107 points to claim third place.
“It was exciting to maintain our squad in the top three after last year’s [third place finish],” Henderson said. “To still hold that spot speaks a lot to the commitment and focus these guys have had all year.”
In the women’s race, the Red did not fare as well. The team’s first finisher was junior Augustine Haquet, finishing in 22nd place with a time of 21:52. Right on her tail was sophomore Mairead Clas, who clocked in at 21:59, and junior Marge Dalseth, who crossed the finish line at 22:12.
Senior Bella DiPalermo finished in 41st place, passing twenty runners in between the 1,500 and 3,100 meter markers. Rounding out the scorers was freshman Emma O’Day, who completed the race at 22:38.
“The women took a lot of good steps forward. [Some of the runners] improved 20, 30, 40 places from last year,” Henderson said. “Just wasn’t quite enough to get us what we wanted… we have a lot of strength in the women’s team continuing to build going forward from here.”
A couple days after the race, the Ivy League announced that Hammond was selected to the First Team All-Ivy League, with Hackett being chosen for the Second Team All-Ivy,
“It’s a great accomplishment for them and a real testament to the work they’ve done all year… they have some big goals to keep achieving so we’re excited to see what comes next,” Henderson said.