If past performance is any indication, the women’s track team has a talented team this year. With recent strong performances and NCAA Regional qualifiers at the California State Northridge Invitational, the UC Irvine Classic and the Indoor Heptagonal Championships in March alone, this year’s standouts are looking to build on success earlier in the year.
In the 800, sophomore Katie Murdoch has been establishing herself as a real force for the women. With strong showings earlier in the year, Murdoch is a young, growing talent. Dealing with injuries in her freshman season, Murdoch still bounced back as a top performer to earn All-East honors in the outdoor season, while running the lead-off spot for a record 4×800 time for the freshmen in 2007.
The spring track season is here: packed with more natural skill and talent than in recent memory, the men’s track team is setting its sights on a memorable finish to the year in these last three months.
Starting in March, the men boasted several NCAA and IC4A regional qualifiers, boosting their status as one of the elite varsity teams this year on campus and in Cornell history.
March seems to be promising: starting the month at the Heptagonal championships in Ithaca, N.Y., the men dominated the rest of the Ivy League conference competition, taking a 205-point victory and beating out second-place Princeton by 56 points. The Red won on the strength of nine event wins, seven second-place finishes and three NCAA qualifiers.
The women’s squash team will ride its five-game win streak into this weekend’s CSA National championships, facing Hamilton today in the first round. With wins over Williams, Toronto, St. Lawrence, Mt. Holyoke and William Smith, the Red hasn’t lost a match since Jan. 27, propelling it to an 8-6 record. As the team strategizes for this weekend, the players are setting their sights on two past opponents — Mt. Holyoke and Williams. If the Red moves on past the first round, Mt. Holyoke and Williams could be competitors in the later stages.
The men’s squash team was driving strong into Nationals weekend, looking to make an impact on the competition and to avenge some heartbreaking losses during the season. With the three-day CSA Nationals starting last Friday, the men sustained a cumulative 2-1 record for the weekend in the 2008 Hoehn Division, placing them 11th.
“In terms of the result, I’d say it was a bit of a disappointment,” said senior Mike Gelinas. “We ended up finishing 11th in the country, but we wanted to finish ninth. It didn’t turn out that way. But we fought really hard, and all of our matches were really close.”
As the men’s and women’s squash teams prepare for their last matches before the CSA National championships, the men will set their sights on Hobart, while the women will take on William Smith and Mt. Holyoke. With both teams coming in at around .500 — the men at 6-7 (1-4 Ivy) and the women at 6-6 (0-6) — the Red is looking for victories this weekend to give the squads a boost going into Nationals next weekend.
Hobart will come into the 3 p.m. match tomorrow with a 2-17 record, with its most recent losses to Rochester and Navy. The men’s squad hopes to use this match to shake off any rust before Nationals.
Coming off of a couple of hard-fought victories last weekend, the men’s and women’s squash teams will host two new opponents tomorrow — St. Lawrence and Franklin and Marshall. With the matches based in Ithaca, the Red will take on St. Lawrence at 10 a.m. and finish the day against Franklin and Marshall at 3 p.m.
The men’s squad has its work cut out: St. Lawrence is coming to Ithaca with an 11-4 record with decisive wins last weekend over Colby and George Washington. Franklin and Marshall is also coming off of an impressive victory over No. 20 Hamilton on Jan. 27, sweeping it in a 9-0 blowout. The win brought Franklin and Marshall to 9-7 overall.
Over the weekend, the men’s and women’s squash teams faced three tough teams in Amherst, Dartmouth and Williams. The men came out on top at Amherst, 9-0, but lost two contests to Dartmouth, 2-7, and Williams, 4-5. The women fared slightly better, edging out both Amherst, 9-0, and Williams, 5-4, with the loss versus Dartmouth the only one of the weekend.
The men started the weekend off with a bang on Friday, shutting out Amherst with a dominating victory. In an impressive effort, the Red won six out of its nine matches in three games.
During Winter Break, the men’s and women’s squash teams focused their energy on new opponents: Bates and Yale. While the men (2-5, 1-3 Ivy) dropped both matches, 5-4 at Bates and 8-1 at Yale, the women split their matches, with a 9-0 win over Bates and a 9-0 loss at Yale.
“Our goal for the year is to finish in the top-8,” said men’s squash head coach Mark Devoy. “We started the year at No. 9, and we are currently in No. 7 but need to maintain this for the remainder of the season.
What drives an athlete? What makes the struggles, the pains, the frustrations and the time commitment all worth it? To senior hockey player Caeleigh Beerworth, the taste of victory is what keeps athletes motivated.
“It all comes down to the fact that I love to compete,” Beerworth said. “The feeling of competition and coming out on top is what makes any sport worth it. Any dedicated athlete would tell you that it’s the taste of success at the end of a long road that keeps them playing the game.”
Beerworth has been a dedicated hockey player for a long time. Aside from earning three college varsity letters, she has been a valuable part of the Red hockey team.
Football runs in his blood. Determination drives his performance. And, most importantly, he just loves to hit people.
“Being able to come out on the football field and hit kids is what motivates me,” said junior linebacker John Parke. “I would take a big hit over a tackle any day.”
Coming off of an undefeated season in 2006, the first one since 1982, the sprint football team clinched its sixth CSFL title. Having only two other perfect seasons in 1978 and 1982, the Red defense drove the team last year, finishing as the best overall ranked defense.