With the indoor season now in full swing for the men’s and women’s track teams, the Red is confident that it can continue competing at a high level in the hopes of regaining the crown as Heps champions. Over the weekend Cornell hosted the Upstate Challenge where both the men’s and women’s teams finished first in their fourth meet since the start of the year.
Junior short sprinter Jedidiah Adarquah described the team’s performance at the Upstate Challenge as a success.
“It was good, it was a step in the right direction. There are still some things we need to work on, the little things,” he said. “We had some good performances. We had some people [set personal records], we had a freshman break the freshman record in the shot put.”
Men’s head coach Nathan Taylor described his enthusiasm over freshman Stephen Mozia breaking Hall of Famer Dave Doupe’s ’77 38-year-old freshman record in shot put.
“That was a high quality record even before it was broken,” Taylor said. “We’ve had some freshmen who’ve been raising eyebrows.”
A common theme echoed by a number of upperclassmen of the team is that the team’s underclassmen have experienced much success up until this point in the season. Senior long sprinter Brian Freitas spoke highly of the team’s younger players, calling them “extraordinary” — a sentiment with which Adarquah agreed.
“These last two years, these last two freshman classes have been two of the best I’ve seen, hands down.” Adarquah said.
“Many of them should be able to score at the Heps meet,” added senior co-captain Melissa Hewitt.
Many underclassmen performed well last weekend, with sophomore sprinter Chris Bain winning the 60m in 6.85, freshman Eric Bice coming in first in the 1000m at 2:28.67 and sophomore Bobby Micikas claiming the 5000m with a time of 15:16.27.
The women’s team also perfromed well. Senior co-captain Melissa Hewitt finished second in the 60m with a time of 7.72, before claiming first in the long jump, with a leap of 20-3. Senior Kristin Brandt finished second in the long jump and third in the triple jump. Junior Claire Dishong also claimed second in the pole vault event, clearing a height of 12-1.5.
Both the men’s and women’s teams have been working hard to prevent major injuries that could potentially sideline their top finishers. Senior long sprinter Kelsey Reimnitz discussed how important it is for members of the team to stay in good health.
“I think that’s the hardest part, staying healthy,” she said. “It’s important to have everyone last the whole season. Right now we have a couple bumps and bruises, but nothing we can’t overcome.”
While the men travel to Cleveland this weekend for the Great Ohio meet, the women will look to overcome those aforementioned bumps and bruises at the Armory Invite, an invitational meet in New York City. Many of the Red’s athletes participating hope to make a strong statement for the Red against high quality competition.
“It’s my first meet of the year running on a track with banked turns,” Brian Freitas said. “I want to put up a good time to show the rest of the league what they’re dealing with.”
For others, Saturday’s meet is another opportunity to continue to work on sharpening all aspects of their events. Both Adarquah and Reimnitz agreed that as with all meets, their goal is to improve their overall form and technique in order to achieve the best possible time.
“We’re always focused very much on the process and the techniques involved,” Taylor added. “So, the performances are the results of those things.”
Hewitt has the record books in her sights this Saturday.
“I’m most excited to run the 60m again,” she said. “I want to break the Ivy League record once and for all.”
Joining Hewitt, Freitas, Adarquah and Reimnitz, 30 other members of the men’s and women’s teams will travel to compete in the invitational meet.