Track teams show off their speed at Cornell

The Geneseo indoor track teams traveled to Cornell University this past weekend for a non-scoring meet against some of the top Division I teams on the East Coast.

The men's squad was led by the 4x800 relay team of junior Ryan O'Connor, sophomore Andrew Corcoran and seniors Tim Chichester and Bobby Henchen who came in first place in the event with a time of 8 minutes, 14.67 seconds.

The same team of runners also performed well in the mile run. O'Connor came in second, just a half-second behind the overall winner, while Chichester and Henchen placed fifth and seventh, respectively.

The high level of competition has paid off for the speedy quartet. Along with sophomores Lee Berube and Chris Mateer, the four have the six fastest times in the 5,000-meter race in the entire conference this season, a fact that was not lost on head coach Dave Prevosti.

"It shows the strength of our team … they are not only really talented distance runners, but good middle distance runners too," Prevosti said. "Their versatility is really going to help us at the end of the season."

Another strong performance on the men's side came from sophomore Wenley Louis who finished second in the long jump. Louis posted an NCAA provisional qualifying distance of 7.28 meters. "Wenley has been having an amazing season," said senior Kristen Shumway.

Shumway was also successful in the meet. She finished in fourth place in the women's 400-meter dash with a time of 1:00.79, breaking her own personal best in the 400 this year. "It was great to be running in the same heat with Division I runners," she said.

Prevosti had a lot of praise for Shumway: "Everyone on the team has such great respect for her … there's nothing she really can't do."

Other top performances on the women's side occurred in the 800-meter run. Sophomore Alyssa Smith came in fifth, graduate student Maggie Morris finished eighth and senior Erin Marks placed eleventh.

Prevosti said he believes that scheduling meets with Division I schools like Cornell helps the team better prepare for the SUNYAC and ECAC championships at the end of the year. "It really puts things in perspective and gives you something to shoot for," he said. The indoor track team has also had meets at other Division I schools such as Syracuse University and Boston University earlier in the season.

The Knights head to Kent State for another difficult meet next weekend, taking on many of the same Division I schools they've faced so far. This is the final meet for the team before the SUNYAC championships the following weekend.