They may have been dominated by Cornell in some events, but the members of the women’s track and field team say they are not disheartened by the Elis’ performance last weekend.
Because many of the top Eli distance runners rested and because the Bulldogs picked up crucial wins in a number of events, the Big Red’s 104-41 win at home was not a complete dismantling of the Elis. Led by Joslyn Woodard ’06 and Molly Lederman ’06, the Bulldogs placed well in the sprints and field events. Woodard won the 60-meter dash, the 200-meter dash, and the long jump, while Lederman was unbeatable in the pole vault. With these wins, as well as the strong showings by other Elis, the Bulldogs feel confident that they can continue doing what they did well this weekend as they head towards the key meets of the indoor season.
“I think the meet was very indicative of what is to come next weekend and at Heps,” sprinter Aisha Cort ’05 said. “Coming off of Dartmouth, we didn’t perform as well, but this weekend was the start of the momentum we need to keep going into championship season.”
One of the big boosts for the Bulldogs was the 60-meter dash, which was swept by Woodard, Katrina Castille ’07, and Cort. Woodard’s time of 7.78 was followed by Castille’s 7.82 and Cort’s 8.03. Woodard said she felt amazing after the sweep because they knew the short sprints were their strong suit.
“Out of the corner of my left eye I saw Katrina [Castille] and out of my right eye I saw Aisha [Cort] and I was like ‘we took that,'” Woodard said. “On paper we know we are faster, so it was nice to prove it in an event. Especially considering the tone of the event. They swept so many events before that. It was a nice high point in the middle of the meet.”
Although she said she was pleased with her race in the 60, Woodard said she was not satisfied by her winning mark of 19 feet in the long jump.
“I started with the long jump, arguably my best event in terms of placement and consistency,” Woodard said. “However I was not as excited about the result. I expected to do better. Nothing seemed to come together on the runway, but I still had a favorable result for my team. I compete against other people for my team but I compete against myself for myself.”
The Elis also picked up a significant amount of points in the pole vault. Lederman won the event by clearing 12’9″ and Ashley Nolet ’07 finished second with a mark of 12′. Lederman said she was pleased with her and Nolet’s performance, especially because it was the first time Nolet cleared that mark.
“She looked really good and it was really exciting,” Lederman said. “I felt a little better than I had in the past couple of weeks. There is still a bunch of things that I am working on, but overall I was pleased.”
Lederman’s mark was her highest so far this season and came close to her personal best.
The last win for the Bulldogs came in the triple jump. Olakitan Awolesi ’08 jumped 36’6.75″ to secure the victory.
Despite these wins, the Big Red scored too many points elsewhere for the Elis to win the dual meet. The Big Red were particularly successful in the 60-meter high hurdles, the 400-meter dash, 1 mile run, and the 3,000-meter. The Big Red also monopolized the points in both the 4 x 800-meter and 4 x 400-meter relays. Cornell’s prolific field athletes also racked up a great deal of points in the high jump, weight throw, and shot put.
Although Lederman said it was hard to lose, she said there could be some benefits to it.
“I think it’s a little discouraging,” Lederman said. “On the other hand, we gain that much more motivation for the next time we see [the Big Red] at Heps, and I think that’s really important. It focuses everyone a little more, motivates everyone a little more, and hopefully we will be at our best.”
Competing for the first time in the renovated Coxe Cage should provide additional motivation this coming weekend as the Bulldogs host the Harvard-Yale-Princeton tri-meet. Cort said everyone wants to produce good results on the brand new track.
“No one wants to be embarrassed in front of our fans, so everyone is going to leave it all out on the track,” Cort said. “I’m ready to jump higher and run faster. I’m just excited and I want to keep that mindset going.”
Woodard said they will use the momentum they generated in Ithaca to carry the Elis through H-Y-P.
“It took us a little while to get going, but a few sparks were flying,” Woodard said. “Now we hope to take the sparks and start a burning fire this weekend on our brand new track which I am in love with.”
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