EDITOR’S NOTE: Letsrun.com has set up a national and conference prediction poll in honor for this weekend’s conference championship weekend. One of the power conferences they have included is ours! Feel free to go to this link to sign up and share your predictions on who will win the HepsXC team titles and any national rankings if you want to! We’ll share the results later this week.
The Big Red Women’s team features a mix of veterans and newcomers. Although they return 10 of 12 from their Heps roster and 5 of 7 from their Northeast Regional roster, the emergence of the sophomore class combined with the arrival of a strong freshman class has really shaken things up. With seasoned upperclassmen up front and a fresh crop of talent filling in the ranks, the Cornell Women find themselves in great position to contend for this year’s title.
After opening up at Van Cortlandt Park in early September and then heading over to Rochester for the Yellowjacket XC Invitational a week later, the Big Red really got their season going at Paul Short, where they took 2nd to Canadian powerhouse University of Guelph in the elite Gold Race. Most recently they competed at the DI Pre-National meet, held in Louisville, Kentucky, where they finished 22nd. Despite not having their best performance, they still gained valuable experience racing against quality competition on this season’s National Championship course.
Leading the way for the Big Red is junior Taylor Spillane. She’s finished as their number one runner in every race so far this season and looks poised to continue that trend heading into Championship season. Coming in as a solid #2 is senior Caroline Kellner. Her experience at Heps, Regionals, and NCAAs will undoubtedly play a big role as she helps lead this up-and-coming team.
The remainder of the scoring squad features a number of incredibly talented, but fairly inexperienced underclassmen. From the sophomore class come 800m star Shannon Hugard, who raced only a handful of times last fall, and Jackie Katzman and Erin McLaughlin, who have both had breakout seasons after relatively quiet freshman years. Rounding out the Top 7 are two freshman who have transitioned very well to the collegiate cross country circuit: Eve Glasergreen and Gracie Todd. Their ability to contribute so early on in their collegiate careers will be a key to Cornell’s current and future success.
– Rachel Sorna
photo from Cornell Track & Field/Cross Country facebook page