Last year at HepsXC, the Cornell men shocked the Ivy League when they stole 2nd place in convincing fashion. With 11 of 12 men back in action this year, a number of which have shown great improvement so far this season, a podium finish tomorrow is a definite possibility. The Big Red have been steadily progressing all season long, most recently finishing 14th at the D1 Pre-National meet, so expect them continue that upward trend as they take on the championship part of the season.
Leading the Big Red every step of the way has been senior Ben Rainero. He broke onto the national scene at the Battle in Beantown, where he led for half the race and then held on for a solid 4th place finish. Two weeks later he proved Beantown was no fluke as he finished an impressive 11th in the highly competitive field. If Rainero’s hot streak continues tomorrow, he’ll not only be the low-stick his team needs for success, but will also solidify himself as one of the best in the Ivy League.
Also running well for the Big Red this year are sophomore Dominic DeLuca and senior Brian Eimstad, as both finished in the top 100 at Pre-Nats. If they can both repeat as All-Ivy performers – DeLuca was 4th a year ago as the top frosh in the Ivy field, while Eimstad was 9th – Cornell will be in a solid position through #3. Rounding out the scoring 5 for the Big Red could be any number of gentlemen. Senior Connor Herr was the #2 man at Beantown this year, and will be looking to improve upon last year’s 59th place HepsXC finish. Also likely to contribute tomorrow is sophomore Josh Dyrland, who finished in 27th a year ago as Cornell’s 4th man.
– photo and preview by Rachel Sorna