The women’s cross country team is celebrating a Heps championship crown for the second year in a row. The Red traveled to West Windsor Fields in Princeton, N.J. to take on the best of the Ivy League in what was a successful defense of the Heps title for the women’s team.
The men’s team managed to claim fourth place, an improvement from last year’s fifth place finish.
Senior co-captain Katie Kellner spoke on what it meant to be able to come back and repeat as Heps champions.
“To come back and show the Ivy League again that we’re meant to be up there; we’re meant to be champions, and it’s a good league this year so it shows that we’re one of the best in the country,” she said.
The women’s team was the first team since Princeton in 2008 to achieve a first-second-third finish, which, according to Kellner, was a surprise even to her as she crossed the finish line.
“When I crossed the finish line and saw [Rachel Sorna] and [Emily Shearer] there I was just so excited,” she said. “I knew the Brown girls were close and I can’t even put into words how excited I was to see them cross right behind me.”
Women’s cross country coach Artie Smith ’96 has had high expectations of his team all season, especially with how they have performed, but his team’s finish this past weekend exceeded even his expectations.
“We’ve had such a tremendous season but we know what a tough league this is,” he said. “We knew we were going to be competing against some terrific people. We wanted to give a great effort and have a chance to contend. One-two-three certainly exceeded all kinds of expectations.”
The women’s team finished with a score of 31 points, well ahead of second place Princeton’s 91 points to win Cornell’s sixth Heps championship. Kellner won her first ever individual Heps title, with junior teammates Emily Shearer finishing in second, and Rachel Sorna finishing in third. Cornell’s next finisher was junior Devin McMahon finishing 10th overall, and rounding out Cornell’s top five was freshman Caroline Kellner who finished 15th overall.
The men’s team finished with a score of 83 points, which was good enough for fourth place. The Red’s top finisher was senior Nick Wade in ninth place, followed by junior Max Groves in 11th place, senior Brett Kelly in 15th place, Matt McCollugh in 20th place and junior John Schilkowsky finishing 61st overall.
For Smith, Kellner’s first place finish was not only special, but a testament to her as an athlete.
“To do it in the way that she did it, one of the best things about coaching her is that she’s fearless,” he said. “She likes to get out and rock n’ roll in the races, she ran her style of race today and she did a really good job with it. It was really fun to watch.”