Throwback Thursday: An Incredible Era in Big Red Track and Field
On this exact date nine years ago, the Cornell women’s track and field team accomplished an incredible feat by winning its sixth consecutive Indoor Heps championship, an achievement that will be very difficult to replicate in the future. In addition, if outdoor championships were included in the list, this title represented the squad’s eleventh straight.
This trend of dominance for the Big Red women was really an unbelievable and pronounced triumph. At the Heps in 2007, the team totaled a score of 159 points, while the next closest group, Brown, scored only 71. This mark is a perfect indication of the true talent level that this Cornell squad possessed. At the event, the Big Red placed first in eight-of-17 events and posted 36 ECAC qualifiers, two NCAA qualifiers, and two meet records.
The Heps was highlighted by the incredible performance of sophomore Jeomi Maduka, who was honored with the Most Outstanding Performer Award for winning the long jump and triple jump, while also placing second in the 60-yard dash. At the conclusion of her career, Maduka had become a star at Cornell. On top of being an All-American runner, she was also the Ivy League Player of the Year on the basketball team.
Oddly, her career could have taken a very different path if she had chosen not to attend Cornell. She noted in 2007, “When I got older, my love for track — I just really liked basketball a lot more. And it’s so weird, coming to Cornell and becoming so much better at track. My marks have improved so much, and I think that’s what has motivated me. That’s what got me to fall back in love with track, and I’m glad that it happened. Because I know in high school, I did not consider running track in college until Cornell started recruiting me.”
Despite Maduka’s campus celebrity status, she was not the only high achieving individual at the Heps that year. Two seniors, Morgan Uceny and Sarah Wilfred, qualified for the NCAA Championships. The two captains were no strangers to success, as they had both won several titles in their careers that coincided with the Big Red’s historic success.
Overall, it was an unprecedented run that forever etched the team prominently in the program’s history books, and nine years ago from today, they capped off this incredible era by dominating, once again, thanks in part to a remarkable collection of talent.