As a former Big Red student athlete, it was always hard to make it to other sporting events other than your own, since juggling 6 practices a week, weekend regattas, and a full course load leaves little time to breathe.  However, this past Saturday, I had a full bodied experience off the water and turf–as a Big Red fan.

Cornell Athletics is having an amazing spring season.  From Wrestling, Polo, and Lacrosse, to Gymnastics, Softball, and Basketball, the words “vying”, “clinching”, “Nationals”, “NCAAs”, and “finals” are splashed all over the Daily Sun sports articles.  From early morning to late afternoon, I traversed campus with my friend Lauren (who plays on the Women’s Basketball team), hitting up five different Big Red athletic events to cheer on some of my close athlete friends.

9:00AM
Location:  Collyer Boathouse
Event: Women’s Rowing vs. Dartmouth
Katy, Matt, and I woke up bright and early (after a fun Friday night out)to see our 5 rommates at their only home race of the season against the Big Green.  It was definitely hard for me to watch the races go by, since I would much rather be in the boat in the chaotic heat of the moment, rather than watch the shells go by.  Strong finish by the novices, and some great family support for the Seniors.

12:00PM
Location: Schoellkopf Stadium
Event:  Women’s Lacrosse vs. Notre Dame
After a pit stop at the Ithaca Farmer’s Market for some breakfast burritos, I met up with Lauren and Brian to watch the beginning of Women’s Lacrosse.  The Notre Dame team finished first in their league, and the Big Red were staving off the Fighting Irish, as we watched the Big Red surge to a 6-3 lead in the first half.  The final score?  11-9, Irish.  Things to note:  the very active communication among the players, and the baller coach that was just as engaged with the game as the actual lax-ers themselves.

12:30PM
Location:  Niemand-Robison Softball Field
Event:  Women’s Softball vs. Dartmouth
This was a best of 3 match for the Ivy Championship.  The Big Red sailed through the first game of the double header, winning 4-0.  The second game was not as great; Dartmouth won 5-1.  Jessy Berkey, a friend of mine from middle school, held down right field with some awesome pop-up catches.  I played softball in high school, and it was great to hear the popping of the gloves and the metal clangs of the bats once more. And stepping in remnants of sunflower seed.

2:25PM
Location:  The Robert J. Kane Sports Complex
Event: Track & Field vs. various schools
My friend Jessica runs the 400m hurdles.  And fast.  From the gun, Jessica smoked out the competition, jumping over the hurdles with ease, crossing the line a good few seconds ahead of the pack.  My other J friend, Jeomi, is a jumping goddess, but decided not to compete at the meet due to a sore hamstring, or what she called a “hammy”.

3:00PM
Location:  Schoellkopf Stadium
Event:  Men’s Lacrosse vs. Hobart
The last home game for the seniors (although I just found out that the NCAA first round against Hofstra is this Saturday at home; I will be there), I finally made it to a Men’s Lacrosse game.  Watching it live is a lot more exciting than on TV…although still just as hard to see where the ball is going.  Almost as quick, but a little more visible, are the players; watching my friends Max and Pierce sprint across the field like rockets, they would definitely smoke me out in a 40 yd. dash.  Not unless I fall to the field first from injuries sustained from a 70 mph solid rubber lacrosse ball hitting my shin.  I am cringing at the thought.  The Men squeaked by with a 8-7 win over Hobart.

At the end of the day, it felt good to see what other Big Red athletes are up to, how different sports train and play, and to see how bad my sandal tan could get.