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Cornell Squash Goes to San Francisco

Cornell senior Clare Berner and junior Maggie Remsen share their team’s experiences on the West Coast.

San Francisco, CA — A little fog couldn’t keep the Cornell squash team away from San Francisco just after the start of the New Year. While everyone was delayed about an hour, the team made it to Stanford’s squash courts ready to play. We all got reacquainted after a long winter break and shook the rust off of our squash games! The team was able to meet many Cornell squash alumni who live in the San Francisco area. After the hit, the women’s team went out for Italian food and browsed Palo Alto. The weather here is a bit better than Ithaca (65 and sunny definitely beats 25 and snowy!).

On Wednesday the team embarked on an epic biking adventure in the bay area of San Francisco. The weather was perfect and everyone was in good spirits. Many of the boys actually decided to dress in authentic riding gear (spandex and jersey), which was entertaining for everyone. Despite a flat tire for Marge Remsen ’13, the first ten miles to Sausalito, California went without a hitch. We think a highlight for everyone was the crossing of the Golden Gate Bridge, which is about a mile long. After weaving through the crowds and taking in the views, the team was met with a rewarding downhill into the town of Sausalito. As much as we’d love to say that everything went smoothly from here, we’d be lying. Groups got separated, ferry schedules were changed, bikers got lost, and two ambitious men’s team members attempted and completed a rigorous uphill detour. However, the always-resilient Cornell squash players made it back to San Francisco with all bikes and helmets intact. We’d like to pause here to recognize the extreme biking efforts of freshmen Jax Wagner ’15 and Danielle Letourneau ’15, who biked to Tiburon and back, which is over 30 miles!

After the bike ride, the team was able to explore the streets of San Francisco. Later in the evening, a group ate dinner with Cornell squash alum and former captain, Liza Stokes ’10. It was a great day in the Bay Area.

Back in Palo Alto the next day, the team woke up for a 9 am hit and track workout. People were still rusty from winter break, so it was good to get back to the basics and work on regaining our strokes. We all headed outside after the hit to enjoy a rigorous track workout. We would like to point out that there were crystal clear skies and temperatures reaching the mid sixties. The run on the track proved to be difficult, yet rewarding for all team members. Blog props to Jesse Pacheco ’14 for finishing the three miles in fabulous time!

Cornell's trip to SF

The afternoon session was held at a club about 20 minutes away from Stanford in Los Gatos called the Vaayu Club. We were met with a familiar face in Garreth Webber, who recently became the club’s head squash pro. The team played members of all ages, which was fun and beneficial to our games. We also introduced the Cornell squash game of Lives to the kids, who loved every minute of it.

On Friday, we had another tough track workout in the morning. Our team was encouraged by the friendliness of the California natives who were cheering us on at different points on the track. Because it was the third day of incredible weather, the team decided to have a group swim in the hotel pool between sessions. An extremely entertaining game of ‘Shark’ and ‘Marco Polo’ ensued in the pool. In the afternoon, the team had a friendly hit with many of the Stanford University players who were just returning from winter break. It was a solid workout and a good way to end a successful training trip. Thank you to Mark Talbott and the Stanford squash players for their hospitality!

It was a great trip to San Francisco and Palo Alto for Cornell Squash. The team gelled as a group and worked hard at practice to get back into shape. Back at school, the team is looking forward to more practice sessions without schoolwork, team movies, and the upcoming weekend matches.