Two roads diverged in the yellow woods of Brown's cross country course, and it made all the difference in the women harriers' bid for a sweep at Saturday's trimeet in Providence, as Harvard finished well ahead of the Bruins, but lost narrowly to UNH, 27-30.
The Road Less Traveled
The flat 3.2-mile course through the tranquil waters and Greek temples of Roger Williams Park, located six miles from the Brown campus, had a fork that took Harvard's number-three runner, Ellen Gallagher, way out of her way. And with her went the chance to beat a skillful squad from UNH.
Despite the narrow defeat, it was a good day for the harriers. Harvard copped first and second places as Darlene Beckford and Kristen Linsley finished a mere second apart, 17:27 and 17:28, respectively. Beckford, momentarily stymied by the poorly marked form, had to wait until Linsley and her Brown pursuer Candy Booth caught up to show her the way before she could take the lead again.
Other top Crimson finishers were Wiley McCarthy, who finished tenth, following on the heels of third- and fourth-placing Bruins and a clump of UNH finishers. Gallagher recovered from her wrong turn to finish 11th, and sophomore Anita Diaz arrived 15th.
"Anita had a discouraging year last year, and it was great to see her finish up in the top [Harvard] five," captain Becky Rogers said yesterday.
Perhaps the most curious sight during the meet was Crimson coach Pappy Hunt, who rode alongside his runners in the team van and yelled encouraging remarks at them out the window.
"Pappy is always there," Maureen Devlin, who was the 10th finisher for the harriers Saturday, said yesterday.
The Crimson travels to Hanover, N.H., Friday to face another tough New Hampshire squad--Dartmouth--and they'll be counting on Beckford, Linsley and all their depth to pull them through.