The Harvard men's cross country team continued its onslaught against Ivy competitors yesterday, soundly defeating Brown 17 45 in a dual meet hosted by the Bruins. The victory raised Harvard's record to 3-1 overall and 3.0 in the Ivies.
Despite an unfamiliar course--recently shortened from 6.2 miles to five miles--and muggy temperatures in Providence, the Crimson skillfully squelched its opposition while exhibiting impressive depth and continuing improvement.
Senior Eric Schuler took first overall cruising across the line in 25:28. Freshman standout Paul Gompers and sophomore Peter Jelley came in a stride or two later to nab second and third. Only Bruin Tom Jirelle blocked a Crimson sweep of the first five places, taking fourth in 25:42.
Junior Felix Rippey and senior captain Andy Regan took fifth and sixth overall to round out Harvard's top five. But although teams only score their first five finishers, the Crimson strength ran much deeper. Up-and-coming sophomore Andy Klemas trailed Regan by only two seconds to place seventh in his first varsity race, while classmates Jim McDonald and John Duffy shadowed him to finish eighth and ninth.
Brown's course features a steep and winding first mile, followed by a three-mile loop around a lake. Yesterday's meet "went out slow, but then picked up hard," according to Regan, who added that one of the team's goals has been to "move up the pack's pace," in preparation for the bigger meets later this month
Running in a pack definitely has its advantages, as yesterday's results show. "We were about 100 yards ahead of the next Brown guy," Gompers said, adding that even though he turned in a very strong performance. "I know I could have pushed a lot faster than I did over the last two or three miles." If the Crimson continues to improve as the season rolls on, the team should have a good showing against the competition in the Greater Boston and Heptagonal championships.