Just when it seemed like the health problems that plagued the Harvard women's track team during the indoor season were behind it, flu and field trips left the squad depleted for Saturday's meet at Yale.
Competing at nothing like full strength, the Crimson fell to the Eli, 80-56, and saw its outdoor-season-long winning streak come to an end.
The most notable absentees were distance specialists Jenny Stricker and Kristin Perini, jumper Mimi Sheller, sprinter Carol Kirton, thrower Kathy Durante and hurdler Erin Sugrue.
Despite these absences, those who did compete fared quite well. Senior Janet Judge demonstrated her versatility, competing in four events. Judge won the javelin, took the runner-up spot in the shot put behind sophomore Lori Boulris, and took second in the triple and high jumps.
Meanwhile, junior Theresa Moore finished behind Eli Anne Maitland in both the 100 and 200-meter sprints. Senior Sigrid Gabler took the second spot in the 400-meter hurdles behind Yale's Heidi Waterfield, with a time of 64.9, her best performance this spring.
Although not at full strength, the distance corps performed well. Senior Kate Wiley won the 1500 and the 3000, with Co-Captain Amy Simon taking second in the latter event.
Co-Captain Mariquita Patterson made her outdoor debut after being sidelined with a knee injury since the start of the season. She placed second in the 100-meter hurdles and ran a leg of he 4x100 relay.
The squad is hoping to get back on track for next week, when it defends its Greater Boston Championship at Northeastern.
Although they are the defending champions, the thinclads will be concentrating on improving technique and preparing for the following week's Heptagonal Championships, where the Ivy League and Eastern military academies all compete.
While the Crimson would love to win the Heps, it is doubtful that even at full strength it will be able to beat Army. Its chances for finishing first among the Ivy schools, however, look quite good.
"We may not have won the Harvard-Yale meet," Simon said. "But when it really counts, not only are we going to beat Yale, we're going to make a hell of a showing at Heps."
THE NOTEBOOK: Freshmen Colleen Collins and Jennifer Toomey, who have been sidelined almost all season, returned to competition. Collins, who made her first appearance last week, continued to improve, and Toomey made her debut in the 800 with a time of 2:26.