The Harvard women's waterpolo team finished 3-1 in last weekend's Harvard Invitational at Blodgett Pool, a strong showing that should help the Crimson in its bid for a high seeding in Easterns at the end of April.
The Boston Metro club team, one of Harvard's most frequent competitors, downed the Crimson in Thursday night's opening match, 15-5, but the Crimson did manage to stay close in the first quarter, a rare feat against the older, stronger and more experienced Metro squad.
On Friday, Harvard met up with Brown in what Gahan called a "big game." Last weekend, Harvard lost to Brown in the Brown Invitational, 10-5, marking the first time a Harvard waterpolo squad had ever lost to the Bruins.
The Crimson avenged last weekend's loss, topping Brown, 9-6.
"Brown has a very good squad," Gahan said. "They have no offensive stars to speak of, but they have no real weaknesses on their offensive line either."
Harvard crushed MIT, 17-7, and Massachusetts, 17-3, on Saturday to finish the tournament 3-1.
This weekend, the Crimson competes in the MIT Invitational as it continues to prepare for the upcoming Easterns, held at Bucknell on April 26-28. According to Gahan, Slippery Rock and Bucknell should hold the number one and two seeds respectively, but with another strong showing in the MIT tourney, Harvard hopes to grab the third seed ahead of Michigan.
A fourth-seeding would probably translate into a first round matchup with Brown and a semifinal contest with top-seed Slippery Rock. A third-seeding will probably match Harvard with Bucknell in first-round action.
The top two teams in Easterns earn bids to Nationals, held in San Diego on May 17-19.
Still reeling from winter season injuries, the Harvard track team trudged up to Hanover, N.H. this weekend and came up short in its quad-meet against Dartmouth, Brown and Birmingham-England.
The men's team (0-2) finished a disappointing fourth with 34 points, behind host Dartmouth which racked up 66.5 points. The women (1-1) turned in a slightly stronger performance, tallying 44 points, but still could not meet the challenge of a powerhouse Brown team that took first with 80 points.
The ever-solid Cathy Griffin recorded stellar performances in all her events this weekend, providing the Crimson with a few bright spots in an otherwise dismal weekend.
The junior standout captured first in the hammer throw, the shotput, and the discus. Her impressive 158-ft. 1.25-in. hammer throw places her among the top field athletes in the nation.
Freshman Nicole Carkeek finished second to Griffin in both the discuss and the shotput, recording throws of 135-ft. 3-in. and 47-ft. 3.25-in. respectively. Sophomore Stacey Caldwell won the javelin with a 137-ft. 9-in. throw, while senior Megan Young roared by her competition leaping 5-ft. 6-in. in the high jump.
In the running events, freshman Alais Griffin continued to race in fine form, claiming second in the 1500 meter in 4:36.08, while Dorcus Mamboleo sprinted a speedy 25.59 seconds in the 200 to finish second.
With most of their sprinters sidelined by injuries, the men's team struggled in the running events but turned in solid performances in the field competitions. Nick Sweeney captured first in the discuss, with a throw of 83-ft. 7-in., while freshman John Toomey and junior Dean Lufkin won the javelin and the long jump, respectively.
Senior Rob Benjamin finished in second place in the 1500 behind Dartmouth's Terry Stillman.