The men's and women's cross country teams will face off against Ivy League rivals Princeton and Yale tomorrow at Franklin Park.
Since the event is the Crimson's last opportunity to race before the Heptagonals in two weeks, it is especially important for it to do well.
The Crimson will have the homefield advantage over its rivals, which could ultimately provide the extra boost. Unlike its opposition, the Crimson has been putting in once-a-week training sessions at Franklin Park.
"We will try to use our knowledge of the course to know when to push a couple of miles into the race," said Darin Shearer, a Crimson editor. "Hopefully if we push hard, mentally they will fall apart."
So far this season, the men's team has not performed up to its expectations. It is looking to use the H-Y-P meet to rebound and put the frustrations of the season behind it.
An added incentive is the fact that the men finished first last season. The trophy from last year is in its grip, and, with a defeat, not only would the race be lost, but also the trophy.
"It is a mental thing," Killian Lonergan said." Our training times have been much better, but come the day of the race, something seems to go wrong."
The men's squad is ready to move forward. Princeton, having beaten the Crimson two weeks ago, should provide it with the most difficulty. The loss came with two of Harvard's top runners, Ian Carswell and Brian Walsh, out of the line-up. Tomorrow, Carswell and Walsh will be back.
Having put the past few weeks behind them, the men are looking at this meet as an opportunity to salvage what has been lost.
"The men are really looking for a good showing. Daniel Herlihy said. "We have more talent than our results show. This is our last chance for a confidence builder."
Although Princeton will be the men's toughest competitor, Yale has also been running well as of late. The Bulldogs have been running in a tight pack, which could pose some problems if the Crimson is not ready. The key is for the Crimson to come out strong from the beginning of the race.
The women's team has begun to come together over the past few weeks. Although it is a young squad, its considerable amount of talent could escalate the squad past rivals Princeton and Yale.
With the rise of sophomore phenoms Jenny Martin and Karen Goetz, the Crimson is looking to put some added momentum on its season.
Although Yale should not provide much trouble for the women, Princeton could likely give the women racers a tough challenge. Last year's heartbreaking defeat to the Lions allows the Crimson a chance for revenge against its nemesis.
"This is definitely the first meet of the season where we feel like we have something on the line," senior Meredith Fitzgerald said. "Now is the time that we want to start racing intensely."
Both the men's and women's squads have something at stake tomorrow. The men are looking to show the rest of the Ivy League that although they may be down, they are certainly not out.
"It is just a matter of doing it," Daniel Herlihy said. "If we can go with them, we can do well."
The women, on the other hand, are looking to continue to build on the successes of their season. Since this is the last meet before Heptagonals, the focal point of both teams' seasons, this race gives the Crimson a chance to add an extra spark to their confidence.