Though few members of the Harvard track team made the trip to Columbia this weekend, the few who did were dominant.
The traveling group--less than half the Harvard team--ran well Saturday, as it braced cold temperatures and almost constant rain at the Columbia Invitational.
The event hosted runners from Columbia, Cornell, Princeton, Yale and other local New York and New Jersey schools--over a dozen in all.
The event was an individual meet only, and no school was fully represented in every event.
Many of the runners stayed home to train this weekend, but those who ventured to Columbia ran strong races.
Sophomore John Cinelli ran the 800 meter in 1:53 to win his heat in a performance that equaled his personal record.
In his first 800 meter race ever, sophomore Nnamdi Okike clocked a time of 1:55, as did freshman Chris Antunes.
Sophomore John Friedman entered an impressive performance in his first official 10,000 meter race. Friedman ran in a time of 31:16--only eight seconds off the IC4A qualifying time.
In the 3,000 steeple chase, senior John Basbagill finished in a time of 10 minutes flat and Jeff Helfrich clocked in at 10:23.
Junior John Kraay threw 53 feet in the shot put, tying his personal best.
Harvard is looking equally strong in the javelin throw.
"Junior Chris Clever is healthy and regaining All-American form in the javelin," Captain Darren Dinneen said.
The Harvard men are looking ahead to Yale next weekend, and Heptagonals after that.
"Yale is very good," Friedman said. "Many people will have to step up for us to win, but we will focus long-term."
Like the men, the Harvard women brought only a fraction of its team, constrained by training and injuries.
Junior Marna Schutte won the 400 meter event with a time of 55.58 seconds and placed second in the 200 meter.
Sophomore Carrie McGraw won the 400 meter hurdles, and freshman Amanda Shanklin placed second.
Schutte and McGraw--along with freshman teammates Alayna Miller and Jennifer Leath--won the 4 by 100 meter relay for the Crimson.
"I think it's fair to say that Harvard was dominant in almost every event in which we entered people," Schutte said.
In the 3,000 meter, junior Senta Burton came up with an impressive second place finish.
In the field events, freshman Jill Kornestsky won the hammer throw, and three other Crimson throwers--freshman Donielle Colich, sophomore Nicky Grant and Kristy Johnson--all placed in the top six.
Sophomore Carrie Haberstroh put in a strong performance in the discus throw as well.
"It's the middle of our season now, and it was important for us to get some good competition," Schutte said.
Next weekend, Harvard travels to New Haven to face rival Yale, whom the Harvard women have beaten for the past eleven seasons.
"[Yale] is a big meet for us because of the intense rivalry," Co-captain Kristy Johnson said. "It's always fun."