M. Track Beats Yale; Women Win H-Y-P Meet
Fuller just misses record as men win all but two track events; Women dominate in the field
There was no mistaking Harvard’s aim entering this meet, according to co-captain Kobie Fuller.
“We wanted to come out and absolutely crush Yale,” Fuller said. “We wanted to make a statement, and show them that we were on a different level.”
Based on the Crimson’s performance, one can scarcely argue that Fuller was overestimating his team’s ability.
A Harvard athlete won every event on the track, save for the 4x400 and 4x800-meter relays.
“We dominated in every area,” Fuller continued. “The slip-up in the relays isn’t a worry, because we can put together better teams for [the Heptagonal Championships on Feb. 23-24]. We gave some people a rest this weekend, and ran others in different events.”
Fuller ran the 500, but usually competes in the 200-meter event. Not much was different for him in the outcome, however, as he coasted to victory by two-and-a-half seconds. He was only one-tenth of a second off the school record in a race that he had not run since the first meet of his freshman year.
Fuller’s performance has made him consider running longer distances in the next few weeks, perhaps competing in the 400-meter event at Heps.
“Who knows? It’s something I’m thinking about,” Fuller said. “I was just happy to take some points away from Yale at the distances where they were supposed to be strong.”
The Crimson swept the top two spots in the 400, and the top three in the 800, proving Harvard’s strength in the middle distances.
In the mile, Harvard was led by junior Alasdair McLean-Foreman, who was coming off his standout performance at Notre Dame’s Meyo Invitational the week before. After posting a time just one second slower than the NCAA provisional qualifying cutoff at the Notre Dame meet, McLean-Foreman turned in a slightly disappointing performance of 4:12.39, and was given some competition by Yale runner Robert Dwyer’s late surge.
McLean-Foreman held Dwyer off, but attributed his uneven performance to his inexperience at that distance.
“This was just my second race at that distance,” said McLean-Foreman, who traditionally ran the 800. “I learn something new every time I run it, and hope to put up better times.”
This week, McLean learned the importance of pacing himself.
Although he had trouble hearing his split times, he said he wanted to go out slower than he did.
“My first 800 was at about 1:57, which is a little too fast,” McLean-Foreman said. “I lost focus at about 1,000 meters. I probably need to run the first half-mile in about two or two-plus minutes.”
The sprinters blew the Bulldogs off the track, as Crimson men represented the top three finishers in the 60-meter dash. Junior Chris Lambert again led the way, with a time of 6.73 seconds. Juniors Sean Meeker and Shawn Parker were close on his heels.
In the field events, the Harvard men rebounded from an off week at the Greater Boston Invitational to post winners in the long jump, shot put and triple jump. The Crimson swept both the triple jump and the shot put.
Heading into a non-Ivy contest at Gordon Track this weekend (the USATF Invitational meet), the Crimson has one last chance to warm up for Heps. Harvard looks to improve upon its fourth-place finish last year.
“We’re going to definitely contend to win Heps,” Fuller said. “This week helped get us ready for that meet.”
The women eked out a win against strong squads from Princeton and Yale, relying on their depth on the track and thier superior field competitors.
“There are no slackers on this team,” said co-captain Nicky Grant. “Everyone is battling, giving their all, and I think that showed this week.”
Only Harvard co-captain Carrie McGraw won a track event for the Crimson, as she held on for the win in a tightly contested 400-meter event.
In other track events, the Crimson may not have taken the top spots, but they racked up valuable points by placing in the top four. Both McGraw and freshman Tsitsi Gora placed for the Crimson in the 200, while Gora finished third in the 60-meter dash.
Yale dominated the mile and long-distance events, which hurt the Crimson, but also deprived the stronger Tigers from amassing points.
In the mile, Yale had the top four finishers. Harvard, however, was without one of its top milers, because junior Claire Nicholas injured her ankle in practice earlier in the week. It is questionable whether she will be able to compete in Heps.
Harvard dominated the field events. The field events netted 41 of the Crimson’s 60 points on the day, as it posted winners in everything save for the pole vault.
“The competition in the field is not so intense in Ivies,” Grant said. “It was great to help, considering Yale was so strong in some of the longer running distances. It’s always a team effort.”
Grant’s focus on the team cannot obscure her own extraordinary performances. She again won both the shot put and the weight throw.
However, she was not satisfied with her performance of 18.35 meters in the weight.
“My shot put was okay,” Grant said. “The weight throw, however, is a little disappointing. I won’t be happy until I’m over 19 [meters].”
Grant’s personal best of 18.90 meters ranks her 17th on the most recent national performance list. She will likely need to throw over 19 meters to qualify for the NCAA championships.
She is looking forward to this week’s meet, as it will bring throwers that will push her more.
“It’s easier to throw longer distances if you have someone competing with you, pushing you,” Grant said.
Junior Helena Ronner was another two-event winner, as she continued to excel in the long jump and triple jump.
“My distances seem to be getting better every week, so they’ll hopefully be ready for Heps,” Ronner said.
The women look toward the USATF Invitational this weekend as their last tune-up before Heps.
“I think we’ll be ready for Heps,” Grant said. “We came into this meet as underdogs, and I think we showed what we can do as a team.”