Dunster Dreams of Straus Cup

House's intramural 1st-place standing bucks decades-long trend

For the first time in nearly 40 years, Dunster House leads the point totals at the close of the fall intramural (IM) sports season, according to results released early last week.

The House, which last year came in 7th place in year-end standings, finished the fall IM season with 419.17 points, and may be on track to win the Straus Cup for the first time since the 1960s.

Eliot House finished behind Dunster with 391.25 points, and Cabot House, which has won the Cup for eight of the past nine years, finished 5th with 343 total points for the season.

The point totals are calculated based on how each House finished overall in each of the fall IM sports. Flag football, soccer, ultimate frisbee and A-League volleyball are considered “major sports,” and are worth more points than the “minor sports,” B-League volleyball, tennis and the River Run.

The success of Dunster is due to high participation levels among House residents, according to House Master Roger G. Porter, who said he was “enormously pleased”—but not surprised—by the strong showing of Dunster this year.

He praised the efforts of Assistant to the Senior Tutor and Dunster House IM Co-Secretary Carlos R. Diaz, who he said has taken the lead in soliciting Dunster residents to participate this season.

“Carlos has been wonderful at generating enthusiasm. His primary goal was to increase participation,” Porter said.

Dunster’s other IM co-secretary, Shaka J. Bahadu ’04, praised Diaz for publicizing IMs and encouraging students to participate. He also said this year’s “Big Baller of the Game” and “Nestle Crunch Time Play of the Game” awards, given after every game in each sport, have helped to build excitement.

“There have been quite a few great sports moments and many clutch plays. Everyone who gets the Nestle Crunch Time Play of the Game Award is supposed to get a Crunch Bar,” Bahadu said. “But I don’t think anyone has gotten one yet.”

Porter also said that he has been struck by the level of talent Dunsterites have demonstrated.

“I’m very impressed with the quality of play,” said Porter, who in addition to attending most events with his wife, Ann, plays on the IM tennis team.

Porter said he sees IMs as a way to build a community within his House and Harvard as a whole. He added that he has been especially impressed with the level of sportsmanship exhibited thus far.

“Harvard students are competitive just like everyone else,...but the rivalries between Houses are very friendly,” said Porter.

Bahadu said he believes Dunster’s early lead in the standings will be able to help it secure the IM championship come May.

“Early on we’re ahead in the standings, and hopefully we’ll hold on to win the Straus Cup,” he said.

Director of Intramural Sports Geoff N. Spies said that while it is far too early to tell who will win the Straus Cup, he believes that Dunster’s current top standing puts it in prime position to bring the cup back to the river.