W. Track Earns Impressive Third at Heps

THE NEED FOR SPEED
Evan K. Wilson

The Harvard women's track team, shown here in earlier action against Brown, had four top finishers at Heps.

It was a bittersweet weekend for the Harvard track and field teams at the Indoor Heptagonal Championships held at Dartmouth.

The women’s team had an impressive showing, placing third behind Cornell and Yale, while the men’s team finished a disappointing eighth. The Big Red swept both the men’s and women’s competitions.

Women

The Crimson women had four top finishers for the meet. Senior Helena Ronner won the triple jump with a distance of 12.63 meters and placed third in the long jump at 5.55 meters. Ronner won both events in 2002.

“I was especially motivated to go out and defend my triple title after losing my long jump one on Saturday,” Ronner said. “I went into this meet relying on experience and a good basic technique in both events.”

Junior BreeAnna Gibson took the weight throw with a throw of 16.34 meters. Classmate Johanna Doyle finished in third place at 15.71 meters. Gibson also took fourth in the shot put (13.54 meters).

The Crimson runners were just as successful, with two first-place finishers of their own.

Freshman Mary Serdakowski turned in a dominating performance in the 60-meter hurdles, winning the event in 8.82 seconds.

Serdakowski has been solid all season, but her time yesterday was a personal best and the second-fastest performance in Harvard history.

“I had been feeling great in practice and my starts have been improving over the past few weeks,” Serdakowski said. “It is so great to make such an appearance at my first Heps.”

Harvard also had an outstanding finish in the two-mile relay, as the team of freshman Laura Maludzinski, senior Megan Moran-Gates, junior Bev Whelan and senior Sam Piper took first place in 8:58.87.

Piper added a second-place finish in the 800-meter run in 2:11.60.

“My goal this weekend was to make it to the finals for the 800 meters and score some points for the team,” Piper said. “I was excited that I was able to beat [Rebecca Dickens from Yale] who had beaten me at the H-Y-P meet earlier this season.”

The Crimson’s mile relay team of co-captain Ashley Furst, senior Kendra Barron, and freshmen Anne Hillier and Adanna Scott had a solid finish with a time of 3:50.72, good for third place.

“Between the amazing performances put forth and the incredible support the team showed for each other, I couldn’t be happier,” co-captain Alaina Aguanno said. “I can’t wait for the outdoor season.”

Men

The outlook is not so positive for the men’s team, as it totaled just 34 points, far behind the first-place Cornell’s 130.5.

“The league has gotten significantly better in the past few years,” co-captain John Traugott said. “We weren’t up to the task to compete with them this time. Hopefully, we’ll use these next couple of months to redeem ourselves.”

Traugott led for the first three-quarters of the 1000-meter run, but faltered and finished third in 2:27.79.

“I just didn’t have enough when those guys passed me,” Traugott said. “It’s very undesirable to lead in a championship race, so I’m disappointed with my tactics.”

Senior Chris Lambert had an impressive showing in the 60-meter dash once again, winning in 6.80 seconds. That time was .07 seconds off Lambert’s own indoor Heps record, which he set last year.

Another bright spot for the Crimson was freshman Samyr Laine, who took second in the triple jump at 14.69 meters.

Traugott hopes the team will be able to use this weekend’s dismal showing as motivation in the future.

“It was a big wake-up call for all of us,” Traugott said. “We have to regroup so we can show the rest of the league that we’re better than what we showed this weekend.”

—Staff writer Samita A. Mannapperuma can be reached at mannapp@fas.harvard.edu.