On Saturday, it was the women’s team who pushed for the upset.
When the meet was over, the women had completed the shocking victory and beaten Yale, 82-80, on the Crimson’s home track for its first win of the season.
“As a result of [Saturday], we proved two things,” sophomore Mary Serdakowski said. “We proved to ourselves that we have the potential to beat very competitive teams when we give it our all. Also, we proved to the rest of the conference that we are not a joke.”
With Heptagonals on the horizon, Harvard cannot help but feel like it has staked its claim as a contender for the league championship.
On the men’s side, the Crimson was unable to put up the same number of runners as Yale in many of the running events and ultimately fell to the Elis, 97.5-61.5.
Highlighting the meet was a near record-breaking performance from sophomore Samyr Laine, who continues to assert himself in the Ivy League as the man to beat in the triple jump.
Both teams will travel south next weekend to compete in the Penn Relays, which draws elite national competition and will test Harvard’s strength.
Up until this point in the season, the women had not won a meet, but had seen their improving results as indicative of their potential.
On Saturday, those possibilities were realized.
“We’ve had a slow start as a result of injuries and other things, but recently, things have been feeling like they’re coming together,” Serdakowski said.
“I have never been so proud of my team and the amazing effort they put forth,” co-captain BreeAnna Gibson said. “It was an amazing victory that was not expected, but we knew it was possible. A lot of people pulled out huge performances yesterday and that is what made it possible.”
Serdakowski and her hurdling teammates provided a huge spark for the team, taking five of the top six spots in the two events. Serdakowski notched the only time under 15 seconds in the 100m hurdles at 14.87, winning the event. Two teammates, junior Eleanor Thompson and freshman Chelsae Smith—who had a strong indoor season but has been injured for much of the spring—followed in second and third respectively.
In the 400 meter race, Thompson finished off a strong double with an event-winning time of 63.73. Victoria Hendeson completed the sweep for the Crimson by passing a Yale runner within the last 10 meters to grab second in the longer hurdling event.
In the longer distance events, Harvard took home two victories in the 1,500m and the 3,000m steeplechase. Sophomore Laura Maludzinski placed first in the shorter event and junior Rosalinda Castaneda in the longer race, even after falling to the ground with less than a lap to go.