With one relay race left to run, the two Boston-area schools were locked in tight competition with a score of 70-68 favoring the Crimson.
And with five points up for grabs to the winner of the relay, that meant whoever came in first would leave the Gordon Track and Field center as victors.
When Harvard’s four-man team consisting of freshmen Haibo Lu and Christopher Green, sophomore Sean Barrett and co-captain Alasdair McLean-Foreman pulled out a 150-meter victory over the Huskies, the Crimson men’s track team did just that—it won a dual meet for the first time since Jan. 11, 2003.
“We were all cheering for our relay team,” senior Tekky Andrew-Jaja said. “And that boosted our team’s solidarity as it’s not often that the relay actually matters as far as the final score is concerned.”
Almost immediately, the Harvard team felt they had it in the bag.
Lu began by getting a good start and opening a short lead on Northeastern when he handed off the stick. From there, the race went almost perfectly for the Crimson. The rest of the team watched as the other three runners pulled away.
“We knew it would come down to the final relay, so before the race, everyone spread out to cheer them on,” co-captain Kristoffer Hinson said.
“There was a lot of energy and anticipation,” he added. “But the actual race was anti-climactic. We were never behind.”
“To be honest, the young guys did all the work for me,” McLean-Foreman said. “And I was pretty pumped up to run a really fast leg but I didn’t have to.”
By that last leg, Harvard had a commanding lead, which they maintained until the end.
Earlier on, the first three runners on the team ran in the individual 800-meter run, taking first, second and fifth on the heels of Green’s victory in the event.
Barrett, who placed second in the 800-meter run, won the mile in addition to the leg he ran for the relay team.
“The guys on the first three legs really gave it 110 percent. And as a result, we took complete control of the race,” McLean-Foreman said.
For McLean-Foreman, it was the second race of the day. He won the 1,000-meter run early on.
All in all, the four members of the 4-by-800 meter relay team amassed 23 of Harvard’s 75 points on the day in leading the Crimson to victory.
—GABRIEL M. VELEZ