In the first full meet of the season, the Harvard cross country teams jumped in headfirst against two talented Ivy squads at the annual Harvard-Yale-Princeton meet. But this year, both Crimson squads walked away with victories over rival Yale—the first time that feat had been achieved in six years by the men and in eight years by the women.
The women edged the Bulldogs by 11 points, while the men won by eight points in Princeton.
On the men’s side, it was solely a dual meet, as the Princeton men have not taken part in the tri-meet since 1998. Yale’s Jake Gallagher won in 25:43, but Harvard took second, third, and fourth, led by captain Brian Holmquest, who finished second in 25:55.
He was followed by fellow senior Christopher Green and freshman Dan Chenoweth. Yale took the fifth and sixth spots, but seventh and eighth went to senior Andrew Lipkin and sophomore Chas Gillespie, wrapping up Harvard’s scoring.
“I was pleased with the way the whole team ran,” Holmquest said. “We did what we should, given the time of the year. I would have liked to win the race, but I’ll take the team victory over that any day of the week.”
Breaking the long drought was especially sweet for the team’s seniors.
“It was definitely one of our goals going into the season,” Holmquest said. “The seniors, we definitely needed to go out beating Yale once.”
For the women, Princeton came in ranked No. 16 in the nation and did not disappoint as the heavy favorite. Six of the top seven finishers were Tigers, including winner Liz Costello, who broke the tape at 18:00.7. Yale’s Lindsay Donaldson was the top non-Tiger finisher, crossing the line in 18:08.4.
From there, Harvard dominated, with senior Lindsay Scherf in eighth, finishing in 18:39.6. Freshman Jamie Olson was shortly behind in ninth, and classmate Claire Richardson was 12th. Captain Sarah Bourne was 16th, closely followed by classmate Lauren Walker in 17th. Sophomore Caitlin Clifford rounded out the scoring by finishing 18th.
For both teams, it was the first meet with the full roster running, and youngsters on both teams have already proven themselves valuable.
“They’re highly important to our season,” Holmquest said. “I don’t like to think of them as freshmen. They’ve run a lot of great times coming in and they’ve adjusted well.”
“They’re not making freshman mistakes,” he added.
The Crimson will return to action next weekend at the Iona Meet of Champions.
—Staff writer Brad Hinshelwood can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.