Last year’s victory at the 2009 Harvard-Yale dual meet, the first time in two decades that the Harvard’s men’s cross country team won the contest, could have represented a turning point in the storied rivalry.
But the Bulldogs ensured this was not the case, defeating the Crimson on Friday at the Yale Golf Course in New Haven, Conn.
On the women’s side, Harvard finished second in the three-team meet, losing to Princeton and beating Yale for the second year in a row.
“Both teams competed hard, and it was a solid September result for us,” Crimson coach Jason Saretsky said. “We still have a lot of work to do, but I’m excited about the rest of the season.”
The men’s squad, ranked ninth in the Northeast region, started off strong in the 97th running of the meet. At the four-mile mark, Harvard held the top three spots in the race. But over the final mile the Crimson began to fade, and eighth-ranked Yale grabbed the second, third, and fourth spots. This surge proved to be enough, as the Bulldogs beat Harvard, 24-34.
“You gotta tip your hat to Yale,” Saretsky said. “They ran tough. They did a better job of executing than we did, and they came away with the victory.”
“We had a plan going in, and we didn’t quite hold onto it, so that kind of got us,” captain Dan Chenoweth said. “[Yale] had a good day as well.”
The team’s failure to execute and inability to hold onto the second and third spots can partly be attributed to inexperience.
In fact, five of the Crimson’s top seven runners in the contest were freshmen.
Chenoweth’s performance was the lone bright spot for Harvard. For the second time in as many years, the senior captain won the dual meet, and his time of 25:10.70 broke both the course and meet records.
The Lowell House resident clobbered the competition, finishing nearly 25 seconds before the closest competitor.
“[Chenoweth] is obviously in great shape,” Saretsky said, calling his performance “very, very impressive.”
On the women’s end, the Crimson fared much better. Despite losing to the Tigers by 18 points, Harvard handled Yale, beating the Bulldogs by 28 points in the 34th Harvard-Yale-Princeton meet.
“We beat Yale, which is awesome—pretty easily, actually,” senior captain Eliza Ives said.
The Crimson benefitted from a number of strong performances. In fact, Harvard finished with four runners in the top 10 overall.