Track and Cross Country
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When sophomore Courtney Smith ran at Tom Sawyer Park at the University of Louisville at the NCAA National Cross Country Championships this Saturday, she carried the weight of the entire Harvard cross country program on her shoulders.
Although many Crimson supporters will be wholly focused upon “The Game” between the Harvard and Yale football teams this coming weekend, there are a few other Crimson squads that have competitions this weekend with major NCAA implications.
The Crimson men’s and women’s cross country teams both competed at regionals this weekend, races that offered opportunities to obtain team and individual qualification to the national championships. The women finished sixth overall, while the men ranked eighth, falling short of the top-two team finishes required for an automatic berth.
The Harvard cross country teams fell short of their goals of competing for an Ancient Eight title after both the men’s and women’s sides finished seventh at the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships, but the women’s team performance was anchored by another strong outing from sophomore Courtney Smith.
In its final tune-up meet before the Ivy League Championships, the Harvard cross country team struggled against a field comprising many of the top teams in the nation. Racing at the Wisconsin Adidas Invitational in Madison, Wis., the men’s team took 32nd out of 36 teams, while the women finished 26th.
On Friday at the Coast to Coast Battle of Beantown at Franklin Park in Boston, Harvard cross country emerged from two crowded fields to earn a pair of top-10 finishes.
Men’s cross country co-captain, Tom Purnell, pictured above in action against Yale on Sept. 14, 2013, finished in first place in the men’s 8K race at the annual Harvard-Yale-Princeton meet, besting Princeton rival William Bertrand to finish with a time of 24:48. The Harvard men tied for second at the meet.
Tom Purnell, a co-captain of the Harvard men’s cross country team, opened up his last season as a member of the Crimson by pulling out a first-place finish in the Harvard-Yale-Princeton meet on home turf at Franklin Park in Boston this past Friday.
Harvard co-captain Thomas Purnell, pictured above competing against Yale on Sept. 14, 2013, edged second-place finisher William Bertrand to take the men's 8K title.
One year removed from last place finishes at the same meet last season, the Harvard men’s cross country team tied for second place and the women’s team took home a first-place finish by a one-point margin at the annual Harvard-Yale-Princeton contest this past Friday at Franklin Park in Boston.
Senior Tom Purnell, pictured in previous action, looks to lead a young Harvard cross country team into the new season.
This Friday, a new-look Harvard men’s and women’s cross country team will hit the ground running in Franklin Park at the Harvard-Yale-Princeton meet, the squad’s first of the 2015 season.
Freshman sprinter Malcolm Johnson claimed the 60 meter title in his first ever Ivy League Heptagonal competition.
Freshman Malcolm Johnson was a highly recruited sprinter coming out of high school and a centerpiece of a strong incoming recruiting class for the Harvard men’s track and field team and had little trouble finding success in his first year of collegiate competition.
Female Breakout Athlete of the Year; Female Athlete of the Year, Runner-Up: Okwelogu the Record Breaker
First it was a school-record 15.33 meter throw, then a 16.09 mark, followed by a 16.39 meter and Ancient Eight record-setting follow-up. Then it became a weekly series of record-breaking revisions—16.51, 17.12, 17.22, and, most recently, 17.32.