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After sweeping the Greater Boston Championships on February 3, the Harvard track teams were riding the crest of a wave of momentum.
But momentum means little when injuries keep you out of the water.
For the first time this season, the Crimson squads fell prey to the injury bug last Saturday at Brown. Unable to perform up to their full potential, the men fell to Dartmouth and Brown by a 79-59-34 margin. The women were slightly more successful, totaling 51 points to place second, ahead of Dartmouth's 30-point total but behind Brown's winning 67-point effort.
With distance runners Ellen Villa, Hollie Moore and Tina Lount out with injuries and Suzanne Jones at less than full strength, Meredith Rainey was forced to bear much of the burden for the women in the distance events. Running her first mile in actual meet competition, Rainey turned in a stellar effort, placing second with a time of 5:00.21.
Rainey also dominated the 400 meters, placing first with an impressive time of 54.50. Later, she ran an outstanding anchor leg of the 4x400 relay, overtaking the Brown anchor-woman for the victory. With their 3:49.57 first-place finish, the 4x400 relay team of Jamelle Bowers, Kathleen Keegan, Senzeni Steingruber and Rainey set a new facility record.
In other women's race action, Beth Pfefferle took first in the 800 meters with a time of 2:17.69.
In the field events, Catherine Griffin once again swept the shot put and the 20-lb. weight, while Megan Young leaped 5-ft., 6-in. in the high jump to place second.
Hurt by the losses of captain John Mee and Nicholas Arena, the men seemed to be in dire straits in the distance events. But just as Rainey had stepped to the forefront for the women, Timothy Harte turned in some heroics of his own against a strong field of milers. Harte edged a Brown runner at the tape to win with a time of 4:14.25, only three tenths of a second ahead of the second-place finisher.
Another highlight for the men in an otherwise disappointing meet was the performance of Derrick Horner. Horner grabbed a first place finish in the long jump, then placed second in the 55-meter dash.
In the only other first-place finish for the men, Munish Gupta outlasted the field and crossed the tape in 50.68 seconds to claim the 400 meters.
The next challenge for the Crimson will be next week's three-team meet with Princeton and Yale at Princeton. The action will begin at noon.
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