The men's and women's cross-country teams travelled to the wilds of the Bronx for the Fordham Invitational on Saturday and--beating modern conventional urban wisdom--survived.
Against a 15-team field which included league champion Cornell, the women finished a strong second. The men finished fourth (out of 20) against predominantly New York-area colleges.
Sophomore Brian Walsh finished 10th overall for the men, while co-captain Alais Griffin topped the board for the women.
"We did very well," Coach Frank Haggerty said yesterday. "I'm pleased, because I thought we might be leg-weary after the pre-season."
Cornell took first place on the women's side with 15 points to Harvard's 78. Navy was the top men's finisher with 44 points, followed by Cornell (59), Edinboro (77) and Harvard (111).
The actual importance of the results was negligible, according to Haggerty. The cross-country teams' season revolves around the Heptagonal championships in late October, and all the meets until then are useful only as an measuring stick for the team.
Next weekend, the cross country teams travel across the Charles River for the Boston College Invitational at Franklin Field, where they will race BC, second-ranked Providence, South Florida and Kansas, among other schools.
It's a tougher field, but Haggerty isn't worried.
"We have high expectations," Haggerty said. "But we're a young team on both sides. We need a few meets under our belt, then we'll know how we're going to do."
The Harvard men's water polo team generated enough offense to catch the eye of Andrew "Dice" Clay, rolling through St. Francis 25-13 and Queens College 19-8 in Northern Division play Saturday.
"Anytime you are averaging over 20 goals per game, well, that's not bad," said Coach Andy Freed '90.
Yesterday's match against Boston College was postponed until Thursday night, the same night as the Crimson's matchup with arch-rival Brown. Compared to the import of that game, this weekend was Angel Food cake.
"This weekend was very much of a tuneup," Freed said. "[St. Francis and Queens] are certainly a cut below the type of competition we will need to beat to make the NCAA tournament."
Junior Jose Busquets led his team with 11 goals in the two games, including a six-goal, four-assist effort against St. Francis. Co-captain Jeff Zimmerman totaled nine goals and four assists.
Coupled with sophomore Alex Kim (six goals against St. Francis), freshman Dan Arbelaez (two goals) and sophomore Julian Alexander (four goals against Queens), Freed is putting together one of the more potent offenses in the East.
"Certainly, this is the kind of offense we expect to put together for every game," Freed said. "But I am quite pleased."
This weekend's games will affect (presumably positively) the Crimson's seeding in the New England playoffs in late October.
A bright light is shining: In one weekend, the Harvard women's volleyball team nearly equaled its win total of last year.
The hosts of this weekend's Harvard Invitational blew through the tournament's round-robin first round, defeating Northeastern (3-1) and Dartmouth (3-0) before falling to Holy Cross (3-1).
In the semifinals, the Crimson topped the Big Green again, 3-0, before running out of steam and losing a fourth-game lead and the match to Northeastern in the finals, 3-2.
Harvard (3-0 overall, 2-0 Ivy) can tie last year's win total with a win over Boston College tomorrow. The 1992 Crimson won just four matches, and none in the Ivy League.
But with a new players and a new coaching staff, the Crimson passed its first real test--and then some.
"We were really excited about this weekend," said co-captain Jennifer Garcia. "The biggest change for us has simply been the attitude. Last year, if we had gotten down, we would have quit fighting.
"I think a lot of people thought we would be really bad this year," she added. "We were just really, really excited that we could do it."
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