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Harvard cross country star Ian Carswell placed 17th at the NCAA Cross Country Championships yesterday, held at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. Carswell, the junior captain of the Harvard men's cross country team, was named an All-American after the race.
Carswell crossed the finish line at 31:18, second among ICAA competitors and first in the Ivy League. Godfrey Siamusiye (30-09) of Arkansas smoked the field, followed by ICAA champion Mark Carroll (30:45).
"It was pretty tough going in the middle few miles, just keeping my head in it," Carswell said of the race. "It was tough to stay focused because the course was tough and demanding--it kind of sets you off a little bit."
Carswell was off the pace early, but turned it on as the 6.2-mile, 10-kilometer race progressed. He was 25th at the two-mile mark but moved up to 20th at the five-mile mark and then into 17th down the stretch.
"I was just trying to make my way up," Carswell said. "I was hoping for a top 15 finish. People were yelling out the placements as I went by. I knew I had to make some ground to finish in the top 15. Over the last mile and half or so, I tried to pick off as many as I could. I got a few guys, not enough for top 15, but I was pleased with it."
The race was especially difficult because of the course conditions. Although Carswell said the course itself was immaculate, the weather conditions left something to be desired. The runners were competing in a 30-mile-per-hour wind.
"The course itself was beautiful," Carswell said. "It was designed for only cross country. It was an amazing course, but it was very challenging. There were a lot of hills and they were really, really tough. The wind was also very strong, those two things made it a very demanding race."
Carswell is the first male Harvard All-American in cross country since Paul Gompers '86-'87 took fifth in 1986. Carswell finished 35th in the 1994 championships.
Virus Thwarts Goetze
Karen Goetze competed on the women's side of the championships for Harvard. The junior finished in 131st place, crossing the line of the 5,000-meter course at 18:47. Goetze had been battling a virus and almost stopped running at one point because she felt so sick.
Kathy Butler (16:51) of Wisconsin was the winner in the women's competition. It was Goetze's first trip to NCAAs.
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