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The women's cross country team just keeps getting better and better.
After coming in fourth at the Fordham Invitational two weeks ago and third in the Boston Invitational last weekend, the squad ran its way to a commanding victory over opponents Brown and Northeastern at Franklin Park yesterday afternoon.
Harvard placed first with an over-all score of 18, well ahead of Brown's 48 and Northeastern's 77.
Junior Jenny Martin (17:52) and freshman phenom Margaret Schotte (18:04) had a one-two finish for the Crimson.
Schotte was pleased with the outcome of only her second intercollegiate race.
"It was a great race. It was exciting," Schotte said. "It was a little slower than last week, since the competition wasn't as tough at the start."
Even with her fine performance, Schotte thought she saw room for improvement.
"I was a little disappointed that my time didn't improve, but I came in second, so I guess I can't complain," Schotte said.
Schotte noted it was very challenging for her to beat Brown runner Kristen Williams, who stayed with her on the final stretch and finished third.
Martin and Schotte joined five other Crimson runners who finished in the top 10.
The women's team has at least three races left in their season, and given its upward momentum, the team has confidence as it heads into the Harvard-Princeton-Yale meet (on October 14).
Beyond that Ivy challenge, the team's next Franklin Park race will be the Eastern Conference Championships on November 11, which will determine whether individual Crimson runners or the team as a whole will go on to compete at the NCAA Championships at Iowa State on November 20.
In order for the women's team to make Nationals, it will have to defeat Ivy rival Dartmouth, to which it fell last week at the Boston Invitational.
But given the team's impressive finishes over the last few weeks, the team is confident about its chances in the all-important second half of its season.
Though the results may not initially indicate it, the Harvard men's cross country team took a step in the right direction in yesterday's meet against Ivy rival Brown and Northeastern.
The team took second place but showed marked improvement at its home track of Franklin Park, defeating Northeastern but falling to Brown.
Harvard finished with 34 points, second to Brown's 27, but well ahead of Northeastern's 75.
Junior Killian Lonergan and team captain Ian Carswell finished in a virtual tie for first place, with a time of 24:23 over the five-mile course. Lonergan, competing in only his third meet (due to an injury suffered freshman year), was the official winner.
Senior Brian Walsh was the only other Crimson runner to finish in the top 10. Six Brown runners finished in the top 10, which made the difference in this week's contest.
Carswell was very pleased with both individual and team results from the meet.
"I felt pretty good from a team standpoint as well as my own fitness. The team improved from last week's performance."
Last week the men's team finished fourth at the Boston Invitational, also held at Franklin Park. Carswell set a track record of 23:51 at that meet, a mark which wasn't even approached at yesterday's meet.
The team is looking ahead to the Heptagonal Championships on October 27, when Harvard hopes to win the Ivy League title on their home track.
Carswell feels good about the team's prospects at Heps.
"We're building to that and hoping to win. It's looking more and more like we have a legitimate shot."
The team has an off-week for the upcoming holiday weekend, after which it competes in the H-Y-P's against Princeton and Yale at Princeton.
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