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Despite running on their home course, the Harvard men's and women's cross country teams stumbled this weekend, the men to Yale and the women to both Princeton and Yale.
Yale defeated the men's team 23-36 on Friday afternoon at Boston's Franklin Park. The victory for Yale garnered the bulldogs the Main Memorial Trophy.
The trophy, named in honor of Ensign Malcolm Gardener Main, has been given to the winner of the men's Harvard-Yale-Princeton race every year since 1922. Princeton dropped from competition in the event two years ago, leaving Harvard and Yale to compete for the trophy and a year's worth of bragging rights.
Although the Crimson lost the team event, it had some inspired performances from Captain Eddie Baker and freshman Alasdair McLean-Foreman.
Baker finished first overall with a time of 24:54. McLean-Foreman, in his first race for the Crimson, finished with a time of 25:21, good enough for fourth place.
"Eddie really led the way," McLean-Foreman said. "He turned in a great Captain's performance. I was excited about my finish, considering this was my first race of the season."
Baker was just as impressed with his freshman teammate.
"I was pleasantly surprised to see a freshman step it up last Friday," Baker said. "I hope that the other freshmen follow his example."
"It was disappointing to lose on Friday, but I still believe that we have a stronger team than Yale," Baker said.
Baker clearly was disappointed with the team's performance on Friday, but he did remain optimistic and looked forward to a chance to prove his belief in four days time.
"Several of our guys did not race as well as they are capable of running, and I'm confident that we'll get our act together and beat schools better than Yale at New Englands this Friday," Baker said.
The women's race featured the traditional Harvard-Yale-Princeton format, and like their male counterparts, the Eli women won in convincing style. They beat Harvard by a score of 15-47 and Princeton by a likewise lopsided 18-43.
Yale took seven of the top eight finishes with only Princeton's Emily Kroshus' third place marring an Eli sweep.
Junior LeAnn Hymas finished with a time of 18:38, good enough for 10th place, and was the first Crimson runner to reach the finish.
Harvard also lost to Princeton in the tri-meet, 21-37.
For their victory, the Yale women received the Olivia Thorndike Cheever '43 Memorial Trophy.
Both the Harvard men and women will be trying to upend Princeton and Yale, among others, on Oct. 27 at the Heptagonal Championships.
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