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Senior Eddie Baker paced the Harvard men's cross country team with a 28th-place finish, while junior Leann Hymes crossed the line in 32nd place in the women's field Saturday at the 5th Br. John "Paddy" Doyle Meet of Champions at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx.
Behind the strong running of Baker, who finished the eight-kilometer historic course in 25:26.8, John Traugott and Christoph O' Donnell, the Crimson men ran to a 15th-place finish among the 23-team field.
"Our finish was pretty good considering that a couple of our runners were injured and not able to compete," Baker said.
Finishing 10 seconds quicker than he did on the same course a year ago, Baker was also pleased with his individual improvement at the hilly, challenging course.
"Our coaches made an effort to have us train a lot on hills in the last couple of weeks," Baker said.
The women's team, bolstered by Hymes' clocking of 21:50.3 in the six-kilometer race, placed 10th among the 21-team field. Freshman Mairead O' Callaghan and senior Mary Unsworth finished 40th and 59th, respectively.
In the closest finish in meet history, host Iona's No. 5 men's team edged out No. 15 William and Mary by two points in the team competition. On the women's side, Boston College ran away with the title, as Texas A&M and Brown finished a distant second and third place, respectively.
The drama that played out in the men's team competition was also matched during the actual race. Iona alumnus Ricardo Santos, running unattached, edged out James Madison's Mike Fox to win the men's individual title in a blazing 23:34.3.
As Harvard's cross country teams run towards their ultimate finish line at the NCAA Championships, hosted by Iowa State in late November, both the Crimson men's and women's teams will return to Van Cortland Park for the Heptagonal Championships on Oct. 27 and the NCAA district qualifier on Nov. 11.
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