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Track Teams Host Harvard Invite

By Rob Cacace, Contributing Writer

The Harvard men's and women's indoor track teams hosted the 15th annual Harvard Invitational at the Gordon Track and Tennis Center on Saturday.

No team scoring was kept at the event, which included Division I, II and III New England schools as well as unattached competitors.

In the men's field, Harvard faced some stiff competition from Brown, which took four events at the meet.

The Crimson was able to claim a victory in the pole vault, as junior Aaron Snead cleared 4.85 meters. He won the event for the second time in as many weeks. Snead jumped 4.5 meters against Boston College in the Crimson's last meet.

Harvard women fared significantly better, however, as they locked up victories in seven of the 13 events.

"This meet and the team's success the last few weeks have shown what a formidable force we can be," said co-captain Brenda Taylor.

Taylor was as formidable a force as anyone on Saturday, taking two events for Harvard. She won both the 60-meter high hurdles and the 200-meter dash, falling short of a hat-trick in the 60-meter dash.

"It's always a nice thing to win," Taylor said. "But I'm really excited about the team this year. We have a fantastically talented and deep group of girls."

Junior thrower Nicky Grant once again competed with an injured toe, and once again she took first in the weight throw, this time with a toss of 16.53 meters. Grant's effort was enough to win the event just a week after she unleashed an NCAA-qualifying throw of 17.71 meters against B.C.

The women sent out a smaller team than usual as some freshmen were hindered by minor injuries. Since the meet was not competitive, but geared more towards individual success, there was no need to hurry their recovery.

"It's somewhat typical for the freshmen to experience some injuries early on," Taylor said. "Coach [Frank Haggerty] kept them out as a precaution."

Two freshmen did compete--and dominate--for the Crimson. Katherine Katz took the 3,000-meter run for the Crimson, posting a time of 10:32.59.

In the 5,000-meter run, freshman Margaret O'Callaghan tied the personal record she set last week, cruising to a victory in 17:49.33.

Despite the Crimson's success, the meet was not focused on competition between schools. The invitational allows the competitors to rally around individuals more and to not worry about the team outcome.

"It's a fun meet to have once in a while," Taylor said. "It gets some team solidarity going, gets people rooting for each other and not against people in other uniforms."

Whatever the motivation, the indoor track season seems to be off to a good start for both the men and the women. The Crimson's effort on Saturday helped set the tone for what should be a positive year.

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