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The Harvard men's and women's track teams will attempt to prove this weekend that there is an "I" in "team."
The Crimson begins competition today at George Mason University, where the men will be competing at the IC4A's, and the women will be vying for individual glory at the ECAC's.
"I'm very excited about this weekend because of how well we did last weekend [at the Heptagonal Championships]," said junior Marna Schutte. "The ECAC's are always a good meet, and there's always really good competition there."
Only a handful of Crimson tracksters will be appearing at their respective meets this weekend. Several Harvard athletes could not attend because they either missed the qualifying marks by only a few milliseconds during the season or chose to stay on campus to prepare for final exams next week.
Two of the Crimson's finest track stars seem strong contenders for placing in their individual events at the ECAC's.
In the field events, junior powerhouse Dora Gyorffy, who won Outstanding Female Athlete of the Meet honors last weekend at Heps, will be seeking to continue her career season this weekend. At Heps, she won both the high jump (1.90 meters) and the triple jump (12.99 meters).
Junior co-captain Brenda Taylor, who has served as one of Harvard's pillars both on and off the track this year, also performed well last weekend at Heps. Even though a hamstring injury prevented her from running on the record-setting 4x100 relay team, she set school records of her own. She became the first Harvard woman to break the 12-second barrier in the 100-meter sprint, finishing in 11.97.
"Dora and Brenda probably have the best chance of anyone else on the team of winning their event," Schutte said.
In addition to Gyorffy and Taylor, the Crimson will also be sending Schutte to compete in the 400-meter run. At Heps last weekend, Schutte won the 400-meters with a personal best of 54.54 seconds, which was also nearly a full two seconds ahead of the rest of the competition.
While the women are competing at the ECAC's, several of the Crimson men will be contending to win their individual events at the IC4A's, the male equivalent of the ECAC's.
Juniors Chris Clever, John Kraay, and Arthur Fergusson will be seeking to outdo their individual performances last weekend at Heps.
Clever defended his league title in the javelin with a throw of 221', and in the shot put, Kraay captured a second-place finish with a 54' effort, which was a full three-foot improvement from his attempt at last year's Heps.
Fergusson will be another one of the Crimson's biggest threats this weekend after enjoying a career performance at Heps last weekend. In addition to placing second in the triple jump, which is his signature event, he also broke the seven-meter mark in the long jump for the first time this season. He won second place in the event with a leap of 7.20 meters.
"My primary goal is to do a lot better in the triple jump," Fergusson said. "I'm getting better at the long jump, so I'd like to see myself do a lot better at it, but the triple event is my primary event, so I'm more connected to it."
Captain Darren Dinneen, who placed third in the 800-meter with a time of 1:48.45 at Heps, will be seeking to outdo his performance last weekend with an even stronger performance at the IC4A's. Senior David Martin, who won fourth in the 3000-meter steeplechase, will be the only Harvard long-distance runner to compete for the Crimson.
After competing in individual events at the ECAC's and IC4A's this weekend, the Crimson will travel to Duke in ten days for the NCAA Championships.
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