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Men’s Track Sweeps 5000m Race

Long-distance runners excel but injuries still plague team

By Samita Mannapperuma, Crimson Staff Writer

Anchored by solid performances in the 5000-meter runs, the Harvard men’s and women’s track teams finished in third and second places, respectively, at the Greater Boston Championships held at MIT Saturday.

Northeastern captured the men’s and women’s titles, with the MIT men finishing second.

The trio of sophomore Reed Bienvenu and seniors Taylor Banks and Simon Holmes guided the Crimson to a clean sweep of the men’s 5000. Bienvenu led the way in a time of 15:12.07, while Banks (15:26.53) and Holmes (15:33.68) crossed the line behind him.

Junior Mairead O’Callaghan’s time of 17:47.76, a personal best, earned her a first-place finish in the women’s 5000 as well.

While the long distance runners performed well for the Crimson, many athletes in other events sat out the meet due to injuries.

“Some athletes did not run today in order to prevent an injury rather than because they already had one,” women’s co-captain Ashley Furst said. “Today we missed our injured girls in the hurdles, jumps and sprints.”

Despite these setbacks, freshman Mary Serdakowski won the 55-meter hurdles, while Furst captured the 400-meter run with a time of 58.54 seconds.

Junior Samantha Piper took second in the 800-meter run, a finish made more impressive considering she ran the event just seven minutes after running the 400.

The Crimson’s distance medley relay team of co-captain Alaina Aguanno, junior Virginia Scott, sophomore Amanda Thornton and freshman Kierann Smith also finished in second place.

In the field events, junior Johanna Doyle led the way with her first-place finish in the weight throw with a distance of 16.00 meters.

Despite enduring more injuries than the women, the men’s team still emerged with two first-place finishers.

“Basically, today was a tune-up for those who are healthy and need sharpening,” men’s co-captain John Traugott said. “Many of our runners, throwers and jumpers are recovering from nagging injuries and a lot of hard work that has left us worn down.”

Freshman Samyr Laine was a bright spot for the men, as he continued his dominance in the triple jump, covering 48’6.50 and winning by over five inches.

In addition to the many injuries the Crimson had to overcome on Saturday, it also had to adjust to MIT’s flat track, which is more difficult to run on than Harvard’s banked indoor track.

“The field people are set,” Furst said. “But for sprinters, the curve is definitely tighter on their race than our banked track.”

Both the men’s and women’s teams now look forward to returning to their home track as they host Yale next weekend. Princeton will also compete in the women’s meet. That competition will be the Crimson’s last home meet this season.

“Yale and Princeton are worthy opponents—and historical rivals—so we’re looking to do some damage,” Aguanno said. “We have some stunning athletes looking to make an impression.”

—Staff writer Samita A. Mannapperuma can be reached at mannapp@fas.harvard.edu.

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