The Harvard Track and Field team—back in action last Saturday after a two-week-long break for exams—was overmatched on its home track by Ivy rivals Brown and Cornell. The Big Red, which has had a consistently strong team over the last few years, is one of the Crimson’s biggest rivals when the Heptagonal championships roll around, according to co-captain Adam Gelardi.
This weekend, though, Harvard fell short, with similarly lopsided final scores for the men and women’s teams, both squads losing to Cornell—the meet’s champions—by about 70 points. The men mustered 23 points to the Bears’ 53.5 and the Big Red’s 90.5, while the women managed a few more, earn 24.5 points against 38.5 and 96 by the two visiting teams.
“I think we can attribute the fewer points in the running events to the strength of the Cornell and Brown teams,” senior Andrea Li said. “These two teams have consistently dominated the league in the past few years. I hope and expect that we’ll be more competitive in the Harvard-Yale-Princeton meet in two weeks.”
The Crimson’s field team provided some of the weekend’s best performances, accounting for all of Harvard’s four individual wins on the day.
While the Harvard men’s team knows it has a dearth of sprinters that affect its chance at success, the rest of the team began to understand where it stood in comparison to the league after Saturday’s meet against Brown and Cornell.
While the mid-distance runners were unable to break through with a victory in any event, freshman Jonathan Paul grabbed second in the 1000m run with a time of 2:29.89.
And without a strong sprinting unit or victories from its mid- and long-distance runners, the Crimson walked away Saturday with a tough loss, but not a completely surprising one.
Harvard faces its largest problems in sheer numbers. Cornell—which consistently had four or five runners in each race—simply overwhelmed the Crimson with its deep roster.
“[Overall depth] is one of the true weaknesses of our team,” Gelardi said. “We have great talents just not enough of them.”
This weekend, the field events—which both captains, Gelardi and senior Onyechi Ezekwueche, are a part of—were the only ones in which the Crimson held the edge, proving that they are some of the best jumpers and throwers in the league.
A large percentage of Harvard’s points came from these athletes, who took home third in the high jump (sophomore Clifford Emmanuel), second in the triple jump (sophomore Samry Laine) and the top two spots in the shot put (sophomore Christopher Ware and junior Kristofer Hinson, respectively).
According to Gelardi, Laine even had a chance to grab the victory in the triple-jump, but was not credited for one attempt in which miscommunication led to the official missing the jump.
Although the strength for the Harvard women will be its middle- and long-distance running—proven by the eight freshmen and sophomores who competed in the 800m race—the field team continues to score valuable points.