Crimson Track Squads Falter at Tri-Meet

After nearly three weeks of hitting the books, the Harvard men’s and women’s track teams returned to their running shoes at Satuday’s tri-meet, finishing in third place against Brown and Cornell at Gordon Track.

The men’s side put up 26 points, falling short of the Big Red’s 108 and the Bears’ 36, while the Harvard women managed 18 points. Cornell took first on the women’s side with 94 points, and Brown’s 47 points secured a second-place finish.

Despite an overall loss, the men’s distance teams featured strong individual performances, as the Crimson secured 10 finishes in the top four.

“I’ve been here for a while,” senior Tim Galebach said, “and this was the best meet, especially from the distance perspective, since I’ve been here. We probably had six or seven guys run their personal best. It was an extremely good day.”

In addition, six Harvard men qualified for the IC4As. Junior Chris Green’s season-best time of 1:53.38 in the 800 meters made the cut, while Galebach and junior Ryan Hafer, who beat his personal best by eight seconds, achieved qualifying times in the 3,000.

Competing in the 5K at BU, freshman Ben Gutierrez and seniors Sean Barrett and Peter Mullen’s times also hit the mark.

“That’s the most people that we’ve ever had qualify from a distance perspective in a very long time, which is really good,” Mullen said. “We had two really solid guys in the 3K, so that made it possible for some people to run the 5K for qualifiers. It worked out really well.”

Injuries plagued the Harvard women’s track teams, however, as several athletes, including sophomore Shannon Flahive, were unable to compete.

“Basically, we couldn’t score a lot of points because a bunch of events we didn’t have anyone competing in,” sophomore Becky Christensen said. “So Brown and Cornell are off getting all the points for events we aren’t running. If we don’t have anyone in an event, that’s a lot of points that we didn’t even have a chance to get.”

The Crimson did make a showing in the women’s pole vault, as juniors Clara Blattler, Sally Stanton and Jitka Tomas took second, third, and fourth, respectively.

“That was good that we got all but the first points in that event because I think all of our pole vaulters are competing,” Christensen said. “We had good individual performances.”

Christensen cleared 1.80 meters in the high jump, taking second place, while sophomore Brittan Smith and senior Julia Pederson’s 1.60-meter heights landed them in a tie for fourth in the same event.

Both teams look to bolster their times at the Harvard Select Meet on Saturday.

—Staff writer Courtney D. Skinner can be reached at