Crimson Runners Compete With Best

With the sweet taste of their NCAA qualification times from Nov. 15's Regionals race still fresh, sophomores Dan Chenoweth and Claire Richardson brought home impressive results from yesterday’s NCAA Championship in Terra Haute, Ind.

“I told both of them, as sophomores, the goal was to go out there and compete hard and when they come back they can show the team that we can bring two teams there next year,” Harvard coach Jason Saretsky said.

Chenoweth crossed the finish line in the 10K race with a time of 30:14.8, earning him 42nd overall in the field of 252 runners from big, state schools like Oregon to Alabama.

“It’s something else to be running with some of the best guys,” Chenoweth said of his competition. “It’s pretty crazy stuff.”

The Geneseo, Ill. native’s time was just 1.1 seconds away from by finishing within the top-40 finishers, which would have earned him All-American honors.

And though his time couldn’t quite make that cut, Chenoweth did shave one minute and 15 seconds off his last 10K race at the NCAA Regionals at Van Cortlandt Park in Bronx, N.Y.

“The conditions were a lot better,” Chenoweth said. “In a bigger race, you go faster. It’s a championship environment, everyone’s going a ltitle faster.”

At last year’s NCAA Regionals, Chenoweth was the top American freshman finisher with his time of 30:54.35, but with his time yesterday he is quickly asserting himself as one of the top American runners overall.

Chenoweth raced in Terra Haute on Oct. 18 as one of the Crimson's representatives at the Pre-Nationals race. Although that race was only an 8K, Chenoweth still made waves in the field, finishing 21st overall with a time of 24:05—a pace of just about three minutes per kilometer, similar to what he ran yesterday.

“It says a lot about what a great competitor he is,” Saretsky said. “He just really rose to the occasion.”

Chenoweth’s time was also the best showing for Harvard runner on the national circuit since Ian Carswell ’97 finished 17th in the NCAA Nationals in 2005.

As the Crimson’s sole representative on the women’s side, Richardson also left an impact in the 252-runner field, finishing 144th in the 6K race with a time of 21:32.7.

Her finish took 14 seconds off her last time in a 6K race, which came at the Regionals race in Van Cortlandt.

The St. Paul, Minn. native also kept pace in Terra Haute with her Pre-Nationals showing of 21:33.

Oregon won the team championship on the men’s side and, for the women, Washington took the team title. Although only two Harvard runners qualified for Nationals this year, Saretsky makes no secret of his ambitions to take a team to next year’s NCAA Nationals.

“I feel very confident that we’re well on our way to getting there,” Saretsky said. “As our team gets older and more experienced, it will be that natural progression where we can just compete there.”

“We definitely feel like we have a shot of qualifying next year,” Chenoweth added. “We’re just going to work on bringing our pack closer. We have the right attitude where we can take care of things.”

—Staff writer Dixon McPhillips can be reached at