Men’s and Women’s Cross Country fell in a dual with Yale running on tired legs, but both have their eyes forward on a huge twenty-four school meet this Friday.
The Friday meet was the first race for many of Harvard’s top runners this year and was a chance for them to get up to speed before the season heats up in the coming weeks. The dual meet was only a 6k race, much shorter than the typical 8k, signaling the contest was more a warm-up for coming weeks.
The race served its purpose as of the nine man team the Crimson men ran this week, only three ran last week at Fordham. Of those, junior Blake Evertsen followed up his strong seventh place finish in Fordham with a ninth place finish against the Bulldogs, becoming the fourth scorer for the Havard squad.
Senior and 2018 Heps winner, Kieran Tuntivate, made his debut and placed third behind a pair of strong Yale sophomore runners, as they edged him by eight and three seconds respectively. The next two finishers crossed just behind Kieran as junior Mathew Pereira and freshman standout Acer Iverson placed fourth and fifth. The trio finished within two seconds of each other and will be interesting to see if they can push each other as the season progresses to new heights. Of note, the Harvard men were still without junior and third place finisher at Heps, Hugo Milner. If the Crimson can keep a cohesive pack at the top, that would greatly help their chances in the bigger meets this season.
Rounding out the scoring for Harvard was junior Micheal Alber who placed thirteenth, putting the team score at 33 points, falling short to Yale’s strong 24.
“I was happy with how the group as a whole raced on tired legs,” commented senior captain Charlie Davis on the team’s performance. “We want to be ready for the bigger races at the end of the season, which is when we’ll be at our best and racing with our full varsity squad.”
The Crimson women expected a battle against the Bulldogs and got one. In similar fashion to the men’s race, Yale took the top two spots while a trio of Havard runners, junior Anna Juul, freshman Isabell Sagar, and junior Brooke Starn took the next three. Senior co-captain Gillian Meeks finished in seventh, as the strong group of four that led Harvard to a win last week in the Fordham Fiasco, taking the top four spots, seems primed to take on the league as a pack this year.
Judy Pendergast topped out the scoring for the Crimson women finishing in ninth. This put the score at 27-28 in favor of Yale. In backbreaking fashion, Harvard’s sixth runner, junior Tessa Madrano finished one second behind Yale freshman Hannah Schupansky. As their last scorer, if Madrano could have outpaced her at the end, the score would have been even at 28-28 with Madrano finishing as the tiebreaker, flipping the meet to Harvard.
Nevertheless, the result was a great showing for the Harvard squad who were running on tired legs in the meet.
“The result actually gives us confidence because we were in a super tough training block and knew we were tired going into the race,” said Meeks on the result. “Even on tired legs the fact that we kept the end really close is encouraging for future races.”
Both teams will start off the important stretch of the season this Friday in Franklin Park for the Battle of Beantown. A fan bus leaves at 1:30 from 68 Mount Auburn Street for the 3 o’clock start.