The Harvard men's cross country team earned its fifth win in the past six years over Yale (Harvard Athletic Communications).
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – In the annual battle between the Harvard and Yale cross country teams, the Harvard men emerged victorious, yielding the top three runners in the race Friday afternoon on the Yale Golf Course. The Harvard women fell to the Bulldogs, despite a second-place finish from senior Sammy Silva.
The men's squad earned a victory by a final score of 21-38 while the Harvard women fell by a score of 40-19.
"I was really proud of how both our men and women competed," said director of Harvard track and field/cross country Jason Saretsky. "Obviously it was a great win for the men and I was particularly impressed with our strength up front with Maks, James and Jakob going 1-2-3. But maybe more impressive was the fact that our fourth, fifth and sixth runners were making their debut at 8k. Lukas, Billy and Dan had never competed in an 8k cross country race so that was really impressive. And to have a 60 second spread between our first and seventh runner speaks volume about our depth."
The Crimson men were buoyed by strong performances from juniors Maksim Korolev and James Leakos. Korolev took home the men's individual title, crossing the line in 24:20.39 over the eight-kilometer course, closing a slim gap and passing Leakos on the home stretch. Last year's meet champion Leakos was less than two seconds behind, taking second in a time of 24:22.00, just a second off his winning pace from last year. Senior Jakob Lindaas gave Harvard the top three spots in the race, posting a time of 24:34.29, fending off the closest Yale runner by more than four seconds.
Yale's top runners placed fourth, fifth and sixth in the race and sophomore Lukas Gemar took seventh in 24:55.88 as Harvard's fourth finisher. The Crimson's final scorer was freshman Billy Gaudreau, who ran a time of 25:03.62 to claim eighth place. Sophomores Daniel Milechman (25:10.51) and Will Geiken (25:20.95) did well to fend off pushes from the Bulldog runners, finishing ninth and tenth, respectively, and keeping Yale's final two scorers outside the top 10.
For the win, the men's team was presented with the Main Memorial Trophy, given in memory of Ensign Malcolm Gardner Main, captain of the 1941 Yale cross country team, who was killed in action on Nov. 13, 1942, in the Battle of the Solomon Islands. It is the fifth time in the past six years that Harvard has come away with the award, and 27th overall.
"Our women competed well and actually showed improvements from last weekend at Bryant but we still have some work to do. Sammy had a really strong race and it was great to see Emily open up her season with a strong effort and for Bri to continue her remarkable comeback story. I know our women will improve each and every week and we have a lot to look forward to."
On the women's side, Silva turned in the top time for the Crimson, posting a 17:25.58 mark for the five-kilometer course, less than a second off the winning pace. Junior Emily Reese was the second Harvard runner to cross the line, placing eighth in a time of 17:56.41, and senior teammate Briana Jackucewicz was right behind in ninth in 18:00.05. Morgan Kelly's time of 18:02.97 was good for 10th overall, and Viviana Hanley was Harvard's final scorer, taking 11th in a time of 18:10.15.
Harvard has the next weekend off and returns to action Sept. 28 at the Paul Short Invitational in Bethlehem, Pa.