Women’s Cross Country Competes at NCAA Championships; Men Take Fifth at IC4As

The Harvard women ended their season at the 2012 NCAA Championships Saturday (Photo Courtesy: Tim O'Dowd).

After a stellar showing at the 2012 NCAA Northeast Regionals, the Harvard women's cross country team squared off against the nation's finest squads at the 2012 NCAA cross country championships Saturday. The women's team, which qualified for the NCAA Championships for the first time since 1983, finished 31st on the 6-kilometer course at E.P. "Tom" Sawyer State Park.

The Oregon women's squad ran to a convincing team victory, as the Ducks (114 points) had a sizeable gap between them, second-place Providence (183) and third-place Stanford (198).

"This has been a historic season for our program and it was great that our women's team had a chance to end the season at the National Championships," said director of Harvard cross country/track and field Jason Saretsky.

Viviana Hanley stepped up to lead the Crimson women on the day, covering the 6k course in 20:53.7, good for 118h overall and 87th among scoring runners. Hanley was the fifth Ivy League student-athlete across the line, behind a pair of Cornell runners and competitors from Dartmouth and Princeton. Morgan Kelly wasn't far behind in 146th position, recording a time of 21:04.5, and captain Emily Reese took 172nd, finishing within a second of two other runners at 21:16.3. Sammy Silva (202nd, 21:32.1) and Alaina Alvarez (216th, 21:38.8) were the final two scoring runners for Harvard in the competition.  

The men's team was also represented at the national championship meet as junior Maksim Korolev ran for the Crimson after finished second at the NCAA Northeast Regional meet. Korolev was the 201st runner to cross the line in the 10k race, posting a time of 31:43.8, edging out a challenger from Michigan State who was .5 seconds behind.

The rest of the men's team was in action at Van Cortlandt Park in New York for the IC4A Championships. The team took a page from the women's book, bunching its runners near the top en route to a fifth-place finish. Junior Kurt Ruegg led the Crimson charge as one of two Harvard runners to record a top-20 finish, placing 18th in the 124-person field with a time of 25:44.7. Teammate Tom Purnell capped off his strong rookie season with a time of 25:46.1, just two spots back of Ruegg.

Senior Jakob Lindaas slid into the top 25 with a 25th-place time of 25:54.9, almost two seconds beyond his closest competitor. Sophomore Will Geiken was the fourth runner to finish within the top 40, covering the course in 26:08.5. Senior Stewart Richardson was the final Harvard scorer on the day, finishing 73rd overall and 63rd among scoring runners, posting a time of 26:48.5.            

Next up for the Crimson cross country squad will be its end of season banquet, scheduled for Monday, November 26th in the Murr Hall of History.