Cross Country Welcomes Ivy Rivals in Annual HY(P) Meet

The Harvard women's team enters the HYP meet ranked 12th in the Northeast (Photo Courtesy: The Ivy League).

2011 Harvard Cross Country Season Preview

The Meet
The Harvard cross country team will play host to Yale and Princeton (women) at the annual HY(P) meet Saturday at Franklin Park in Boston. All five squads competing in Saturday's race are ranked within their respective regions in the most recent USTFCCCA cross country poll.

Last Year's Competition
Scores were close on all fronts last year in New Haven, Conn., as the Harvard men dropped a close decision to Yale while the women topped the Bulldogs and finished behind Princeton. Daniel Chenoweth '11 took the title in the men's race while then-freshmen Maksim Korolev and Kurt Ruegg finished fifth and sixth, respectively. The Harvard women placed two runners in the top five with Claire Richardson '11 taking second and then-junior Jeanne Mack placing fifth.

About Harvard
The Crimson kicked off its 2011 campaign last Saturday as the team traveled to Smithfield, R.I., for the Bryant Invitational. With a team comprised of mostly freshmen and sophomores, the Crimson saw a number of solid performances from within its ranks.

Rookie Ryan Meehan led the men's efforts for the Crimson, posting a time of 15:36.74 on the 5-kilometer course, good for 11th overall in the race. Sophomore Erik Kraus placed 17th in 15:52.52 and freshman Will Geiken came in 21st with a time of 15:55.77. In her first collegiate race, Alaina Alvaerz paced the Harvard women, placing seventh with a time of 18:20.06, followed by sophomores Alaina Murphy (18:36.12) and Morgan Kelly (18:45.17).

The Harvard men enter the competition with a regional ranking of seventh, while the women are ranked 12th in the Northeast region.  

Scouting the Bulldogs
The Yale men's team enters the meet ranked 12th in the region, coming off a strong showing in its first weekend of competition. At the Fordham Invitational, the Bulldogs placed third out of 16 teams, led by senior Sam Lynch who placed ninth overall. Classmate Conor Dooney (11th) and junior Demetri Goutos (15th) also registered top-15 performances last weekend.

The Bulldog women did one better than the men, taking second of 16 teams at the Fordham event. Sophomore Melissa Chapman won the race with a time of 18:03.63, while junior Jacque Sahlberg (third) and freshman Kira Garry (10th) notched top-10 finishes. The Yale women hold a regional ranking of 13th, one spot behind the Crimson.

Scouting the Tiger Women
While Yale took second in the women's competition at the Fordham Invitational, defending Ivy League champion Princeton claimed the title, placing all five scoring runners in the top 12. Sophomore Clare Gallagher posted Princeton's best time of 18:23.83, good for fifth overall in the competition. The Tigers have captured the HYP title every year since 2003 and enter the meet ranked fourth in the Mid-Atlantic region.