Cross Country Back in Action at Paul Short Invitational

Paul Short Invitational Official Website

The Particulars
Fresh off a men's victory at the annual HY(P) meet, the Harvard cross country team will hit the course at the Paul Short Invitational Friday in Bethlehem, Pa. The Paul Short event is one of the largest cross country meets in the nation, hosting over 450 colleges and high schools over the day of competition.

The Paul Short Invitational
For the past 37 years, Lehigh has hosted some of the top teams in the nation at the Paul Short Invitational. This year's field features eight top-25 men's squads and seven top-25 women's teams, including four women's team's ranked within the top-10. Harvard will compete in the "College Gold" race with the men beginning at 11:00 a.m. and the women racing at 11:45 a.m.

The HY(P) Meet
The Crimson men posted a convincing 23-34 victory over the Bulldogs at Franklin Park Saturday, Sept. 17. Sophomore James Leakos captured the individual title for Harvard, running a time of 24:21 on the 8-kilometer course to win by a three-second margin. Rookie Billy Orman ran like a veteran in his first collegiate 8K, placing second overall in a time of 24:24 to set the tone for the host Crimson. Sophomore Kurt Ruegg was Harvard's next finisher, placing fifth in the race in a time of 24:41 and classmate Maksim Korolev was right behind in sixth, posting a time of 24:44. Sophomore Kellen Blumberg was Harvard's final scorer of the day, running a 24:57 for ninth overall.

For his first-place finish in the race, Leakos was named Harvard's COOP Athlete of the Week. The sophomore helped the Crimson capture its fourth win over Yale in the last five years.

The Harvard women took third in a tri-meet with Yale and Princeton, with the Tigers claiming their ninth-consecutive victory in the competition. Senior Kaylin Kuzmuk was the strongest runner for the hosts, placing fourth in the meet with a final time of 17:42. Freshman Alaina Alvarez was next across the line for Harvard, taking 14th in 18:03. Classmate Viviana Hanley finished in 17th position with a time of 18:17 and senior captain Kirsten Jorgensen covered the 5K course in 18:25, good for 20th overall. Alaina Murphy was the Harvard women's final scorer, placing 21st with a time of 18:32.

Last Time at the Paul Short Invitational
The Crimson will be making its first appearance at the Paul Short Invitational since the 2007 season. Pitted against a large field of some of the top teams in the region, both the men's and women's squads ran well to post top-15 finishes.

The women, running in the "Brown" heat, finished 10th out of 47 teams with a final score of 361, just ahead of Villanova's 371. Claire Richardson '11 led the charge for the women, placing 43rd with a time of 21:39 on the 6-kilometer course. Classmate Jamie Olson '11 was close behind with a 21:49 finish, good for 51st in the race.

The men accumulated 366 points in the race to finish 12th out of 41 squads. Andrew Lipkin '08 ran a time of 24:53 on the 8K track, good for 33rd overall to lead the Crimson. Chas Gillespie '10 wasn't far off with a 40th-place time of 25:01 and Dan Chenoweth '11 was the third Harvard runner across with a time of 25:04, good for 43rd.      

Up Next for Harvard
The Crimson will take to the course next at the Wisconsin Adidas Invitational Oct. 14 in Madison, Wis. Harvard will also be sending runners to the Brown Invite in Providence, R.I. the same day.