Cross Country Battles Nation’s Best at Wisconsin Adidas Invitational, Shines at Princeton Invite

The Harvard women notched a top-25 finish at the Wisconsin Invitational Friday (Harvard Athletic Communications).

Princeton Team Results (Men)

Princeton Team Results (Women)

Squaring off against the majority of the top ranked teams in the nation, the Harvard cross country teams battled hard and posted impressive results at the 2012 Wisconsin Adidas Invitational Friday. The women finished 23rd overall out of 48 squads, while the men placed 28th out of 45 teams in the race. Both squads were also the third-best Ivy team in the competition out of the seven Ancient Eight schools represented (all but Penn).

The men benefited from a pair of strong performances by their top two runners. Junior Maksim Korolev made up significant time in the final few kilometers of the race, crossing the line as Harvard's top finisher and the only Ivy League runner to place within the top 20. Korolev's time of 23:44 was good for 18th (collegiate) in the field of over 300 runners, and less than 10 seconds outside of the top-10 pace. Classmate James Leakos got off to a great start, hitting the mile and the 5k mark with the lead group, and finished strong to record a time of 23:57, good for 36th in the race.

Rookie Tom Purnell was Harvard's third runner across the line, finishing toward the top half of the field with a time of 24:40. Kurt Ruegg (24:48) and Billy Gaudreau (24:49) were the final Harvard runners to score in the meet as Lukas Gemar (24:51) and Jakob Lindaas (25:22) placed sixth and seventh, respectively, for the squad.

The women launched a more balanced attack which allowed them to finish within the top 25 teams at the competition. Junior Emily Reese was Harvard's top finisher, taking 70th in the field of 327 runners, with a time of 20:40. Just seven seconds behind, senior Sammy Silva captured a top-100 placement, taking 91st in a time of 20:47. Junior Morgan Kelly just missed the top 100, finished 107th in 20:52 and sophomore Viviana Hanley was right behind her in 117th, running a time of 20:54, a 60-second improvement from last year at Wisconsin. Harvard's final scorer on the day was sophomore Alaina Alvarez, who posted a time of 21:32 on the day, a 28-second improvement from last year's race at Wisconsin.

While a portion of the team was in Wisconsin, another group took to the course at the Princeton Invitational Saturday. The men's squad put on a stellar display, bunching all five scoring runners within the top 26 finishers in the race with a six-second spread from 1-5. Leading the way was senior captain Sean Pohorence, who placed 18th with a mark of 24:48. Sophomore Dan Milechman was milliseconds behind his senior teammate, capturing 20th overall, while rookie Chris Allen took 22nd in a time of 24:52. The sophomore tandem of Andy Gonzalez (24th, 24:53) and Will Geiken (26th, 24:54) were the final two Harvard runners to record results on the day.

The women's squad took 10th out of 25 teams, fronted by rookie Selena Pasadyn who crossed the line in 30th with a time of 22:25. 44th place went to classmate Paige Kouba who ran the course in 22:42, and sophomore Molly Renfer recorded the same time to earn the 45th spot overall. Sophomore Marissa Shoji ended the race in 77th, posting a time of 23:10, and junior Lauren DiNicola ran a time of 23:22 to finish 87th as Harvard's last scorer.

All eyes now turn to the Heptagonal Championships, which take place Oct. 27 at Princeton, N.J.