Harvard skill and foul weather rained on the Bulldogs’ expectations at the annual Harvard-Yale track and field meet Saturday.
The men’s team lost to the Cantabs for the first time in 8 years, 106–57. The women also fell for the fourth year in a row, 113–50.
The Bulldogs boasted smaller teams than their Crimson counterparts — on the women’s side, for example, 32 Elis competed against 41 Cantabs. While the two rivals were fairly evenly matched on track events, Harvard won all 16 field events, outscoring the men’s and women’s teams by 40 and 44, respectively.
“It felt like missed opportunities for a lot of people,” captain Marty Evans ’11 said. “There were a lot of near misses, a lot of near wins.”
The meet was doubly significant because it determined who would compete against a joint Oxford and Cambridge team in the biannual competition. The first two finishers in each event will travel to England this summer for the meet.
“There was a lot of pressure,” Elizabeth Marvin ’13 said. “There’s a lot of tradition and rivalry behind [Saturday’s meet]. Everyone was very intense and focused.”
Both teams battled the elements throughout the course of the meet. Low temperatures, coupled with rain and aggressive winds, added another challenge to the difficult meet.
“When you’re coming through the home stretch, [the wind] really throws you off,” Matt Bieszard ’12 said.
The men’s team won four individual events as well as the 4 x 100m relay. Nathan Richards ’12 won the 3000m steeplechase, while Matt Bogdan ’11 finished in second place. The Bulldogs especially showed strength in the sprints, where they swept the 100m and the 200m. In the 100m, Bieszard took first, Nathan Molina ’11 placed second, and Daniel Jones ’14 finished third. For the 200m, the order was Evans, Bieszard and Molina, respectively. Finally, Evans and Chris Stanley ’11 took second and third, respectively, in the 400m.
“It’s very encouraging that races we excelled at in the past we continue to excel at,” Evans said.
In his first outdoor meet of the season, Johnny Van Deventer ’11 won the 1500m. Van Deventer, who has been plagued by injury since his freshman year, was unable to compete in track meets until the end of the indoor season, when he wowed everyone with a record-setting indoor mile at the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships. Following him was Julian Sheinbaum ’12, who placed third.
Off the track, the Bulldogs did not win a single event, but they were still present in the scoreboard. In the long jump, Tom Winger ’13 and Dana Lindberg ’14 took second and third, respectively; in the triple jump, Samba Binagi ’11 and Lindberg finished second and third; in the discus, Michael Levine ’13 and Stefan Palios placed second and third, respectively; in the javelin, Clifford Van Meter ’14 came in second; and in the shot put, David Smith ’11 took third.
There were some gaps, however, in the men’s results. Harvard swept seven events, four of which (hammer throw, high jump, pole vault and 400m hurdles) had no Bulldogs competing.
“It’s not by choice that we had to forfeit,” Bieszard said, explaining that the team simply does not have athletes who are qualified to compete in those events.
The women’s meet played out in a strikingly similar manner to the men’s competition. The Bulldogs were competitive in the track events, winning five races, but fell behind in the field events, which they lost 58–14.
Kate Grace ’11 grabbed two first-place finishes in the 1500m, where she led a sweep comprised of her, Nihal Kayali ’13 and Sarah Barry ’14, respectively. Grace also won the 800m, where she was followed by Annelies Gamble ’13. In the 1500m, the next-closest Harvard runner was seven seconds behind Barry.
Other wins for the Bulldogs included Anne Lovelace ’12 in the 3000m steeplechase, Gabriella Kelly ’12 in the 400m and Jenna Poggi ’13 in the 400m hurdles. In addition, Amanda Snajder ’14 placed second in the 100m hurdles, Allison Rue ’13 finished third in the 400m, Adele Jackson-Gibson ’13 placed third in the 100m, Annelies Gamble took third in the 800m, Dakota McCoy finished third in the 400m hurdles and Marvin placed third in the 3000m.
On the field, the Bulldogs scored in nearly every event. The Bulldogs took second in four events: Emily Urciuoli ’14 in the pole vault, Jackson-Gibson in the long jump, Antonia Renker ’13 in the discuss and Stephanie Scaramella ’11 in the hammer throw. In addition, Emily Standish ’11 took third in the high jump and Kristen Proe ’14 placed third in the triple jump.
“We have a lot of quality on the team,” Marvin said. “It was definitely an encouraging day in that aspect.”
Harvard showed significant strength in numbers, especially on the field. In the shot put, for example, the five Cantabs were matched by just one Eli.
Next week, both teams will compete at the Larry Ellis Invitational at Princeton. The meet will be much more low-pressure than the recent one against Harvard or Ivy League Heptagonals in early May.
“It was very disappointing that our eight-year winning streak should come to an end,” Evans said. “But we’re looking forward to Heps in three weeks as an opportunity for redemption.”