Both the men's and women's cross country teams defeated the Bulldogs for the first time since 2009 (photo courtesy Harvard Athletic Communications).
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BOSTON, Mass. – The Harvard men's and women's cross country team opened the 2013 campaign with impressive victories over Yale, Saturday afternoon at Franklin Park. In the 100th running of the men's race, the Crimson swept the Bulldogs to edge its archrivals, 15-42, while the women defeated Yale, 20-39, in the 36th running of the women's event. The victories mark the first time that both the Harvard men and women defeated Yale in the annual meet since 2009.
Senior James Leakos moved away from the pack early and continued to increase his lead en route to a victory, the second meet champion crown of his career as he claimed the title as a sophomore, with a time of 23:32. His classmate Maksim Korolev crossed the 8k finish line 18 seconds later while sophomore Thomas Purnell (24:42), senior Kurt Ruegg (24:53) and junior Will Geiken (24:58) rounded out the top five.
Yale's top runners placed sixth, seventh and eighth in the race and sophomore Chris Allen took ninth in 25:15 as Harvard's sixth finisher. The Crimson's final scorer was junior Lukas Gemar, who ran a time of 25:41 to claim 13th place.
For the win, the men's team was presented with the Main Memorial Trophy, given in memory of Ensign Malcolm Gardner Main, captain of the 1941 Yale cross country team, who was killed in action on Nov. 13, 1942, in the Battle of the Solomon Islands. It is the sixth time in the past seven years that Harvard has come away with the award, and 28th overall.
The Crimson women took six of the top 10 places as junior Viviana Hanley captured the title with a time of 17:56, just a second ahead of the Bulldogs top finisher. Senior Morgan Kelly (18:02), freshman Madeleine Ankehlyi (18:05) and junior Jennifer Guidera (18:11) were next to cross the line for Harvard within nine second of each other to take, third, fourth and fifth, respectively. Freshman Sarah Gillespie and sophomore Selena Pasadyn posted times of 18:22 and 18:23 to place seventh and eighth. Junior Erika Veidis' time of 18:31 was good for 11th to round out the Harvard scorers.
The women's team brought the Cheever Memorial Trophy, which was given in memory of Olivia Thorndike Cheever, Radcliffe '43 '49, by her brother John, back to Cambridge after a two-year drought. It is the 10th time that Harvard earned the award since the women began competing in 1976.
Prior to the start of the varsity races, several alumni and their family members competed in a 5k race, a tradition that began in 2010.
The women's team has two weeks rest before heading to the Panorama Farms Invitational at Virginia Sept. 28. Both the men and women will race on Oct. 5 at the Paul Short Invitational.