The Harvard men's team competes at the Paul Short Run hosted by Lehigh, which is one of the largest annual cross-country meets in the nation. (Gil Talbot).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard men's and women's cross country teams split this weekend. The Crimson women head to the Pacific Northwest for the Washington Invite, hosted by the University of Washington at Jefferson Park Golf Course on Oct. 1, while the men's team will compete in the Paul Short Run hosted by Lehigh University on the same day.
About the Washington Invite
The 6,000m course is situated at Jefferson Park Golf Course and consists of multiple 2K loops on flat fairways crossing some cart paths. The course was the site of the 2010 Pac-10 Championships, the USATF Club Nationals, and the NCAA West Regional Championships in 2012 and 2015.
Women's Travel Roster
Women's 6K – 2:00 p.m. ET
About the Paul Short Run
One of the largest annual cross country meets in the nation, the Paul Short Run is named after one of Lehigh University's most revered administrators. The 8,000m course is located on the school's Goodman Campus in Bethlehem, Pa. In 2015, the Paul Short Run featured over 5,500 athletes and 400 colleges and high schools. Harvard last competed at the Paul Short Run in 2014. In 2013, James Leakos '14 ran the second fastest time in meet history, finishing first in 23:13.
Men's Travel Roster
Men's 8K – 11:00 p.m. ET
The Last Time Out
In its season opener, the Harvard women's cross country team took second place at the annual Harvard-Princeton-Yale (HYP) meet with 53 points, led by individual champion junior Courtney Smith. The men's team placed third with 55 points, with senior Brandon Price (seventh) and freshman Murimi Nyamu (eighth) earning top-10 finishes for the Crimson. Princeton served as the host institution for the HYP meet held at West Windsor Fields.
Smith kicked off the 2016 season with another standout performance in the women's 5k, holding off Yale's Frances Schmiede and Emily Waligurski at the finish to earn the victory in 19:07.8. Junior Elianna Shwayder also placed in the top-10, crossing the line in 19:24.9 for an eighth place finish. A pair of Harvard freshman also had strong debuts for the Crimson. Eliza Rego finished 14th overall in 20:01.6, while Gillian Meeks took 15th place in 20:02.4.
In the men's 8k, Price (25:14.7) and Nyamu (25:15.6) were Harvard's top finishers, with sophomore Kieran Tuntivate (25:19.6) also placed in the top-10, finishing tenth overall. Freshman Will Battershill had a strong start to his collegiate career, finishing 13th overall in 25:30.3.
A Year Ago
The Harvard women's team finished sixth at the NCAA Regionals, led by Courtney Smith's fifth place showing, helping her qualify for the NCAA Championships. Smith finished 60th in the field of 254 runners, narrowly missing All-America recognition with her time of 20:36.6. The Crimson placed seventh at the 2015 Ivy League Heptagonal Championships, led by Smith's third place finish. The women's team won the Harvard-Yale-Princeton meet, the programs' first victory in the event since 1995, as Smith and senior Paige Kouba finished second and third respectively to lead the Crimson.
Harvard men's cross country wrapped up the 2015 season with an eighth-place finish at the NCAA Regionals, led by senior Chris Allen's 28th-place result. The men's squad took seventh-place at the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships and sixth at the Coast to Coast Battle of Beantown. Senior Thomas Purnell won the Harvard-Yale-Princeton meet in an exciting finish, holding off Princeton's William Bertrand in the final 100 meters for the victory.
The women's team enters the 2016 season ranked No. 13 in the Saucony Flo50 XC countdown and No. 25 in the USTFCCCA preseason coaches' poll, the second time in program history the Crimson have been ranked in the coaches' poll. Harvard is led by junior Courtney Smith, who qualified for the NCAA championships last fall. Smith was an indoor All-American during the track season, and qualified for the USATF Olympic Trials in the 10,000 meters after running 32:08.32 at the Stanford Invitational – a top-10 mark in NCAA history. Harvard also returns junior Elianna Shwayder, who was consistently a top-three finisher for the Crimson.
On the men's side, the Crimson begin the season ranked in the USTFCCCA Northeast regional preseason poll released earlier this week. Harvard senior Brandon Price is Harvard's leading returner. Price was Harvard's top finisher last season at Coast to Coast Battle of Beantown.
At the Helm
Jason Saretsky is in his 11th season as the William W. "Bill" McCurdy Director of Track and Field/Cross Country, and during his tenure the Crimson has landed 29 student-athletes on All-America teams. A five time Women's USTFCCCA Northeast Region Coach of the Year winner, Saretsky has mentored 40 combined NCAA qualifiers at Harvard.
Harvard will compete with a limited squad at the New England Intercollegiate Amateur Athletic Association (NEICAA) Championships next Saturday (Oct. 8), held at Franklin Park.