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Cross Country Competes at Beantown Annual

Harvard runners compete in last year's Beantown Annual
Following the decisive men’s 21-36 win at the HYP meet and a strong third place finish from the women’s team last week, the Crimson once again competed at Franklin Park this Friday at the Beantown annual. Over 400 runners represented 28 teams, with some coming from as far as Utah State University, and others as close as Northeastern University.

With the HYP meet occuring last week and an upcoming meet at the Roy Griak Invitational next week, Harvard fielded significantly fewer runners this year than previously before, with hopes of resting the majority of its racers to prepare for later meets.

The men’s team this year was represented by only three racers: sophomores Matthew Pereira, John Fish, and Michael Kolor. Pereira led all three with a final time of 25:20 in the eight-kilometer race, coming within two seconds of his personal record which he ran last season at the Princeton Invitational. Junior captain Charlie Davis had high praise for Kolor.

“On Matt’s race, it was great to watch him running as he moved up throughout the entire race and started to close in on a pack of Dartmouth racers,” Davis said. “I’m confident that if it had gone longer he would have passed them. He stayed calm and focused throughout the race, and really executed well.”

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Meanwhile, John Fish (26:39) and Michael Kolor (26:47) followed not far behind, placing 172nd and 181st, respectively. Both racers had personal bests, beating their times from just a week before at the same course.

With the men’s course divided over five sections, the first two miles took the runners around White Stadium twice, the third and fourth mile covered the Wall of Stone and the Hairpin Turn, looping around the entire course and leading into the fifth mile, which had the runners circling Bear Cage Hill before returning into the Playstead and finishing the race. All three runners held mile paces of below 5:30.

With clear skies and temperatures in the mid-sixties, the historic Franklin Park course offered a perfect opportunity for each runner to either set or almost match their personal records.

For the women’s team, sophomore Lauren Spohn ran a personal record of 20:52, dropping nearly a minute on her previous five-kilometer race. Following a track similar to that of the men’s, she ran around White Stadium and Bear Cage Hill for the first two miles and rounding around the Wall of Stone and the Hairpin Turn before finishing in the Playstead.

“The performance at Beantown wasn’t really a good benchmark for where the team is, just because we didn’t have a full team running. [We were] scouting out the Northeast and Ivy League competition and that was definitely very helpful to see, knowing just a little bit more about some of the teams that really matter when it really counts,” Davis said. “Griak will be the first test with some other teams at the national level, letting us know what to look at for the rest of the season. There will be a lot of work to do in preparation but it’s going to be really good getting some momentum for the rest of the season.”

The Crimson look to continue their season next week at the Roy Griak Invitational in St. Paul, Minn., on September 29th.

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