January 25, 2008

Track Challenges Harvard, Brown

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Coming off wins at the Upstate Challenge, the men’s and women’s track teams will travel to Cambridge, Mass., to compete in the Harvard Select Invitational against Ivy League rivals Harvard and Brown.
The Red, who has yet to see either upcoming opponent so far this season, has serious momentum going into the meet after record-breaking performances at both the Penn State Relays and the Upstate Challenge to start the season.
Players emphasize that Harvard and Brown cannot be overlooked, however, expressing that they must take each meet one at a time.
“We have to make sure that we just worry about ourselves and try to keep getting better and better,” said women’s head coach Lou Duesing. “Brown, Harvard and the rest of the league are getting better so we have to stay focused on what our team needs to do.”
The women are led by senior tri-captains Joan Casey, Anjelica Gregory and Maria Telloni. The men are led by senior tri-captains Muhammad Helm, Aaron Merrill and Adam Seabrook. Both the women’s and men’s captains bring experience to the Red and have been an instrumental part of the great start to the season.
Last season the Red found success against Harvard and Brown. The men topped the Crimson and Bears by scores of 108-26 and 108-36, respectively. The women were successful against both teams as well, including a 94-18 defeat of Harvard and a 94-47 victory over Brown.
Both the Crimson and the Bears have gotten notably better since their last meeting with the Red and both squads should be ready to give the Red a challenge on Saturday.
The Crimson started off the year strong with an impressive performance at the Harvard Open. The men had six top-5 finishers and 15 top-15 finishers. The women were even more impressive, garnishing 15 top-5 finishers and 23 top-15 finishers. Harvard was successful in its home event and again will have the home field advantage when Brown and Cornell visit this weekend.
Brown has also started the season with some momentum, gained from third and fourth place finishes by the women and men, respectively, at the Sorlien Memorial Invitational.
“We can only judge ourselves based on our past performances and whether we’ve improved or gotten better since then,” said men’s head coach Nathan Taylor. “I can’t control what the other team does but most of our guys have performed well because of their hard work, and I know they will keep putting in the effort in the future.”
The effort Taylor mentioned has translated into numerous school record-breaking performances. Senior tri-captain Adam Seabrook set a school record in the 300 at the Penn Relays and then followed that performance with an IC4A qualifying win in the 500 at the Upstate Challenge.
All eyes will be on junior Garrett Huyler, who had the most notable record-breaking performance when he cleared the indoor school record of 7-1 in the high jump. Huyler will have a shot at breaking his own record when he attempts to clear 7-2 at the Harvard Select Invitational.
“We’re really excited right now,” Duesing said. “We hope to keep the momentum going.”