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Harvard to get county's best

By JOHN C. COTEY, Times Staff Writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published January 7, 2003

Kevin Lyons had a tough choice: Harvard or Duke. Duke or Harvard. Poor guy.

In the end, the 2001 and 2002 Times Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year decided the Harvard mystique was too good to pass up.

"I really liked both schools," the Clearwater Central Catholic senior said. "But when it came down to it, it was Harvard."

Lyons isn't signing a scholarship because Ivy League schools don't offer them. But the school offers financial aid packages that are similar. Though he had scholarship offers from other Division I schools, Lyons decided long ago he wanted to attend college for academic reputation first.

Also attractive were indoor track and track seasons and the presence of cousin Devin Lyons-Quirk, who will be a junior on the cross country team next season.

"It was a tough decision," Lyons said. "Right after my recruiting visit to Duke, I almost verbally committed. I sat down and talked to my parents and (held off) and then went to Harvard and loved it as much as Duke. Good thing was, I couldn't go wrong either way."

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