|Title:||Director of Track and Field/Cross Country|
Video Bio: Jason Saretsky
Jason Saretsky enters his seventh season as the director of men's and women's track and field and cross country at Harvard in 2012-13. During Saretsky’s tenure at the helm of the Crimson, Harvard has had six All-America performances, nine NCAA qualifiers, 44 NCAA regional qualifiers, seven ECAC/IC4A titles, 31 Heptagonal champions, 24 school records and nearly 200 marks added to the program’s top-10 list.
Both the men’s and women’s cross country and track and field teams have been honored by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association for their success in the classroom each year since Saretsky's arrival. The Crimson earned All-Academic honors for having a team GPA of 3.0 or better.
Saretsky is just the 10th person to serve as head coach of the track and field program since Harvard began formal competition in 1874.
Saretsky witnessed a banner year in 2011-12 as the Crimson added
103 new marks to the indoor and outdoor track and field all-time
top-10 lists, along with eight school records between the indoor
and outdoor seasons. Pole vaulter Nico Weiler '13 broke both the
indoor and outdoor school records, captured the IC4A title and went
on to earn first team All-America accolades for the second time in
his career. The men's outdoor track and field team also recorded
its best finish in a decade at the Heptagonal Championships, taking
third at the competition. Allie Pace '14 followed in Weiler's
footsteps, setting both the indoor and outdoor program marks in the
The 2010-11 season saw the Crimson attain four new program records in both indoor and outdoor track and field competitions. Harvard had 12 student-athletes earn All-Ivy League honors, including four that captured Ivy individual titles (Nico Weiler ’12/Pole Vault, Dustin Brode ’14/Shot Put, Claire Richardson ’11/3,000, Hannah Mayer ’14/javelin). The men’s team recorded its best finish at Outdoor Heps since 2002, placing fourth in the competition, while the women posted the highest score in team history at the ECAC Indoor Championships. The Crimson also sent the largest contingent of athletes to NCAA Regionals in the history of the program, with 11 competitors qualifying. Brian Hill ’11 went onto qualify for the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the 800 and Dan Chenoweth ’11 qualified for the NCAA Cross Country Championships for the third time in his career.
Saretsky helped three runners qualify for the 2009 NCAA Cross
Country Championships, as Chenoweth, Kaylin Kuzmuk '12 and Claire
Richardson '11 represented the Crimson. Richardson went onto
qualify for the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in the
5,000 meter run. Both the Harvard men's and women's
teams finished in the top half of the league standings at
Indoor Heps for the first time since 2002.
In 2008-09, the Harvard women had their best finish at the Indoor Heptagonal Championships since 2002, finishing third with 79.5 points. At the ECAC/IC4A Indoor Championships, both the men’s and women’s teams were the top Ivy League finishers. Two Harvard athletes earned All-America honors in Becky Christensen ’09 and Nico Weiler ’13, as Weiler won the IC4As and the East Regional en route to his sixth-place finish in the pole vault, earning him USTFCCCA Northeast Field Athlete of the Year accolades.
Thirty-five top-10 times were added to the record books during the 2007-08 track and field season. Christensen won the indoor and outdoor high jump title at Heps, won the ECAC outdoor championships, earned All-America honors and cleared a personal best of 1.84 meters in the final at the U.S. Olympic Trials. Favia Merritt ’09 helped set two school records at Outdoor Heps, leading the women’s team to its best finish at the meet since 2003, placing fourth.
Saretsky came to Harvard following his success as the associate head coach of the track and cross country programs at Iona College, where we worked directly under head coach Mike Bryne, who was a four-time Northeast Coach of the Year.
During Saretsky’s time at Iona, the Gaels enjoyed unprecedented success. He helped Iona's men's cross country team to four-consecutive top-10 finishes at the NCAA Championships, including a pair of fourth-place finishes, and three NCAA regional titles in four years. Iona's women's cross country program won its first two Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference titles and registered its best finish in school history at the NCAA regional meet in 2005. Saretsky assisted in coaching the men’s cross country team to their 15th-consecutive MAAC Championship and the women’s cross country team to its first two MAAC Championships as well as 21 school records on the track. He coached 18 individuals to the NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Championships, where 14 earned All-America honors in distance events.
Saretsky also is credited with promoting diversity by continuing to expand the international scope of Iona's recruiting efforts and bringing the women's program to the cusp of national prominence. His recruiting techniques brought in the most Dean Scholar candidates in Iona school history.
Before joining the staff at Iona, Saretsky spent two seasons as a graduate assistant at Columbia University, where he worked directly with the Lions' distance and middle distance runners and enhanced the program's recruiting efforts. At both Columbia and Iona, Saretsky implemented a new stretching routine and provided massage therapy which drastically reduced the team’s injuries.
Saretsky was a standout student-athlete in his own right as an undergraduate at Columbia. He was an Ivy League Heptagonal champion in the 3,200 relay, a member of Columbia's school-record relay squad in that event, and was a two-time All-Ivy League performer.
Saretsky graduated from Columbia in 1999 with a bachelor's degree in psychology. He added a master's degree in applied physiology from Columbia's Teachers College in 2001 and a master's in business administration from Iona's Hagan School of Business in 2006.