CHAMPS! Women’s Track & Field Takes Home Ivy League Heptagonal Championships Title

Photo courtesy of Ryan Sampson/The Ivy League
Photo courtesy of Ryan Sampson/The Ivy League

The Crimson women earn first Ivy League championships since 1990 and second overall.

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Harvard women's track and field won its first Ivy League Heptagonal Championships since 1990, and second overall, accumulating 162 points Sunday afternoon at Cuyler Field & Dwyer Track. The Crimson combined for eight individual titles.

The men's team finished third with 109 points, the first time since 1983 that the Crimson has posted a triple-digit output. Cornell won the Heps title with 149 points, while Princeton was just behind in second (142.33). The Crimson men earned three individual championships, the most since 2009.

On the women's side, Dartmouth finish second with 149 points, followed by Cornell (94). The Crimson women garnered five individual titles, the second-straight year Harvard has earned five-or-more individual wins.

The 4x100 meter relay squad broke the school and Ivy League record to rank first overall with a time of 45.40. Junior Ashley Collinsworth, freshman Jade Miller, sophomore Autumne Franklin and junior Danielle Barbian combined to earn the Heps title.  

Freshman Nikki Okwelogu had a great day throwing, winning the shot put championship with a toss of 16.03m (52-07.25) for a new school record. The freshman from Fresno, Calif., broke the previous program record – set in 1991 by Nicole Carkeek '91 – by over a meter. Senior Adabelle Ekechukwu ranked sixth in the event with a toss of 13.37m (43-10.50). Okwelogu finished second in the discus with a toss of 47.85m (157-00).

The first Crimson winner since Karen Goetze '96 in 1995, junior Erika Veidis ran a time of 2:06.23 in the 800m run to bring home gold. Veidis crossed over a second ahead of the No. 2 finisher.

Harvard took two hurdles titles, as Franklin registered her second-straight Ivy League title in the 100m hurdles, registering a time of 13.57 for gold. Freshman Jackie Modesett crossed in 13.79 for third overall.

After running a personal best in the 400m hurdles Saturday, Miller won the Heps title – the first for Harvard since 1999 – with a time 58.72. Modesett finished fourth in the event with a time of 1:00.78.

Harvard grabbed three of the top four spots in the high jump, as junior Ann Giebelhaus and freshman Raegan Nizdil tied for second overall with a hop of 1.75m (5-08.75). Sophomore Allison Morrison registered a distance of 1.71m (5-07.25) to place fourth.

Collinsworth earned a career high in the 100m dash Saturday, using the momentum to finish second overall in the finals Sunday (11.78). Barbian clocked a time of 11.92 in the event to finish fourth.

Harvard took two of the top four spots in the 1500m, as junior Molly Renfer and freshman Sarah Gillespie placed second and fourth, respectively. Renfer crossed in 4:21.93, while Gillespie wasn't far behind with a time of 4:23.32.

The Crimson took second in both the 4x4 and the 4x8 relays. Miller, Modesett, Collinsworth and senior Olivia Abbate clocked a time of 3:42.91 in the 4x400 race. In the 4x800, sophomore Paige Kouba, Renger, sophomore Kieran Gallagher and Veidis posted a time of 8:43.30.

Sophomore Madison Hansen collected 5,083 points to rank second in the Heptathlon.

Matching his personal best, freshman Efe Uwaifo triple jumped a distance 15.42m (50-07.25) to finish second overall.

Also on the field, the Crimson took three of the top seven spots in the shot put, led by senior Dustin Brode, who ranked second. Brode launched the shot 17.93m (58-10.00). Junior Ben Glauser placed fifth, while junior Igor Liokumovich ranked seventh with throws of 17.25 (56-07.25) and 17.20m (56-05.25), respectively.  

Senior Damani Wilson finished second in the 100m dash, clocking a time of 10.70, just 0.04 behind the winning time. Classmate Andrew Ezekoye placed fourth in the event with a time of 10.83. Wilson earned a bronze medal in the 200m dash (21.41).

Senior James Leakos got on the podium with a fourth-place finish in the 5K, finishing with a time of 14:32.14. 

The Crimson took fourth in both the 4x1 and the 4x4, crossing in times of 41.20 and 3:13.40, respectively. Ezekoye, Wilson, freshman Mekdim Ashebo and Uwaifo contributed to the 4x1 time, while senior Jared Kadich, Wilson, freshman James Heckendorn and junior Jesaiah Coy made up the 4x4 squad. 

To see yesterday's release, click here.

Harvard will be in action next weekend at the IC4A and ECAC Championships.