Women’s Cross Country, Track and Field Welcome 11 Newcomers

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

After back-to-back Ivy League Heptagonal Championship titles, Harvard track and field restocks with 11 student-athletes in the Class of 2018.  

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Jason Saretsky, The William W. "Bill" McCurdy Director of Track and Field/Cross Country, announced that 11 women will be joining the ranks of the Harvard cross country and track and field teams for the 2014-15 season. The class boasts two middle distance runners, six distance runners, a high jump athlete, a pole vault athlete and a horizontal jumper.

"Last year, we had the No. 9 women's recruiting class in the nation according to Track and Field News and they lived up to the billing," said Saretsky. "We saw an immediate impact and there were a number of key contributors to the historic year we had. This year, we are once again anticipating big things from our incoming class.

"We were able to bring in some of the best middle distance and distance runners and I am thrilled with the incoming women's class of freshmen," continued Saretsky. "There is a tremendous amount of talent and I look forward to supporting all of our student-athletes as they pursue their athletic and academic goals here at Harvard."

The freshman class will join the squad that is coming off back-to-back Ivy League Heptagonal Championship titles. It marked the first time since 1990 that the Crimson has won both the indoor and outdoor Heps titles and the squad, combined with the men's team, sent a record-number of participants to both the NCAA East Regional and the NCAA Championships.

Lucy Alexander
High Jump
Sudbury, Mass./Lincoln-Sudbury

Personal Bests:
High Jump
– 5-8

Before Harvard: Two-time Boston Globe and Boston Herald All-Scholastic selection … Five-time Dual County League All-Star … Holds school records in the indoor high jump, outdoor high jump, and high jump relay … Three-time Massachusetts Division I Champion … Also earned Dual County League Champion status three-times … Finished 11th overall in the high jump at the New Balance Indoor Nationals … Outstanding Field Event Performer at MSTCA Elite Meet as a junior … Member of Cum Laude Society … Two-time National Spanish Exam gold medalist … National Merit Commendation.

Sarah Angell
Middle Distance
Arlington, Va./Washington and Lee

Personal Bests:
800 Meters
– 2:13.74
1000 Meters –
2:56.17
1 Mile – 4:53.95
3200 Meters – 10:40.64

Before Harvard: 2014 New Balance Emerging Elite girls' mile champion … All-Met honorable mention in 2012 and 2014 … earned first team All-Met cross country honors in 2013 … All-American in the 4xmile … Team MVP in track and cross country … Two-time All-State selection in track and 2013 selection in cross country … Took fifth in the cross country state meet as a senior … Regional 1600-meter champion in indoor and second in the state in the 1600m outdoor event. 

Fiona Davis
Distance
Manchester, Mass./Manchester Essex Regional High School

Before Harvard: Ran varsity cross country and indoor track for four years and outdoor track for three … Captained the cross country team all four years and track team as a junior and senior … Two-time Cape Ann League Cross Country and Indoor Track All-Star … Cross Country All-State qualifier four-times … Three-time Cross Country Runner of the Year Award Recipient … Set school cross country record as a junior … Led the cross country team to State Divisional Title and was runner-up at the All-State meet as a senior … Helped build the team from two runners to 20 over the course of six years … Two-time Indoor Track All-State Qualifier … Set Division 5 Distance Medley state record in 2014 … Two-time Outdoor Track Northeast Conference All-Star … Cape Ann League 2-mile champion … Three-time Outdoor Track Division I State Qualifier …  State Division 1 4x400m relay champions.

Annika Gompers
Distance
Newton, Mass./Gann Academy

Personal Bests:
1500 Meters
– 4:36.55
3000 Meters –
9:54.78
Two Mile – 10:42.48

Before Harvard: Four-year letterwinner at Gann Academy … Captained the cross country team in 2012 and 2014 … Led team to the MBIL Championship three years … MBIL All-Star all four years.

Floriane Ngako
Horizontal Jumps
Bellevue, Wash./Bellevue

Personal Bests:
Long Jump –
19-4

Before Harvard: Three-year letterwinner for Bellevue High School … King Conference champion in the long jump (2011, 2012, 2013), triple jump (2013) and 4x100m relay (2011) … District champion in the long jump and triple jump … Two-time second-place finisher at the state championship meet in the long jump … Finished third in the triple jump at the state championship … Two-time AAU national champion in the long jump (2010, 2011) … School record holder in the triple jump (37-4.5) … 2013 Track and Field MVP … 2013 Eastmont Invitational Greg Evans Outstanding Female Athlete.

Marlena Sabatino
Pole Vault
Hillsborough, N.J./Hillsborough

Personal Bests:
Pole Vault
– 12-6

Before Harvard: Four-year letterwinner in indoor and outdoor track and field … Two-time team Rookie of the Year … Three-time team MVP … All-Area Girls Track Athlete of the Year and first team All-State as a junior … Two-time second team All-State honoree … First team All-Area selection four-times …  Holds the school, county, and state record in the pole vault … 2012-13 Indoor Track N.U. Meet of Champions State Champion … Competed on the varsity volleyball team for one year.

Miranda Sadler
Middle Distance
Bristol, U.K./Bristol Grammar

Personal Bests:
800 Meters
– 2:12.60
1500 Meters –
4:26.72

Before Harvard: Ranked second in the 1,500m run at the English Schools Championships as a senior … Clocked a personal-best of 4:26.73 in the 1,500m … Ran a personal-best 2:12.60 in the 800m run.

Marissa Saenger
Distance
Clarence, N.Y./Clarence

Personal Bests:
1500 Meters
– 4:43.40
3000 Meters –
9:49.43
Two Mile – 10:29.26

Before Harvard: Earned letters in cross country, indoor and outdoor track for all four years at Clarence High School … 2012 cross country Footlocker national finalist (25th) … 2013 2-mile New Balance Nationals All-American (sixth) … Captain of the cross country and track and field teams as a senior … Led team to cross country Sectional Championship all four years … Led team to Cross Country ECIC League Championships in 2011 and 2012 … Three-time cross country MVP … Four-time Cross Country ECIC All-League first team … 2011 Outdoor Track MVP … 2012 Western New York Runner of the Year … 2013 Wendy's High School Heisman Award winner … 2013 Clarence Bee Female Athlete of the Year.

Elianna Shwayder
Distance
Ann Arbor, Mich./Saline

Personal Bests:
One Mile
– 4:53.98
3200 Meters –
10:43.58

Before Harvard: Four-time letterwinner in cross country and track at Saline High School ... Took fourth place at Michigan State Cross Country Championships in 2013 … Six-time All-State competitor … Michigan state winner of Wendy's High School Heisman Award … Four-time New Balance Nationals All-American ... Led the cross country team to league and regional championships all four years ... Two-time SEC league XC Champion and three-time MHSAA Regional XC Champion ... Two-time MHSAA D1 Cross Country All-Stater in 2012 and 2013 with 6th and 4th place finishes respectively ... Senior year led the cross country team to a runner-up finish at the state finals ... Also a cross country captain during senior year ... Three-time cross country MVP. Ann Arbor Cross Country Runner of the Year in 2013 ... Contributed to team success in track and field, bringing home three SEC League Champion titles, three MHSAA Regional titles, and one runner-up MHSAA D1 State Trophy ... Earned four All-State Awards in MHSAA D1 Track and Field in the 4x800 and 3 All-State Awards in the 3200. 

Courtney Smith
Distance
Westchester, Pa./Unionville

Personal Bests:
1600 Meters
– 4:57.38
3000 Meters –
9:38.40
3200 Meters ­ 10:24.06
5000 Meters – 16:45.37

Before Harvard: Four-year letterwinner in cross country, three-year track athlete … Led cross country team to the state championship as a junior and senior … Cross country first team All-Ches-Mont and first team All-State from 2011-13 … 2012 PIAA Cross Country Runner of the Year … Gatorade Cross Country Student Athlete of the year … 2013 Cross Country All-American … Three-time team MVP … Three-time first team All-Ches-Mont in track … Two-time All-State … Five-time All-American … Holds school records in the mile, 2-mile, 3k, 5k, 4x400m relay and distance medley relay … 11-time state medalist … Valedictorian.

Lizzy Thomas
Distance
Los Angeles, Calif./Harvard-Westlake

Personal Bests:
1600 Meters
– 4:59.05
3200 Meters –
10:32.43

Before Harvard: Lettered in cross country for three years and track for four … Captained cross country and track teams senior year … 2013 cross country team MVP and 2012 Co-MVP … 2013-14 track and field team Co-MVP … Led track and field team to 2014 CIF Division 3 Championship … Led cross country and track and field teams to Mission League titles three times … Seventh place at the Arcadia Inviational in the 3200 meter event in 2013 … 2014 Best Female Athlete in senior class … 2014 National Merit Finalist.