Women’s Indoor Track and Field Wins Fifth Straight Beantown Challenge, Men Take Second

Photo courtesy of Tim O'Dowd
Photo courtesy of Tim O'Dowd


CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard women's indoor track and field team made a statement Saturday at Gordon Track, winning 10 events, breaking three meet records and setting three new school records to win its fifth consecutive Beantown Challenge. The Crimson men won three events and set a pair of meet records to finish as the runner-up.

Harvard's women finished with a team score of 167, beating Cornell's 134, while the men ended with 100.5 points, trailing the Big Red's 185.

"What a great day for track and field in front of a tremendous crowd," said Jason Saretsky, the William W. "Bill" McCurdy Director of Track and Field/Cross Country. "I was thrilled with the way both our men's and women's teams competed. We still have a lot of work to do to put everything together for the championship part of our season, but this was a great sign of what is to come."

On the track, two women's school records fell in the 500 and 1,000 meter races. In the 500 meter, sophomore Jade Miller set a new Harvard and Beantown Challenge standard, finishing the race in 1:13.14. Senior Erika Veidis has the new fastest time in the 1,000 meter race, posting a time of 2:46.71. The third school record to be bested Saturday came in the shot put, as sophomore Nikki Okwelogu broke her school record for the second straight week, reaching a mark of 16.09 meters (52-9.5).

Back on the track, senior Danielle Barbian matched the meet record in the 60 meter dash with a time of 7.53 to win the event. Teammate Ashley Collinsworth crossed the line second with a 7.67 time.

The Crimson women also picked up wins in the one mile run, 60 meter hurdles, 880 yard run and the 4x440 yard relay. Junior Paige Kouba set the pace in the one mile race, registering a new personal record with a time of 4:49.99. In the hurdles, Harvard captured the top two spots, as Autumne Franklin won the event in 8.62 with Jackie Modesett on her heels at 8.65. The 880 yard race saw Gabrielle Scott secure top honors, speeding her way to a time of 2:13.41. Franklin, Miller, Modesett and Scott all teamed up to take the top podium spot in the 4x440 yard relay, completing with a 3:46.81 mark.

A quartet of Crimson women finished in the top five of the 200 meter race, led by Franklin's runner-up performance. Her time of 24.75 is a new personal best and the fourth fastest time in school history. Barbian, Collinsworth and Christi Scott finished third, fourth and fifth, respectively.

Harvard's men also found success on the track, led by two victories from freshman Malcolm Johnson. The Sylvania, Ohio native sprinted to the second-fastest time in school history, and fastest by a Crimson freshman, in the 60 meter dash, recording a time of 6.75. Johnson also ran the eighth-best time in school history in the 200 meter race, crossing in 22.14.

The men's 800 meter saw the Crimson finish 2-3-4, highlighted by a pair of top-10 all-time performances. Senior Connor Reck was the runner-up in the event with the fifth-fastest mark in Harvard history at 1:50.78. Jonas Aranda posted the seventh-quickest time in the program's lore at 1:51.27 to claim third, while Billy Looney's time of 1:52.8 was good for fourth in the event.

In the field events, Harvard's women picked up a trio of victories. In addition to Okweloga's record-setting day, Taylor DuPont earned the win in the weight throw and Raegan Nizdil secured the high jump. DuPont's top throw reached 16.88 meters (50-4.75), fifth-longest in school history, while Nizdil cleared 1.72 meters (5-7.75). Senior Ann Gielbelhaus claimed second-place honors in the high jump with a mark of 1.68 meters (5-6.0). In the pole vault, freshman Marlena Sabatino cleared the height of 3.60 meters (11-9.75) to tie for third.

The men's field events starred senior Ben Glauser. In the weight throw, Glauser's 18.77 meter (61-7.0) toss not only won the event, but set a new meet record. He also captured runner-up accolades in the shot put with a distance of 16.87 meters (55-4.25). Sophomore Julian Nunally set a new personal record in the shot put with a toss of 15.36 meters (50-4.75) to finish fifth. Junior Spencer Lemons reached a height of 2.00 meters (6-6.75) in the high jump to take second for Harvard.

Harvard is next in action on January 24, taking part in the New Mexico Cherry and Silver Collegiate Invitational.