PRINCETON, N.J. – The women of Harvard's indoor track and field team put on another spectacular performance at the 2015 Ivy League Heptagonal Championships over the weekend, winning its third consecutive Heps title in front of its home crowd at the Gordon Indoor Track. The team victory was built on outstanding individual efforts, with six women, one relay team and head coach Jason Saretsky receiving All-Ivy League accolades from the conference. In addition, the men's squad earned four All-Ivy League awards.
Saretsky, The William W. "Bill" McCurdy Director of Track and Field/Cross Country, was named Co-Women's Head Coach of the year. The ninth-year leader of the track and field program at Harvard was at the helm of the third straight conference title for the Crimson. He split the awarded with Columbia's Dan Ireland, the head coach of the runner-up Lions. This was the first year the Ivy League award Coach of the Year for the indoor track season.
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A total of three individual women, three men and one women's relay team garnered spots on the All-Ivy League first team. Senior Danielle Barbian and sophomore Nikki Okwelogu led the women's field after being named the Track, and Field, Performers of the Meet, respectively. Barbian earned first team honors for the second straight year in the 60 meter dash, breaking her own Ivy League record with a time of 7.40. She also picked up a first team nod in the 200 meter race, setting a new school record of 24.03 on her way to victory. Historically, Barbian is the first Harvard sprinter to win both of those events in the same year since Brenda Taylor in 2001 and is the first Crimson student-athlete to be named first team in two events in the same year since Helena Ronner '03 won the high and triple jumps in 2002.
Okwelogu thrilled the home crowd in the throwing pit, setting the new conference standard in the shot put. Her toss of 56-2.0 (17.12 meters) broke her own Ivy League record and was the ninth-longest throw in the nation, earning her second-straight first team award in the shot put.
The hurdles were once again dominated by junior Autumne Franklin, as she earned first team accolades for the third consecutive year in the 60 meter hurdles with a meet-record run of 8.41. That time was also the second-fastest in school lore.
Harvard's 4x800 relay team of Paige Kouba, Molly Renfer, Erika Veidis and Gabrielle Scott won the event by over five seconds Sunday to collect first team honors. This was the third consecutive year that Harvard was All-Ivy in the 4x800, as it earned second team recognition each of the previous two seasons.
On the men's side, senior Jarvis Harris and sophomore Efe Uwaifo earned All-Ivy League recognition for the second straight season. Harris set a new school record in the 60 meter hurdles in the prelim round with a time of 7.93 and followed that up in the finals with a winning time of 7.94. Uwaifo set a new school record in the triple jump at Heps, leaping 52-1.25 (15.88 meters) to notch a spot on the All-Ivy first team.
Freshman Malcolm Johnson became the first Harvard sprinter to earn first team honors in the 60 meter dash since Damani Wilson '14 in 2012. He is also the first freshman to receive that accolade since Christopher Lambert '05 won the event in 2002.
Matthew Hurst rounded out the men's selections with his spot on the second team after finishing as the runner-up in the 200 meter dash with a mark of 22.20.
A trio of women earned All-Ivy second team recognition. For the second-straight season, Ashley Collinsworth was a second team honoree in the 60 meter dash. The senior ran a personal best 7.44 on Sunday. Senior Erika Veidis earned her spot on the second team in the 800 meter race with a time of 2:07.53 and classmate Taylor DuPont joined her with her runner-up weight throw performance of 53-7.5 (16.34 meters).
MOST OUTSTANDING TRACK PERFORMER OF THE MEET
Danielle Barbian, Harvard (Sr. – Sussex, Wis.)
MOST OUTSTANDING FIELD PERFORMER OF THE MEET
Nikki Okwelogu, Harvard (So. – Fresno, Calif.)
Harvard's All Ivy League Selections
Danielle Barbian – 60M
Malcolm Johnson – 60M
Danielle Barbian – 200M
Autumne Franklin – 60M Hurdles
Jarvis Harris – 60M Hurdles
Nikki Okwelogu – Shot Put
Efe Uwaifo – Triple Jump
Paige Kouba, Molly Renfer, Erika Veidis, Gabrielle Scott - 4x800 Relay
Ashley Collinsworth – 60M
Matthew Hurst – 200M
Erika Veidis - 800M
Taylor DuPont – Weight Throw