Track and Field Posts Strong Showings at Raleigh and Texas Relays

Photo courtesy of Gil Talbot
Photo courtesy of Gil Talbot

Autumne Franklin finished third in the 400 meter hurdles at the Texas Relays (Gil Talbot).

RALEIGH, N.C. & AUSTIN, TEXAS – With the team split into small contingents this week, the Harvard track and field team posted impressive results Friday at the nationally-competitive Raleigh and Texas Relays.

A quartet of distance runners took the track in Raleigh in the 5,000 meter race. On the women's side, Whitney Thornburg's speedy time of 16:34.61 cracked the Harvard all-time performance list, coming in at 10th fastest. Teammate Courtney Smith raced her way to a 16:51.68, just .17 seconds off her personal best time.

In the men's 5,000 meter, Thomas Purnell captured a top-10 finish with a time of 14:01.81 to place him seventh overall. Senior Dan Milechman was able to race his way to a new personal best in the event, crossing the finish line in 14:19.38, almost nine seconds faster than his previous standard.

At the Texas Relays, Madison Hansen was the first Crimson in action this week in the heptathlon. Hansen's score of 5210 was good for a new personal best and the second highest mark in school history.

Junior Autumne Franklin continued to prove she is among the best in the nation in the 400 meter hurdles, taking third with a time of 57.69. Franklin was the lone runner in the top five not from an SEC or ACC school, in a field that featured three former first team All-Americans. Jackie Modesett and Franklin were both in action in the 100 meter hurdles, with Modesett posting a 14.19 and Franklin coming in at 14.38.

Danielle Barbian and Ashley Collinsworth each notched top-20 times during the prelims of the 100 meter dash. Barbian's time of 11.75 was just .01 shy of qualifying for the finals, but she will compete Saturday in the 100 meter invitational event, as well the 200 meter collegiate/university event. Collinsworth registered a time of 11.87.

In addition to Barbian finishing competition at the Texas Relays Saturday, a number of her teammates will compete locally at the Tufts Snowflake Classic. A schedule of the events can be found HERE.