Five Personal Records Showcase First Day of Competition at UVA Challenge for Track and Field

Five Personal Records Showcase First Day of Competition at UVA Challenge for Track and Field

Ashley Collinsworth and the 4x100 meter relay team ran the third-fastest time in program history Friday (Brian Panoff).

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - Harvard track and field had an impressive first day at the UVA Challenge, with five student-athletes setting or matching personal records. Highlighting the success was Paige Kouba passing her own program-record time in the 3,000 meter steeplechase and the women's 4x100 meter relay squad running the third-fastest time in Harvard history.

"It's an exciting meet in a unique atmosphere," said associate head coach Kebba Tolbert. "The competition level is similar to what we'll see at the NCAA first round. We are looking forward to Saturday."

Going up against top talent in the steeplechase, Kouba rose to the challenge and put forth a record-setting performance. Her time of 10:28.61 beat her old record by over five seconds.

In the 4x100 meter relay, Ashley Collinsworth, Jade Miller, Christi Scott and Danielle Barbian combined to post a time of 45.85, good for sixth in the event and third on the Harvard all-time performance list.

Taylor DuPont was the first Crimson student-athlete in action Friday, excelling in the hammer throw. Muscling a throw the distance of 169-10 (51.77 meters) DuPont not only set a new personal record and claimed second in the competitive event, but that mark is good for sixth-best in Harvard history.

Freshman Sabatino had a strong day in the women's pole vault, clearing 12-0.5 (3.67 meters) to take seventh. That height also marked a new collegiate best for Sabatino and counts as the sixth-best mark in Harvard lore. Junior Lexie Schachne additionally had a good performance in the pole vault, setting her own new personal best, going over the bar at 11-6.5 (3.52 meters).

On the track, freshman Malcolm Johnson clocked in with a time of 10.92 in the men's 100 meter dash, matching his personal best set at the Florida Relays. In the women's 100 meters, Barbian earned top-10 honors with a time of 11.85 to take seventh. Fellow senior Collinsworth crossed in 11.98.

Nikki Okwelogu and Josh Whitener each had quality performances in the field. In the invite-only women's discuss event, Okwelogu recorded a long throw of 151-9 (46.27 meters) to finish sixth. In the men's hammer throw, Whitener earned fifth-place accolades with a toss of 189-9 (57.84 meters).

Two freshman men also had quality showings on the track. Matt Hurst registered a time of 48.92 in the 400 meter race and Jonas Aranda finished the 800 meter event in 1:52.08.

A full day of competition awaits the Crimson on Saturday in Charlottesville, with running events beginning at 9:40 a.m. with the women's 5,000 meter race.