Eight Personal Bests Put Track and Field in Prime Position After First Day of Outdoor Heptagonal Championships

Eight Personal Bests Put Track and Field in Prime Position After First Day of Outdoor Heptagonal Championships

Ben Glauser finished fifth in the men's hammer throw Saturday (Ryan Samson/The Ivy League).


PHILADELPHIA – The Harvard men's and women's track and field teams combined for eight personal bests and five new all-time top-10 marks in school history with day one of the 2015 Ivy League Outdoor Heptagonal Championships coming to a close at Penn's Franklin Field.

At the end of the first day, Harvard's women are in second place with 26 points, trailing only Princeton's 39. In the men's standings, Harvard ranks fifth with 10 points. The Tigers also lead the men's team scores with 46 points.

The last event of day one proved to be a historic one for Harvard's women, as Courtney Smith and Whitney Thornburg each ran times that placed them in the top-10 all-time in the 10,000 meter race. Freshman Smith concluded her first 10,000 meter race with a 34:53.67 time, the eighth-fastest mark in Harvard history, and good for third overall. Senior Thornburg eclipsed her personal best at this distance by over two minutes and moved into ninth all-time, punching the clock at 35:04.25 to finish fourth.

The Crimson got off to a strong start, as Taylor DuPont made a statement in the women's hammer throw. With a personal best mark of 176-9 (53.88 meters), DuPont now has the fifth-farthest throw in school history and finished third overall.

Hannah Mayer showed her strength in the javelin throw, reaching 146-2 (44.56 meters), good for runner-up accolades for the Crimson. Allison Morrison also collected a top-five finish in the field events for the Harvard women, leaping 18-2.25 (5.54 meters) in the long jump to take fifth overall.

On the men's side, Andrew Connolly recorded the 10th-longest throw in school history in the javelin with his toss of 188-9 (57.54 meters). He claimed sixth in the event.

Sophomore Elliot Safo had the best finish in the field events for the men, earning third in the long jump. Safo jumped to a distance of 23-6.25 (7.17 meters) in the event.

The men's hammer throw saw two Harvard throwers finish in the points. Returning from a season-long injury, senior Ben Glauser claimed fifth with his throw of 191-6 (58.37 meters). Josh Whitener was right behind in sixth with his throw of 190-7 (58.11 meters).

On the track, the Harvard women advanced nine to Sunday's finals in five events. Autumne Franklin and Jackie Modesett set the positive tone for the afternoon, finishing 1-2 in the 100 meter hurdle prelims. Franklin had the top qualifying time at 13.87 and Modesett was second at 13.97. Franklin also advanced in the 400 meter hurdles with her third-place qualifying time of 59.17. Teammate Jade Miller posted the second-fastest time Saturday at 58.85 to also move onto Sunday's finals.

Seniors Ashley Collinsworth and Danielle Barbian finished among the top five in Saturday's prelims of the 100 meter dash to earn spots in Sunday's finals. Collinsworth clocked in at 11.75, the second-fastest time of the day, and Barbian was fifth at 11.94. Collinsworth and Barbian also clinched spots in the finals of the 200 meter race with times of 24.53 and 24.56, respectively. Leading the Crimson in the event though was Christi Scott, who finished .01 off her personal best, crossing in 24.40, the sixth-best time of the prelims.

The 1,500 meter prelims saw two more Crimson clinch spots on the finals. Sarah Gillespie with a mark of 4:26.91 and Molly Renfer at 4:27.07 each earned spots in the finals field.

In the men's track events, four Crimson posted collegiate personal bests, while seven advanced to the finals. Harvard advanced two to the finals in the 110 meter hurdles with Jarvis Harris recording the second-fastest time of the day at 14.20. Jay Herbert was next at 14.35, a personal record for the freshman. Harris also earned a spot in the 400 meters hurdles, posting a 53.29, the fourth-fastest time in Saturday's prelims.

Jonas Aranda earned a spot in the Crimson record books in the 800 meter race, as his time of 1:50.00 is the 10th-best in Harvard history and advances him to the finals.

Malcolm Johnson advanced to the finals in the 100 meter dash with a new collegiate personal-best time of 10.86. At 400 meters, Matt Hurst also notched a PR in a Crimson uniform with his 48.38 time to notch his spot in the finals. Hurst will also be in action Sunday in the 200 meters, registering the fifth-best time Saturday at 21.87.

Saturday saw four events completed in the women's heptathlon with Madison Hansen leading the field by 102 points. Morrison enters the final three events in fifth overall. Through five events in the men's decathlon, Mark Hill stands fourth.

Competition continues Sunday at 10 a.m. with the multi-events. Field competition gets underway at 11 a.m., while the track events get going at 12 p.m.