PRINCETON, N.J. – After leading the Harvard women's track and field team to its second consecutive Ivy League Outdoor Heptagonal championship, Jason Saretsky, The William W. "Bill" McCurdy Director of Track and Field/Cross Country, has been named the Ivy League women's coach of the year, as announced by the conference office Tuesday, May 12. The Crimson was also honored with a total of 18 All-Ivy League awards, including seven first team nods.
Saretsky has now guided the Crimson to consecutive outdoor Heptagonal titles, marking the first time in program history Harvard has won back-to-back championships. In each of those championship runs, Harvard has accumulated a team-point total that ranks among the top-15 in Heps history. In 2014 the Crimson set a program record with 162 points and then followed it up with 157 last weekend. Harvard's dominance showed through this year, as it beat second-place Princeton by 39 points.
Sophomore Nikki Okwelogu led the charge for the Crimson, earning two first team selections as the winner of the shot put and discus events, which earned her the Field Performer of the Meet award. Each of Okwelogu's best throws also earned her a spot in the Ivy League and Harvard record books. She is the first woman in conference history to throw the shot put over 56 feet, setting the new standard at 56-10 (17.32 meters). In the discus, Okwelogu broke the Harvard program record with a toss of 176-5 (53.78 meters), which also ranks as the second-furthest in conference history. In winning Performer of the Meet honors in both indoor and outdoor Heps this year, Okwelogu is the fifth Crimson student-athlete to accomplish that feat and first since Brenda Taylor '01 in 2001.
Junior Autumne Franklin collected four All-Ivy League honors, earning a first team spot as the victor in the 100 meter hurdles and second team honors in the 400 meter hurdles, and as a member of the 4x100 and 4x400 meter relays squads. Franklin's 13.70 winning time in the 100 meter hurdles was .02 off her personal best. In the 400 meter hurdles, Franklin's top time was only beat by teammate Jade Miller who earned conference first team recognition. Miller made Heps history in the event, beating the previous meet record by 0.94, crossing in 57.30. Miller joined Franklin on both second-place relay teams to give her three All-Ivy awards.
Ashley Collinsworth, Miller, Franklin and Danielle Barbian teamed up in the 4x100 meter relay to post a time of 45.48, the second-fastest time in school history. Franklin was the lead in the 4x400 meter, with Gabrielle Scott, Christi Scott and Miller following. The foursome recorded a time of 3:35.38, which was faster than the previous meet record and was good for the best mark in Harvard history.
Two more Crimson set all-time conference records and earned a spot on the first team in their respective events. Barbian, the indoor Heps Track Performer of the Meet, is now the record holder in the outdoor 100 meter dash. Barbian won by .18 seconds with her time of 11.60, breaking both the meet and conference all-time record. Junior Madison Hansen put together two exceptional days of competition in the heptathlon, beating the rest of the field by 298 points. Her final point total of 5,506 eclipsed the previous Ancient Eight record by two points.
Hannah Mayer earned second team recognition in the javelin with her throw of 146-2 (44.56 meters).
On the men's side, senior Jarvis Harris earned a spot on the All-Ivy League first team with his personal-best performance in the 400 meters hurdles. Harris won the race by .08, finishing with a time of 51.10, the third-fastest mark in school history. Efe Uwaifo garnered second team honors in the triple jump after leaping 50-2.5 (15.30 meters).
Harvard All-Ivy League Honors
Women's Coach of the Year
Field Performer of the Meet
First Team All-Ivy League
Danielle Barbian – 100 meters
Autumne Franklin – 100 meter hurdles
Madison Hansen - Heptathlon
Jarvis Harris – 400 meter hurdles
Jade Miller – 400 meter hurdles
Nikki Okwelogu – Shot Put and Discus
Second Team All-Ivy League
Autumne Franklin – 400 meter hurdles
Hannah Mayer – Javelin
Efe Uwaifo - Triple Jump
Ashley Collinsworth, Jade Miller, Autumne Franklin, Danielle Barbian - 4x100 meter relay
Autumne Franklin, Gabrielle Scott, Christi Scott, Jade Miller – 4x400 meter relay