Harvard tallied seven event victories at the Boston University Season Opener (Brian Panoff).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Competing for the first time in 2016, Harvard indoor track and field hits the road for Cornell to compete at the Southern Tier Collegiate Invite on Friday, Jan. 8. The meet will open at 11 a.m. with final events set to kick off at 3:10 p.m.
Last Time Out
Competing in its only meet prior to the new year, six Harvard student-athletes combined for seven event victories at the Boston University Season Opener.
Autumne Franklin led the Crimson with a pair of victories, crossing the stripe first in the 60 meter hurdles in 8.72 seconds and 300 meter dash in a school-record 38.72 seconds. Jade Miller took second in the 300 meters in 38.84 seconds, a mark that is second-fastest in the Crimson record books. Gabrielle Thomas and Marlee Sabatino also picked up event victories in the 60 meter dash and pole vault, respectively.
The event marks the first time Harvard has competed at the Southern Tier Collegiate Invite, which will feature as many as 15 teams on both the men's and women's side.
Looking for its fourth-straight Ivy League Heptagonal Championship in 2016, Harvard's women's squad is balanced across the board. First team All-America selection Nikki Okwelogu placed sixth in the shot put at the 2015 NCAA Indoor Championships, and sprinter/hurdlers Autumne Franklin and Jade Miller are dueling for the top spot in multiple categories of the Harvard record book. Franklin and Paige Kouba anchor a distance medley relay team that set a new program record in 2015.
The men's squad is led by sophomore Malcolm Johnson in the sprints, junior Efe Uwaifo in the jumps and senior Thomas Purnell in the distance events. Johnson was the first across the stripe in the 60 meter dash at the Ivy League Indoor Heptagonal Championships a year ago. Uwaifo holds the Harvard triple jump record, and was the 2015 indoor Heps champion. Purnell excels in the mile run for Harvard, as the senior holds the fourth-fastest mark in school history entering the season.
The Crimson tallied 12 All-Ivy League selections in 2015, including the event's Most Outstanding Track and Field Performers of the Meet in Danielle Barbian '15 and Okwelogu, respectively.
A number of Harvard indoor records were broken last season, with Miller breaking the 500-meter record in 1:12.71 and Franklin setting a new mark in the 300 meters with a time of 38.99 seconds. Junior Nikki Okwelogu obliterated the previous indoor record in the shot put by over two meters (56-2; 17.12 meters) while Junior Efe Uwaifo set the new program standard in the men's triple jump at 52-1.25 (15.88 meters).
Recapping Cross Country
Sophomore Courtney Smith led the charge during the cross country season, qualifying for the 2015 NCAA Championships after placing fifth in the NCAA Northeast Regional. The Westchester, Pennsylvania native was Harvard's top finisher in every race, and earned All-Ivy League first team and USTFCCCA All-Region honors. The women's team captured its first HYP victory since 1995.
The men's team was led by senior Thomas Purnell, who earned the individual championship at HYP before pacing the Crimson at the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships. Senior Chris Allen finished the men's season with a second-place result at the IC4A Championships in New York.
Use the Social Stream on GoCrimson.com to stay connected with the Crimson on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube this year. The Social Stream brings the conversation from all four platforms into one convenient location, allowing fans of all Harvard Athletics teams to monitor the action in real time.
Follow @HarvardTrack_XC on Twitter for updates during the competition.
Ivy League Digital Network
The Ivy League Digital Network returns for a third season as the home for all live streaming and on-demand video content for each of the conference's eight institutions. Broadcast in full HD and featuring a live score bug and play-by-play and color commentary, the Ivy League Digital Network provides fans with unprecedented access to the Ancient Eight.
Multiple subscription options are available to fans, including school-specific and league-wide passes. To learn more about the Ivy League Digital Network or to sign-up today, click here.
Aye Aye, Captain
Seniors James Lim and Thomas Purnell and Junior Andrew Roney were elected captains for the 2015-16 season on the men's side, while the women's squad will be led by seniors Autumne Franklin and Paige Kouba. All four are in their first season as captains of the Harvard track and field team.
At the Helm
Jason Saretsky is in his 10th season as the William W. "Bill" McCurdy Director of Track and Field /Cross Country, and during his tenure the Crimson women have tallied three indoor Ivy League Championships. Saretsky's tenure has seen 21 All-America performances, 30 NCAA qualifiers and 79 Heptagonal champions.
Harvard indoor track and field hosts a pair of home events at Gordon Indoor Track, beginning with the Harvard Multi-Meet on Friday, Jan. 15 and concluding with the Beantown Challenge the subsequent day, Saturday, Jan. 16. The latter event will be broadcast on the Ivy League Digital Network.