Track and Field Hosts Harvard Multi Meet, Beantown Challenge

Harvard's women's squad claimed first place in 2015 while the men's team captured second (Brian Panoff).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – In its first home action of the season, Harvard indoor track and field is set to host the Harvard Multi Meet Friday, Jan. 15 and the Beanpot Challenge Saturday, Jan. 16. The latter meet will be broadcast on the Ivy League Digital Network.

The Crimson hosts the Beantown Challenge for the ninth year in-a-row, and teams from Brown, UMass, Stonehill and Boston College (women only) will be represented. Harvard's women's squad is in search of its fifth-straight title at the event.

Last Time Out
Competing in Cornell's Southern Tier Collegiate Invite, Harvard track and field posted nine event victories and a plethora of top-three results in its first action of 2016. Teams from Harvard, Cornell, Binghamton, Buffalo, Ithaca College, LeMoyne and St. John Fisher were represented in the meet.

Freshman Gabby Thomas led the Crimson with victories in the 60- and 200-meter runs, posting times of 7.54 and 24.68 seconds, respectively. Both marks were season bests for the Florance, Massachusetts native. Senior Autumne Franklin picked up the victory in the 60m hurdles, marking her second triumph in as many meets this season. Franklin crossed the stripe in 8.63 seconds, which is her top mark of 2015-16. Freshman Ngozi Muza punctuated the sprint events for Harvard with a third-place finish in the 60 meters.

On the men's side, Harvard earned a pair of victories in the distance events as junior Brandon Price and sophomore Jonas Aranda secured first-place finishes in the mile and 1,000-meter runs, respectively. Price held on for the triumph in the one-mile race with a time of 4:16.69 while Aranda's personal best 2:32.82 pace was good for the top result in the 1,000.

Full Release: Track & Field Wins Seven Events at Boston University Season Opener

Scouting Harvard
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.

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.

Freshman Phenoms
A bevy of Crimson freshmen have kicked off their collegiate careers with top finishes at the BU Season Invite and Southern Tier Collegiate Invite. Gabby Thomas has tallied a trio of victories through two meets, twice in the 60 meters and once in the 200 meters, to lead the freshman class. Fellow sprinter Ngozi Muza has finished in the top-three in both 60-meter dashes, as well. On the men's side, Myles Marshall took second in the 500 meters and Ian White claimed third in the pole vault at the Cornell-hosted event.

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.

Breaking Records
Autumne Franklin broke the Harvard record in the 300 meters at the BU Season Opener when she stopped the clock at 38.72 seconds. Franklin also ranks second in program history in the 55- and 60-meter hurdles and fifth in the 400 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.

Social Stream
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.

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.

What's Next?
Harvard's squad splits up for Kentucky's Rod McCravy Memorial and the Joe Donahue Invite at the Reggie Lewis Center Jan. 22-23.