Smith and Kouba Shine in Seattle, Track and Field Competes in Three States

Smith and Kouba Shine in Seattle, Track and Field Competes in Three States

Smith moved to second in the Harvard record books in the 5,000 meters (Brian Panoff).

SEATTLE – Spread across the country competing in Washington, New Mexico and Massachusetts, Harvard track and field tallied a number of top-10 results in three meets:  the Husky Invite, Don Kirby Collegiate and Valentine Invitational.

Racing in Seattle at the Husky Classic, sophomore Courtney Smith finished third overall in the 5,000 meters with a time of 15:46.44. The time is the eighth-fastest run in the country, fourth-best in Ivy League history and it places her second in the Harvard record books. The run was also a significant personal best for Smith.

Following up on the success of her teammate, senior Paige Kouba raced to the fifth-best time in Harvard history in the mile run (4:43.77), placing 15th overall. The time represents a season-best for the co-captain, and is less than a second off her career-best.

"I was really pleased with how the crimson performed in all three competitions we were in this weekend," said Jason Saretsky, the William W. 'Bill' McCurdy Director of Track & Field/Cross Country. "It was a great confidence boost heading into Heps in two weeks."

In New Mexico, the quartet of freshman Gabby Thomas (55.1), seniors Autumne Franklin (52.7) and Christi Scott (54.2) and junior Jade Miller (53.1) shattered the Harvard and Ivy League records in the 4x400 meter relay, placing fourth in 3:35.14. The mark bests the time set earlier this season at the Rod McCravy Memorial, and is the 15th-fastest relay nationally.

Miller also placed third in the 600 meters, crossing the stripe in a personal-best 1:31.48, and set a personal best in the 60 meter hurdles (8.66). Thomas tallied a pair of top-10 results, taking seventh in the 60 meters (7.46) and sixth in the 200 meters (23.72), though freshman Ngozi Musa tallied the program's top result in the 60 meters, taking fifth (7.41). Musa ran to a time of 7.40 in the semifinals, which ranks second in program and Ancient Eight history.

Junior Nikki Okwelogu registered a third-place result in the shot put after recording a toss of 53-11.75 (16.45 meters). Okwelogu has placed in the top-three in four of five meets this season.

Harvard also sent student-athletes to the Valentine Invitational, hosted by Boston University. Sophomore Marlena Sabatino and junior Raegan Nizdil tallied individual victories for the Crimson after recording top marks in the pole vault and high jump, respectively. Sabatino successfully cleared 12-9.5 (3.90 meters) in the pole vault while Nizdil's jump of 5-7 (1.70 meters) claimed top honors. Freshman Nicole Trenchard took third in the pole vault, clearing 11-11.75 (3.65 meters).

Senior Emma Payne took ninth in the 5,000 meters with a personal-best run of 16:46.95. The time is the ninth-best in school history.

On the men's side, the Crimson tallied a trio of seventh-place performances in the running events from sophomore Jay Hebert, freshman Myles Marshall and junior Brandon Price. Hebert crossed the stripe in 8.12 seconds in the 60 meter hurdles, matching a career-best. Marshall ran the 800 meters in 1:50.05 and Price obliterated his previous personal best in the 3,000 meters with a time of 8:00.07. Price's time is the fourth-fastest in Harvard history.

Senior Mark Hill took sixth in the long jump after hitting the sand a career-best 23-0.5 (7.02 meters) from the stripe.

Harvard's squad takes a weekend off from competition before traveling to Cornell to compete in the 2016 Ivy League Heptagonal Championships. The meet will be broadcast on the Ivy League Digital Network.