Track & Field Hits the Road for Ivy League Indoor Heptagonal Championships

Track & Field Hits the Road for Ivy League Indoor Heptagonal Championships

Harvard's women are the top ranked team in the Northeast region (Gil Talbot).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – With 12 meets in the books from Dec. 5-Feb. 13, Harvard track and field has seen a plethora of school records fall in a variety of events, while also re-writing the program's top-10 lists. Following a week off from competition, the Crimson travels to Cornell's Barton Hall for the Ivy League Indoor Heptagonal Championships this weekend, Feb. 27-28. The second day of the meet will be broadcast on the Ivy League Digital Network.

By the Numbers

  • 1: Harvard's women's team is the top-ranked program in the Northeast region. The men's squad enters the Heptagonal Championships ranked 10th regionally.
  • 4: Harvard's women are in search of their fourth-consecutive Ivy League Championship.
  • 6: Six Harvard records have fallen during the 2015-16 campaign- five on the women's side and one on the men's. The Crimson has also set three Ivy records.
  • 8: Courtney Smith owns the eighth-fastest time nationally in the 5,000 meters at 15:46.44.
  • 11: Nikki Okwelogu's toss in the shot put at the Crimson Elite meet traveled 55-7 (16.94 meters), and is the mark is the best in the Ivy League by nearly 11 feet. Okwelogu enters the weekend ranked 10th nationally.

Last Time Out
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.

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.

On the men's side, the Crimson tallied a trio of outstanding performances at the Valentine Invite 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.

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

Quotable
"It has been an exciting season thus far for Harvard Track and Field and it has all been building toward this upcoming weekend," said Jason Saretsky, the William W. 'Bill' McCurdy Director of Track & Field/Cross Country.  "Both our men's and women's teams have been working incredibly hard and I'm looking forward to seeing that hard work pay off when we return to Ithaca."   

Freshman Phenoms
A bevy of Crimson freshmen have kicked off their collegiate careers with unprecedented performances. Gabby Thomas has tallied nine victories through seven meets, twice in the 60 meters, four times in the 200 meters and once in the long jump to lead the freshman class. She owns the school and Ivy records in the 60 and 200 meters. Fellow sprinter Ngozi Musa has also placed in the school's top-10 list (second, 7.40 seconds).

On the men's side, Myles Marshall broke the school record in the 800 meters at the Rod McCravy Memorial, running 1:49.35. Classmate Ian West claimed top honors in the pole vault (15-9, 4.80 meters) at the Beantown Challenge while Kieran Tuntivate owns the Crimson's best mark this season in the 1,000 meters (2:28.14).

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. Gabby Thomas obliterated the Harvard mark in the 200 meters by over half a second while also setting a new benchmark in the Ancient Eight record book with a time of 23.37 seconds at the Scarlet and White Invite. Her mark is the 10th-fastest in the country and the best among first-year sprinters. Thomas also holds the program record in the 60 meters after dashing to a time of 7.38 seconds at the Crimson Elite Meet.

Franklin and Thomas also helped break the women's 4x400 meter relay school and Ancient Eight records, along with teammates Jackie Modesett and Jade Miller. The quartet crossed the stripe in 3:35.14 at the Don Kirby Collegiate Invite at New Mexico. Marlena Sabatino cleared 12-11.5 (3.95 meters) in the pole vault at the Crimson Elite Meet to set a new program standard. She was previously second on the all-time list.

Myles Marshall set a new school record in the 800 meters at the Rod McCravy Memorial, placing fifth overall with a time of 1:49.35.

A handful of other student-athletes have vaulted into the top-10 of the men's and women's record books.

Hurdle U
Entering this weekend's Heptagonal Championships, the Crimson has posted three of the top four fastest times in the 60 meter hurdles. Autumne Franklin owns the top mark by 0.15 seconds, crossing the stripe in 8.42 at the Crimson Elite Meet. Jackie Modesett ranks third in the league, while Jade Miller holds the fourth-best time. Franlin will be vying for her fourth-straight title this weekend, which has only been achieved once in conference history.

On the men's side, sophomore Jay Hebert ran to a personal best 8.12 seconds at the Crimson Elite Meet, and he enters the weekend with the sixth-fastest time.

Out in Front
Who holds the top marks for the Crimson this season?                                                                 

EVENT

Men's Leader

Time/Mark 

Women's Leader

Time/Mark

60

Max Mondelli

6.92

Gabby Thomas

7.38*

200

Alexander Moore

22.38

Gabby Thomas

23.37*

300

Alexander Moore

35.43

Autumne Franklin

38.72*

400

Alexander Moore

49.88

Autumne Franklin

53.89

500

Myles Marshall

1:03.34

Jade Miller

1:12.95

600

N/A

-

Jade Miller

1:31.48

800

Myles Marshall

1:49.35*

Paige Kouba

2:09.26

1,000

Kieran Tuntivate

2:28.14

Kieran Gallagher

2:48.72

Mile

Gabe Montague

4:07.40

Paige Kouba

4:43.77

3,000

Brandon Price

8:00.07

Courtney Smith

9:21.35

5,000

Ben Huffman

14:35.6

Courtney Smith

15:46.4

60H

Jay Hebert

8.12

Autumne Franklin

8.42

High Jump

Spencer Lemons

1.99m

Raegan Nizdil

1.73m

Pole Vault

Andrew Roney

4.90m

Marlena Sabatino

3.95m

Long Jump

Malcolm-Mason Rodriguez

7.04m

Gabby Thomas

5.73m

Triple Jump

Efe Uwaifo

15.38m

Gabby Thomas

12.07m

Shot Put

Julian Nunally

17.61m

Nikki Okwelogu

16.94m

Weight Throw

Josh Whitener

17.93m

N/A

-

*School Record

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.

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, and use #IvyHeps to interact with fans from around the Ivy League.

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.

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?
Following Heps, Harvard's qualified student-athletes will compete at the IC4A/ECAC Championships at Boston University March 5-6.