Track & Field Opens Outdoor Season at TCU Invitational

Track & Field Opens Outdoor Season at TCU Invitational

Harvard's women will search for its third-consecutive outdoor Heps title in 2016 (Tim O'Dowd).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Competing outdoors for the first time in 2016, Harvard track and field ventures south for the TCU Invitational, March 18-19.

By the Numbers

  • 1: Harvard's women's team finished the indoor season as the top-ranked program in the Northeast region, while the men's team wound up ninth.
  • 2: The Crimson landed a pair of student-athletes with first team All-America honors during the indoor campaign: sophomore Courtney Smith and junior Nikki Okwelogu.
  • 3: Harvard is in search of its third-straight outdoor Heps title on the women's side, while the men are in search of their first championship since 1983.
  • 9: The track and field team will compete in nine states during the outdoor season: Texas, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Florida, New Jersey, Connecticut, Virginia, California and Oregon.
  • 46: Harvard outdoor track and field has tallied 46 All-America selections in program history. Senior Autumne Franklin and junior Jade Miller earned the honor a year ago in the 400 meter hurdles.

Last Time Out
On the final weekend of the indoor track and field season, Harvard junior Nikki Okwelogu and sophomore Courtney Smith took third and eighth in the shot put and 5,000 meters, respectively, to earn first team All-America honors. The duo joined an elite group of All-Americans, with Okwelogu writing her name on the list for the second time.

Okwelogu earned the bronze with a career-best throw of 57-11.25 (17.66 meters), crushing her own Harvard and Ivy League records in the process by 17.25 inches. Smith ran to an eighth-place result in the 5,000 meters to garner a first team All-America nod with a time of 16:04.86. The sophomore persevered late in the race, moving up three spots over the final 2,000 meters.

Full Recap: Okwelogu, Smith Crowned First Team All-America at NCAA Indoor Championships

Freshman Phenoms
A bevy of Crimson freshmen have kicked off their collegiate careers with unprecedented performances. Gabby Thomas tallied 10 individual victories through eight meets in the indoor season, three times in the 60 meters, five times in the 200 meters and twice 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 also placed in the school's top-10 list in the 60 meters (second, 7.40 seconds).

On the men's side, Myles Marshall broke the indoor school record in the 800 meters at the Rod McCravy Memorial, running 1:49.35, and the 500 meters at the IC4A Championships with a time of 1:01.63. Classmate Ian West claimed top honors in the pole vault (15-9, 4.80 meters) at the Beantown Challenge, while Kieran Tuntivate owned the Crimson's best indoor mark this season in the 1,000 meters (2:28.14).

Hurdle U
Harvard boasts a plethora of talented hurdlers, led by 2015 All-America selections Autumne Franklin and Jade Miller. In the 400 meter hurdles, Miller holds the second-best time in program history (56.22), Franklin ranks third (56.65) and junior Jackie Modesett sits fourth (59.41). The trio finished 1-2-3 at the indoor Heptagonal Championships. Franklin and Modesett also appear as No. 2 and No. 3 on the all-time performance list in the 100 meter hurdles.

On the men's side, sophomore Jay Hebert led the Crimson with a 8.11 second dash in the 60 meter hurdles in the indoor season, and he ranks third all-time at Harvard in the 110 meter hurdles (14.35).

Feature Video: Jackie Modesett & Community Service

Record Holders
Four Crimson student-athletes enter the outdoor season as the program leader in five events. Nikki Okwelogu holds the all-time Harvard mark in the shot put (56-10, 17.32m) and discus (176-5, 53.78m), with her toss in the shot put also good for the Ivy League record. Senior Madison Hansen holds the Harvard and Ivy League records in the heptathlon, topping the previous record with 5,506 points at Heps in 2015. Paige Kouba holds the Crimson record in the steeplechase (10:15.81) and Marlena Sabatino cleared the top height in the pole vault (12-8, 3.86m).

Out in Front
Who tallied the top marks for the Crimson during the indoor 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

53.03

500

Myles Marshall

1:01.63*

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

Paige Kouba

2:44.76*

Mile

Gabe Montague

4:07.40

Paige Kouba

4:43.77

3,000

Brandon Price

8:00.07

Courtney Smith

9:17.10

5,000

Brandon Price

14:32.11

Courtney Smith

15:46.44

60H

Jay Hebert

8.11

Autumne Franklin

8.42

High Jump

Spencer Lemons

2.01m

Raegan Nizdil

1.73m

Pole Vault

Andrew Roney

4.90m

Marlena Sabatino

3.95m*

Long Jump

Malcolm-Mason Rodriguez

7.14m

Gabby Thomas

5.73m

Triple Jump

Efe Uwaifo

15.92m

Gabby Thomas

12.07m

Shot Put

Julian Nunally

17.61m

Nikki Okwelogu

17.66m*

Weight Throw

Josh Whitener

17.93m

N/A

-

Hept./Pent.

Mark Hill

4,974

Madison Hansen

3,746

*School Record

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 #GoCrimson to interact with other fans.

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 two outdoor Ivy League Championships. Saretsky's tenure has seen 23 All-America performances, 32 NCAA qualifiers and 89 Heptagonal champions.

What's Next?
Harvard splits for a pair of meets March 25-26, sending student-athletes to the UMass Lowell Invitational and Raleigh Relays.