Quartet of Runners Qualify for Olympic Trials at Florida Relays, Stanford Invitational

Quartet of Runners Qualify for Olympic Trials at Florida Relays, Stanford Invitational

Smith, Kouba, Franklin and Thomas tallied school records over the weekend (Gil Talbot).

STANFORD, Calif. – Sending student-athletes to a trio of highly-regarded national meets, Harvard track and field continued its trend of breaking school and Ivy records at the Florida Relays and Stanford Invitational. Additionally, Harvard now has four Olympic trials qualifiers in five events.

Sophomore Courtney Smith and senior Paige Kouba led the team on the west coast, with Smith posting the eighth-fastest time in NCAA history in the 10,000 meters (32:08.32) en route to beating the Olympic standard. The best mark in the NCAA this season, Smith's time shattered the Ivy League and Harvard records by 35.8 and 42.9 seconds, respectively, and was 2:45 better than her previous career-best. Smith took sixth place in the event, and was the top collegiate finisher.

Kouba, meanwhile, won the 3,000 meter steeplechase with a time of 9:50.21 to set a new Harvard record. The co-captain crossed the line ahead of the USATF Olympic trials standard, and she owns the best mark in the country to this point. Kouba's career-best mark is the second-fastest run in Ivy League history.

Junior Brandon Price also competed at the Stanford Invitational, taking 26th in a competitive 5,000 meters field in a personal-best 13:58.57. The time is the fifth-fastest in the Crimson record books.

Nearly 3,000 miles away, Harvard track and field set four Harvard school records at the Florida Relays. The team combined for nine performances that rank in the top-10 in program history, including four in individual events.

Freshman Gabby Thomas broke a pair of Harvard and Ivy League records in the 100 and 200 meters. Thomas crossed the stripe in 11.30 seconds in the 100 meters, breaking the program record by nearly three tenths of a second, and broke her own mark in the 200 with a time of 22.75. Thomas, who also set a New England-best in the 200, now holds the Harvard record in the 200 meters by 1.39 seconds. The first-year runner's time in the 200 cleared the threshold for the Olympics for the second-consecutive week, and she also beat the mark in the 100.

In the 100 meter hurdles, senior Autumne Franklin led the way with a school-record performance of 13.47 seconds that broke Brenda Taylor '01's 15-year record. The time is the second-fastest in the Ancient Eight record books as she finished 19th overall. The co-captain also placed second in the 400 meter hurdles with a time of 56.81, while junior Jade Miller took fifth in 57.63. Franklin's mark in the 400 hurdles passed the mark for the USATF Olympic Trials, and is the third-fastest mark nationally. Miller's time ranks 11th in the NCAA.

The women's 4x400 meter relay team broke a school record with a time of 3:32.05. Thomas, Franklin, senior Christi Scott and Miller tallied splits of 51.4, 53.4, 54.2 and 53.0, respectively. Harvard also posted a strong time in the women's sprint medley relay to place second in program history. Both relay squads placed fifth overall, while the 4x100 meter relay took 12th in 44.70.

Scott also posted the fifth-fastest time in Harvard history in the 400 meters, crossing the finish in a career-record 55.35 seconds. She finished 31st overall.

On the men's side, freshman Myles Marshall posted the fifth-best mark in Crimson history in the 800 meters with a time of 1:48.20. The career-best time was good for ninth-place, and he was the third-quickest freshman.

Sophomore Gabe Montague finished the 1,500 meters in 3:48.23 to slot in at No. 10 in the Crimson record books. A personal best, Montague took 22nd in the event.

The Harvard men's relays posted fifth- and sixth-place outings in the distance and sprint medley relays, respectively, and tallied the sixth-fastest mark in program history in the 4x400 relay with a time of 3:13.40. The group took 20th overall.

Harvard also sent student-athletes to the Texas Relays, where senior Madison Hansen took 19th in the heptathlon at the Texas Relays with a score of 5,245.

Harvard track and field splits for a pair of meets April 8-9 with the Hurricane Alumni Invitational, hosted by Miami, and Princeton's Sam Howell Invite.