No. 14 Women, Men’s Track & Field Head South for UVA Challenge

No. 14 Women, Men’s Track & Field Head South for UVA Challenge

Montague has posted the men's fastest time in the 1,500 meters this season (Sideline Photos/The Ivy League).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Returning to action following the annual Harvard-Yale meet, Harvard track and field will compete at the UVA Challenge April 22-23 in Charlottesville, Virginia. The first events are slated to begin at 10 a.m. on Friday.

By the Numbers

  • 1: Courtney Smith ranks first nationally in the 10,000 meters after her record-breaking time of 32:08.32 at the Stanford Invitational.
  • 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.
  • 4: Four Harvard women have combined to post five times greater than the Olympic trials standard:  Gabby Thomas, Autumne Franklin, Paige Kouba and Courtney Smith.
  • 9: Harvard women's track and field defeated Yale for its ninth-straight victory in the historic rivalry last weekend in New Haven.

Setting the Stage
63 collegiate teams and 1,273 athletes will head to Virginia for the marquee event. Six of the eight Ivy teams will be in attendance, as will a plethora of major-conference schools from around the country. Harvard will be represented across the meet in 37 events.

Poll Position
Following a highly successful weekend at a trio of national meets, Harvard women's outdoor track and field leapt into the top-25 polls for the first time in program history, checking in at No. 12 on April 4. The ranking was just the third all-time for the Harvard track and field program of any kind. Ranked in the top-25 for three weeks running, the Crimson checked in at No. 14 this week.

For the full top-25, click here.

Honor Roll
Sophomore Courtney Smith was named the USTFCCCA National Athlete of the Week April 5. Smith posted the eighth-fastest time in NCAA history in the 10,000 meters (32:08.32) en route to beating the Olympic standard at the Stanford Invitational. The best mark in the NCAA this season, Smith's time shattered the Ivy League and Harvard records.

The national weekly award was the first of Smith's career.

Last Time Out
Taking to the track against its archrival, Harvard women's track and field topped Yale, 95-58, to earn its ninth-straight win while the Bulldog men edged the Crimson, 83-80, on Saturday afternoon. The Crimson successfully swept the women's 100 hurdles, long jump and pole vault and the men's 100 and javelin.

Sophomore Marlena Sabatino broke the Crimson school record in the pole vault, successfully clearing 12-9.5 (3.90m) to take first place. Junior Nikki Okwelogu paced the Crimson in the throws, tallying marks of 54-3.25 (16.54m) in the shot put and 170-10 (52.07m) in the discus to claim first place. Freshman Nicole Trenchard also picked up a victory in the javelin with a throw of 123-03 (37.55m) in her event debut. Trenchard also took second in the pole vault at 12-3.5 (3.75m), which is the fifth-best mark in program history. Both marks by the freshman were career-bests.

Full Recap: No. 12 Women's Track Picks Up Ninth-Straight Victory Over Yale, 95-58

Across the River
Sophomore Courtney Smith and junior Nikki Okwelogu were named to the 2015-16 winter Academic All-Ivy League team. The duo qualified as starters or key reserves with cumulative grade point averages of at least 3.0. Each Ivy school nominates five men and five women for the honor.

Full Release: Ivy League Announces Winter 2015-16 Academic All-Ivy Team

Pass the Baton
Harvard's relay teams have blown away the competition to start the outdoor season, with the Crimson posting school and Ivy League records in the women's 4x100 and 4x200, and a Harvard-best in the 4x400. Freshmen Ngozi Musa and Gabby Thomas, junior Jade Miller and senior Autumne Franklin hold the nation's sixth-fastest mark in the 4x200 (1:34.35) and 19th-best time in the 4x100 (44.56), while Thomas, Franklin, Miller and senior Christi Scott rank ninth nationally in the 4x400 (3:32.05).

EVENT

Men

Women

4x100

-

44.56*

4x200

1:28.14

1:34.35*

4x400

3:13.40

3:32.05*

*Denotes School Record

Setting the Standard
Fourteen different student-athletes appear at the top of the Crimson record books in a plethora of events, including 15 outdoors. Relays included, freshman Gabby Thomas leads the way with eight school records – five outdoors and three indoors – while junior Jade Miller and senior Autumne Franklin are close behind with seven and  six apiece, respectively.

Harvard's other active record holders are seniors Paige Kouba, Madison Hansen, Christi Scott and Kieran Gallagher, juniors Efe Uwaifo and Nikki Okwelogu, sophomores Matt Hurst, Marlena Sabatino and Courtney Smith and freshman Ngozi Musa and Myles Marshall.

Feature Video: Jackie Modesett & Community Service

Top Marks
Who has tallied Harvard's top results in the outdoor season?

EVENT

Men's Leader

Time/Mark

Women's Leader

Time/Mark

100

Max Mondelli

10.76

Gabby Thomas

11.30*

200

Max Mondelli

21.55

Gabby Thomas

22.75*

400

Myles Marshall

47.70

Christi Scott

55.35

800

Myles Marshall

1:48.20

Paige Kouba

2:08.42

1,500

Gabe Montague

3:48.23

Paige Kouba

4:16.46*

3,000

Brandon Price

8:19.50

Elianna Shwayder

9:59.46

5,000

Brandon Price

13:58.57

Madeleine Ankhelyi

17:30.50

10,000

Chris Allen

30:38.99

Courtney Smith

32:08.32*

100/110H

Jay Hebert

14.35

Autumne Franklin

13.47*

400H

Alex Kirby

56.98

Autumne Franklin

56.19          

3,000S

Ben Huffman

9:45.60

Paige Kouba

9:50.21*

High Jump

Spencer Lemons

6-6.75

Allison Morrison

5-7

Pole Vault

Andrew Roney

15-11

Marlena Sabatino

12-9.5*

Long Jump

Mark Hill

23-4

Gabby Thomas

19-4

Triple Jump

Efe Uwaifo

51-0.25

Floriane Kameni

37-3.75

Shot Put

Julian Nunally

55-6.25

Nikki Okwelogu

56-0.5

Discus

Julian Nunally

172-10

Nikki Okwelogu

179-5*

Hammer

Josh Whitener

171-9

-

-

Javelin

Brett Henderson

201-10

Madison Hansen

124-1

Hept./Pent.

Mark Hill

6,211

Madison Hansen

5,245

*Denotes School Record

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 and four indoor 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 the Payton Jordan Invite, at Stanford, and the Stonehill Invite next weekend, April 29-30.