No. 10 Women, Men’s Track & Field Splits For Final Pre-Heps Tune-Ups

No. 10 Women, Men’s Track & Field Splits For Final Pre-Heps Tune-Ups

Harvard will compete at the Penn Relays and Stonehill Invite (Gil Talbot).

  • Meet Schedule:   Penn  |  Stonehill

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The 2016 Ivy League Heptagonal Championships are coming into focus on the horizon, but the No. 10 women's and men's track and field teams will first split for the Penn Relays and Stonehill Invite April 28-May 1.

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.
  • 5: Five Harvard women have combined to post six times that qualify for the U.S. Olympic Trials:  Gabby Thomas, Autumne Franklin, Paige Kouba, Jade Miller and Courtney Smith.
  • 21: Harvard's school records – indoor and outdoor combined – have fallen in an astonishing 21 different events this season.

Setting the Stage
The 122nd edition of the Penn Relays will have thousands of athletes and, potentially, up to 100,000 spectators in attendance for the 13th time since the turn of the century. The action at Franklin Field is set to begin Thursday at 9 a.m. and finish up Saturday evening. Harvard will have 12 student-athletes entered in nine events.

Harvard will also send student-athletes to Stonehill College, where action will get underway at 10:30 a.m. at WB Mason Stadium.

Poll Position
Following another highly successful weekend, Harvard women's outdoor track and field jumped to No. 10 in the USTFCCCA national rankings on April 27. The ranking is the fourth of the season for the Crimson women, and marks the first time an Ivy League program has vaulted into the top-10.

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
Placing a number of student-athletes in its all-time top-10 lists, Harvard track and field recorded a series of top performances at the UVA Challenge April 22-23 at Lannigan Field.

Junior Nikki Okwelogu tallied a pair of elite performances in the throws, breaking records in both the discus and the shot put. The Fresno, California native topped her own Harvard record in the discus with a toss of 180-8 (55.08m) to place fourth overall. The throw traveled the second-farthest distance in Ivy history. Earlier in the meet, she notched a first-place finish in the shot put at 55-3 (16.84m), breaking her own meet record in the process.

Senior Autumne Franklin dashed to victory in the 400 hurdles, crossing the line in a career-best 55.70 seconds. The time ranks second in the all-time Harvard and Ivy League record books, broke the Lannigan Field and meet records, and is currently the fifth-fastest time in the world. The senior also finished ninth in the 100 hurdles after crossing the stripe in 13.62 seconds. Junior Jade Miller took third in the 400 hurdles in 56.44, and was 22nd in the 100 hurdles with a time of 14.17.

Full Recap: Franklin, Okwelogu Lead No. 14 Women's Track & Field at UVA Challenge

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 22nd-best time in the 4x100 (44.56), while Thomas, Franklin, Miller and senior Christi Scott rank 10th nationally in the 4x400 (3:32.05).

EVENT

Men

Women

4x100

42.83

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

Elianna Shwayder

16:40.06

10,000

Chris Allen

29:54.91

Courtney Smith

32:08.32*

100/110H

Jay Hebert

14.35

Autumne Franklin

13.47*

400H

Alex Kirby

56.98

Autumne Franklin

55.70

3,000S

Ben Huffman

9:45.60

Paige Kouba

9:50.21*

High Jump

Spencer Lemons

6-6.75

Allison Morrison

5-8.75

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

52-5.25

Floriane Kameni

37-3.75

Shot Put

Julian Nunally

55-6.25

Nikki Okwelogu

56-0.5

Discus

Julian Nunally

176-8

Nikki Okwelogu

180-8*

Hammer

Josh Whitener

171-9

-

-

Javelin

Brett Henderson

201-10

Madison Hansen

124-1

Dec./Hept.

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 heads to Princeton for the 2016 Ivy League Heptagonal Championships May 7-8. The Crimson women will search for their third Heps triumph in a row.