No. 12 Women, Men’s Track & Field Gear Up for Ivy League Heptagonal Championships

The Harvard women are looking for their third title in a row (Harvard Track & Field).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Fourteen meets over seven weeks have led the No. 12 women and men's track and field teams to the 2016 Ivy League Heptagonal Championships, hosted by Princeton May 7-8 at Weaver Stadium. The second day of the action will be broadcast on the Ivy League Digital Network.

By the Numbers

  • 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 Crimson student-athletes rank in the top-10 nationally in their respective events: Gabby Thomas (10th, 200), Courtney Smith (2nd, 10,000), Autumne Franklin (5th, 400H), Paige Kouba (4th, 3,000S) and Nikki Okwelogu (9th, shot put). Harvard also ranks sixth in the 4x200 relay.
  • 6: Five Harvard women have combined to post six times that qualify for the U.S. Olympic Trials:  Thomas, Franklin, Kouba, Smith and Jade Miller.
  • 21: Harvard's school records – indoor and outdoor combined – have fallen in an astonishing 21 different events this season.

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, signifying the program's highest all-time ranking. The squad checked in at No. 12 this week, and was the fifth ranking of the season.

For the full top-25, click here.

#RecordBreakers

Scouting the Field
Harvard's women enter the Ivy championships as the highest ranked team by 43 spots. Princeton is the only other Ivy team to appear in the national top-100 rankings, while Cornell and Dartmouth follow at No. 105 and No. 113, respectively. Cornell was the last Ivy program to top the Crimson for the title.

On the men's side, Penn enters the competition slotted at No. 29 nationally, while Cornell, Princeton and Yale also appear in the top-100. Harvard is fifth among Ivy contenders in the national rankings.

Last Time Out
Competing for the final time before the 2016 Ivy League Heptagonal Championships, Harvard sent student-athletes to the Penn Relays and the Stonehill Invitational, where the No. 10 Crimson women and men combined for four event victories.

Junior Nikki Okwelogu took first in the shot put at the Penn Relays with a toss of 56-3.75 (17.16m). The throw was 10 inches greater than Tennessee's Cassie Wertman, and is her second victory in as many weeks after taking first at the UVA Challenge a week ago.

Harvard also got career-best performances from freshman Kieran Tuntivate in the 3,000 steeplechase, with a time of 9:20.87, and sophomore Fiona Davis in the 10,000, clocking in at 37:01.38. Tuntivate bested his previous career-best by nearly 30 seconds.

Full Recap: Okwelogu Wins Shot Put at Penn Relays

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.

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

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

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.

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

Heading Indoors
Harvard's women captured the indoor Heps championship in February, led by Most Outstanding Track Athlete Autumne Franklin. The women piled up 136.5 points to earn its fourth-straight crown, while the men's team slotted fifth with 46 points.

Feature Video: Jackie Modesett & Community Service

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.

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.

What's Next?
Following Heps, Harvard will send some of its qualified student-athletes to the IC4A/ECAC Championships at Princeton May 12-14.