Franklin and Okwelogu were named the Most Outstanding Track and Field Performers of the meet (Sideline Photos/The Ivy League).
PRINCETON, N.J. – Celebrating for the third-consecutive season, Harvard women's track and field captured the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships on Sunday at Weaver Track. The women tallied 160 points in the competition to take top honors, while the men's squad placed sixth with 46 points.
Senior Autumne Franklin was named the meets Most Outstanding Track Performer after posting victories in the 100 hurdles, 400 hurdles and 4x100 relay. The honor completes a sweep of the awards from Franklin in 2016, as she was also hailed the top track performer at the indoor championships. Junior Nikki Okwelogu was crowned the Most Outstanding Field Performer after her victories in the discus and shot put.
"I am incredibly proud of the way our men and women competed," said Jason Saretsky, The William W. 'Bill' McCurdy Director of Track & Field/Cross Country. "There were so many outstanding performances and highlights. We have a remarkable senior class that will be hard to replace and they are leaving a lasting legacy for the rest of the team to continue."
Franklin set a championships record in the 400 hurdles with a time of 55.87, and broke her own school record in the 100 hurdles in 13.47. Junior Jade Miller finished second in both events, nearing collegiate bests with times of 13.89 and 56.44, and senior Madison Hansen completed a 1-2-3 finish in the 100 hurdles with a time of 14.11.
Okwelogu, who earned a victory in the discus to open the meet, triumphed in the shot put after recording a toss of 56-3 (17.14m). The throw was nearly 12 feet longer than the second-place finisher.
Freshman Gabby Thomas recorded a pair of victories and meet records in the 100 and 200 meters, crossing the stripe in 11.55 and 23.38 seconds, respectively. Classmate Ngozi Musa took second in the 100 in 11.80, edging the field to create a 1-2 finish.
Musa, Thomas, Franklin and Miller also combined for a victory in the 4x100 relay, besting the competition in 44.85 seconds. The group set a meet record with the result.
Hansen posted a Harvard and Ivy League record in the Heptathlon with 5,530 points. 24 points above her previous career-best, Hansen tallied victories in the javelin, 100 hurdles and 800 meters en route to the victory. Senior Paige Kouba, meanwhile, ran to first place in the 3,000 steeplechase with a time of 10:05.30, and also took third in the 1,500 in 4:24.25 despite the race occurring just 30 minutes after the steeplechase.
The men's squad took sixth place with 46 points, and was led by a first-place charge in the 4x800 relay. Sophomore Gabe Montague (1:54.17), senior Malik Epps (1:52.45), junior Thomas Negron (1:51.62) and freshman Myles Marshall (1:49.79) combined for a time of 7:28.04, holding off Princeton and Cornell for the win. Marshall also took second in the 800 meters in 1:49.16, scoring eight points towards the team score.
Junior Efe Uwaifo finished second in the triple jump with a mark of 51-9.75 (15.79m), taking a momentary lead with his final jump before getting passed on the meet's last attempt, while juniors Brett Henderson and Richard Bradley landed on the podium in the javelin. Henderson took fourth with a toss of 208-10 (63.66m) while Bradley took fifth with a mark of 193-6 (58.98m). Henderson's mark was good for the fifth-best in school history.
Sophomore Jay Hebert took fourth in the 110 hurdles with a personal-best time of 14.30 seconds, which is the third-best time in program history. Senior Mark Hill finished fifth in the decathlon, winding up on the podium after scoring 6,409 points.
The Crimson men also tallied sixth-place performances from sophomore Max Mondelli and juniors Brandon Price and Julian Nunally. Mondelli posted the ninth-best time in Harvard history in the 200 meters (21.33), while Price finished the 5,000 meters in 14:25.92. Nunally registered a mark of 55-1.50 (16.80) in the shot put.
Next up, Harvard will send some of its qualified student-athletes to the IC4A/ECAC Championships at Princeton May 12-14.