CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Harvard will compete at two meets this weekend – the BU David Hemery Valentine Invitational, and the Texas Tech Shootout, both over the course of two days (Feb. 9-10). The Crimson will send several members of its women's sprints, jumps, and hurdles teams to Texas, including junior captain Gabby Thomas, as well as sophomore pentathlete Zoe Hughes and pole vaulters Marlena Sabatino and Nicole Trenchard. On the men's side, Jay Hebert (60m hurdles), Erick Duffy (60m hurdles, pole vault), and Anthony DeNitto (long jump) will make the trip to Lubbock.
Last Time Out
A standout effort by the Harvard women's 4x400m relay team, and a record breaking performance from junior captain Myles Marshall in the 800m led Harvard at the 2018 Bruce Lehane Scarlet and White Meet held at BU Track and Tennis Center on Saturday.
Closing out the meet for the Crimson in the 4x400m relay were Zoe Hughes (55.9), Gabby Thomas (52.2), Karina Joiner (55.0), and Maya Miklos (54.6), who recorded the second fastest indoor time in the event in program history, winning in 3:37.70. This was the fourth fastest time in Ivy League history as well.
Earlier in the day Marshall placed second overall in the 800m, breaking his own record in the event with a 1:47.74 finish.
On Friday, Harvard hosted the Crimson Elite meet, Thomas picking up her fourth win of the season in the 60 meter dash, taking the final in 7.32, her second fastest time of the season.
Senior captain Jay Hebert recorded a new personal mark in the 60 meter hurdles in a strong field, placing sixth in the final with a 7.96 finish, the second fastest finish in the event in program history.
Gabby Thomas Off to Flying Start
At the Columbia Challenge held at the NYC Armory last Friday, junior captain Gabby Thomas ran 7.26 for 60 meters, setting a new Ivy League record and equaling the New England record set by UConn's Trish-Ann Hawthorne (Jamaica) in 2011 - also at the Armory. Thomas broke her own school and conference record (7.29), set last year at the Ivy League Indoor Heptagonal Championships.
In The Rankings
Both the men's and women's programs are ranked in the top 10 of the latest USTFCCCA Northeast Regional Rankings, released on Jan. 22. The women's team is second in the latest rankings, while the men's team is ninth.
On the women's side, Gabby Thomas has the top time in the Northeast in the 60m dash (7.26), and 200m (23.04), while Hughes, Thomas, Joiner, and Miklos have the top 4x400m relay time (3:37.70). Sophomore Simi Fajemisin is the region's top triple jumper (12.70m, 41'8") so far this season.
For the men, Marshall has the region's top 800 meter time (1:47.74) and third fastest 400m mark (48.13).
A Year Ago
Harvard women's track and field won its fifth-consecutive Ivy League Indoor Heptagonal Championship and seventh in program history. Harvard sent four competitors to NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships - Zoe Hughes (pentathlon), Nikki Okwelogu (shotput), Judy Pendergast (5000m), and Gabby Thomas(200m). Thomas earned First Team All-America honors, and became the first Ivy League sprinter to reach an NCAA final, while Hughes and Okwelogu earned Second Team All-America distinction. Thomas set new school marks in the 60m (7.29s) and 200m (22.88) at Indoor Heps, and Simi Fajemisin broke school records in the long jump (6.09m) and triple jump (12.96m) at Indoor Heps.
Eight members of the women's team earned All-Ivy recognition. On the men's side, three members of the team captured individual Heps crowns – Efe Uwaifo (triple jump), Anthony DeNitto (long jump), and Myles Marshall (800m). The men's 4x400 meter relay team of James Heckendorn, Myles Marshall, Matt Hurst, and Alexander Moore set a new school record at the IC4A Championships, placing first in the preliminary round with a time of 3:10.84, while Marshall lowered his own school record in the 800m run (1:48.17).
At the Helm:
Jason Saretsky begins his 12th season at the helm of men's and women's track and field and cross country programs at Harvard in 2017-18. Saretsky's position, The William W. "Bill" McCurdy Director of Track and Field/Cross Country, became the 17th endowed coaching position at Harvard in the spring of 2013. Saretsky is just the 10th person to serve as head coach of the track and field program since Harvard began formal competition in 1874.
During Saretsky's tenure with the Crimson, Harvard has had 37 All-America performances, including eight in the 2016-17 season alone. The 2017 Ivy League Women's Outdoor Track and Field Coach of the Year, Saretsky has also mentored 48 NCAA qualifiers, 136 NCAA regional qualifiers, coached to nine individual ECAC/IC4A titles with 112 Heptagonal champions, and countless school records have fallen with more than 250 marks added to the program's top-10 list. For the first time in program history and the second time in Ivy League history, the Harvard women's team completed the triple crown in 2016-17 - winning cross country, indoor track and field and outdoor track and field Ivy League Heptagonal championships.
Harvard will begin preparations for the 2018 Ivy League Heptagonal Championships, to be hosted by Dartmouth on Feb. 24-25.