CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Harvard track and field will send two student-athletes to the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, hosted by the University of Oregon at historic Hayward Field on June 6-9. Representing Harvard will be sophomore Simi Fajemisin (triple jump) and junior Gabby Thomas (100m, 200m). All four days of action will be streamed on ESPN3, and available on TV on ESPN and ESPN2.
Thomas will begin competition on Thursday (June 7) with the 100m semifinal (5:16 pm PT) followed by the 200m semifinal (6:14 pm PT), while Fajemisin will compete on the final day of the meet, with the women's triple jump kicking off at 3:40 pm PT on Saturday (June 9). Finals for the women's 100m (4:22 pm PT) and 200m (5:07 pm PT) will take place on Saturday as well.
How They Got Here
Sophomore Simi Fajemisin
Event: Triple Jump
Qualifying Mark: 42'4" (11th, NCAA East Preliminary)
When to Watch: Finals: Saturday (6:40 pm ET)
Notes: Fajemisin will make her NCAA Outdoor Championship debut this weekend in the triple jump after a record-breaking season for the Crimson. Fajemisin broke a 17-year Harvard outdoor record in the event previously held by Dora Gyorffy '01 after winning the triple jump at the Texas Relays with a 42'10.75" effort. She is the first Harvard student-athlete to qualify for the NCAA Outdoor meet in the women's triple jump. Fajemisin won the triple jump at the Ivy League Outdoor Heptagonal Championships, also placing third in the long jump at Heps.
Junior Gabby Thomas
Events: 100 meters, 200 meters
Qualifying Time (100m): 10.99 (2nd, NCAA East Preliminary)
When to Watch: Semifinals: Thursday (8:16 pm ET), Finals: Saturday (7:22 pm ET)
Qualifying Time (200m): 22.42 (1st, NCAA East Preliminary)
When to Watch: Semifinals: Thursday (9:14 pm ET), Finals: Saturday (8:07 pm ET)
Notes: Thomas, a four-time USTFCCCA All-American, heads to Eugene as one of the most decorated student-athletes that will compete at the NCAA Outdoor Championship meet. During the indoor season, Thomas became the first Ivy League women's sprinter to win an indoor national championship in the 200m, setting a new collegiate record with her 22.38 mark. Her standout year continued outdoors this spring, as The Bowerman Watch List selection ran wind-legal, school record times of 11.19 and 22.32, along with wind-aided times of 10.99 and 22.13. At Outdoor Heps, Gabby won the 100m, 200m, long jump, and ran on winning 4x100m and 4x400m relay teams. She was named Ivy League Most Outstanding Tack Performer of the Meet and Co-Most Outstanding Field Performer of the Meet. Thomas is seeking to become the first women's sprinter to win both 200m indoor and outdoor national titles since 2013 (Kimberlyn Duncan, LSU).
Last Time Out
Thirteen members of the Harvard track and field team represented the Crimson at the NCAA East Preliminary Meet on May 24-26 hosted by the University of South Florida in Tampa at USF Track & Field Stadium. Thomas (100m, 200m) and Fajemisin (triple jump) qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Championship meet, but many others had standout performances.
Also representing the women's team were Kathryn Gillespie (1500m – 40th, 4:29.59), Abbe Goldstein (1500m – 28th, 4:22.78; 5000m – 18th, 16:32.73), Anna Juul (3000m steeplechase – 41st, 10:45.54), Karina Joiner (100m hurdles – 37th, 13.57; 400m hurdles – 27th, 59.04).
For the men's team Jovahn Williamson (400m – 44th, 47.84), 4x400m relay – 16th, 3:09.60), Will Battershill (3000m steeplechase – 35th, 9:11.18), Hugo Milner (5000m – 31st, 14:36.07), Erick Duffy (pole vault – 22nd, 16-4¾), Matt Hurst (4x400m relay – 16th, 3:09.60), Rodney Agyare-May (4x400m relay – 16th, 3:09.60), and Myles Marshall (4x400m relay – 16th, 3:09.60) all represented Harvard as well.
Thomas, Tolbert Earn USTFCCCA Northeast Region Awards
Junior sprinter Gabby Thomas and associate head coach Kebba Tolbert were honored with USTFCCCA Northeast Region Awards.. Thomas earned USTFCCCA Northeast Women's Track Athlete of the Year honors, while Tolbert earned Women's Assistant Coach of the Year honors.
Tolbert, who coaches women's sprints, hurdles and horizontal jumps, saw his group score 101 of 114 points (with six event wins) in a runner-up finish at Ivy League Outdoor Heps. Tolbert's group set school records this outdoor season in the 100m, 200m, triple jump, and 100m hurdles. They also set Ivy records in the 100m and 200m, and qualified for the NCAA East Preliminary Meet in the 100m, 200m, 100m hurdles, 400m hurdles, long jump and triple jump.
Thomas ran wind-legal, school record times of 11.19 and 22.32 this spring, along with wind-aided times of 10.99 and 22.13. At Ivy League Outdoor Heps, Gabby won the 100m, 200m, long jump, and ran on winning 4x100m and 4x400m relay teams. She was named Ivy League Most Outstanding Tack Performer of the Meet and Co-Most Outstanding Field Performer of the Meet.
Outdoor Heps Highlights
At the Helm:
Jason Saretsky is in the midst of 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 39 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 50 NCAA qualifiers, 136 NCAA regional qualifiers, coached to nine individual ECAC/IC4A titles with 119 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.