Men’s Track and Field Places Third in the Columbia Challenge; Women Place Fourth

T&F action photo Will Battershill running
Photo Courtesy: Svenne Juul

NEW YORK, N.Y.- Seniors Kieran Tuntivate and Will Battershill led the Crimson in day two of the Columbia Challenge, placing first and third in the men's mile run. Tuntivate (4:06.60) and Battershill (4:08.60) both ran personal bests, with Battershill crushing his previous record by over 10 seconds. The men's team finished the meet in third place with 59 points behind UCLA and Connecticut. The women's team placed fourth with 48.1 points. Both the men's and women's team competed against 17 other schools.

First-Year Chet Ellis led the field events placing first in the men's high jump, hitting the 2.05m (6' 08.75") mark. Junior Erick Duffy cleared 5.25m (17'-02.75") in the men's pole vault, good enough for a fourth-place finish. For the second day in a row senior Simi Fajemisin placed in the top-five of her respective event, capturing a third-place finish in the women's triple jump (12.74m / 41'09.75"). First-year Mayi Hughes placed in the top-10 in the same event reaching 11.96m (39'03.00"), awarding her seventh place. Junior Kendall Bensche also placed seventh in a five-way tie, hitting the 1.65m (5' 05.00") mark in the women's high jump. Three Crimson athletes placed top-20 in the women's weight throw, led by first-year Stephanie Ratcliffe finishing third (17.93m / 58' 10.00").

Sophomore Katina Martin ran a 24.08 second 200m dash good enough for third, while junior Olivia Okoli placed 14th crossing the finish line in 24.68. Martin's time in the 200m dash ranks her third in the Harvard record books. Junior Rodney Agyare-May contributed to the men's overall third-place finish running a 48.71 400m relay, good enough for fifth place. The men's 4X400m relay (Gregory Lapit, Jovahn Williamson , Agyare-May, Aaron Shirley) was awarded a fifth-place finish with a time of 3:14.14, while the women's 4X400m dash (Zoe Hughes, Sharelle Samuel, Katina Martin, Karina Joiner) placed ninth, finishing in 3:47.50.

Highlights

  • Fajemisin has placed top-five in every event she has competed in during the 2019-20 season.
  • The men's team was just two points behind second place UCLA, who was ranked 14th in the preseason. 
  • The women's team defeated No. 14 Penn State and No. 23 UCLA. 
  • Tuntivate improved his personal best in the mile by nearly three seconds, previously set at the Columbia Challenge in the 2016-17 season.
  • Fourteen athletes placed in the top-10 on day two of the meet.
  • Senior Gillian Meeks recorded a personal best in the women's mile with a time of 4:54.25, placing her seventh.

What's Next
Harvard will return home to host the Crimson Elite, Jan. 31. The Crimson will face off against 13 teams, with action being broadcast on ESPN+.