Seven Track and Field Athletes Prepared for NCAA Championships

Seven Track and Field Athletes Prepared for NCAA Championships

Program-record seven athletes will compete on the sport's largest stage at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Seven Harvard track and field athletes – the most in program history – head to Eugene, Ore., and Hayward Field Wednesday to compete at the NCAA Championships held at the University of Oregon.

Schedule of Athletes
On the women's side, junior Erika Veidis will be on tap first, participating in the 800m run Wednesday, June 11 at 7:45 p.m. Senior Hannah Mayer will start next on the field in the javelin throw, beginning at 8:15 p.m. Freshman Jade Miller and sophomore Autumne Franklin will close things out Wednesday at 9:30 p.m. in the 400m hurdles preliminaries.

Senior James Leakos kicks things off for the men on Wednesday at 10:15 p.m. with the 10K run. On Friday at 9:10 p.m., sophomore Tom Purnell will compete in the 5K run. Freshman Efe Uwaifo will finish the lineup in the triple jump at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, June 14.

Last Time Out
Harvard wrapped up the NCAA East Preliminaries at Hodge Stadium in its last time out, sending a program-record seven athletes to the NCAA Championships. The seven athletes bests the most for the Crimson, breaking the number sent in 1961 (six).

Last Year
Four athletes qualified for the NCAA Championships a year ago – Dustin Brode, Autumne Franklin, Maksim Korolev and Mary Hirst. The foursome earned All-American honorable mentions at the event.  

Rewriting History
Harvard has taken down 15 outdoor school records thus far in 2013-14.

At the NCAA East Regionals, senior Hannah Mayer smashed her own school record and even bested the Ivy League mark in the javelin, breaking the two week old Harvard standard by nearly two meters. Mayer registered a distance of 50.04m (164-2) to place eighth.

Also at the preliminaries, freshman Nikki Okwelogu launched the shot put a personal-best 16.05m (52-8) to place third in her flight and 16th overall. The throw bettered her own school record, breaking the mark set back at the Heptagonal Championships just three weeks prior.

Molly Renfer reset the school record with her time of 4:18.78 at the preliminaries, taking it back from Erika Veidis who had lowered it just 6 days after Renfer first broke it at the Heptagonal Championships.

Freshman Elliot Safo broke the Harvard long jump record that had held since 1921 at Heps, hopping 7.73m (25-04.50) to win the title and best Edward O. Gourdin '21. Gourdin jumped a distance of 7.69m at the Oxford-Cambridge meet July 23, 1921.

Also at the Ivy League Championship, the 4x100 meter relay squad broke the school and Ivy League record to rank first overall with a time of 45.40. Junior Ashley Collinsworth, freshman Jade Miller, sophomore Autumne Franklin and junior Danielle Barbian combined to earn the Heps title. 

At the Mt. Sac Relays, Morgan Kelly posted a time of 16:11.05 in the 5K to post the top time in Harvard history.

At the Florida Relays, juniors Danielle Barbian and Ashley Collinsworth both broke the previous school record in the 100 meter dash, clocking times of 11.66 and 11.79, respectively. The previous mark was set by Favia Merritt '09 (11.82) at Heps in 2008.

In the 4x2, Collinsworth (24.8), Barbian (24.8), Madison Hansen (24.7) and Modesett crossed the finish line in 1:39.65 to rank first in Harvard history.

Also in Florida, the sprint medley relay of Christi Scott, Gabrielle Scott, Hansen (55.8), and Molly Renfer (2.09.9) posted the fastest time in Harvard history, crossing in 3:56.36 to finish sixth in the event.

Freshman Nikki Okwelogu broke the program record and moved into sixth place in Ivy League history with a toss of 51.14 (167-09) in the discus at the UCSD Triton Invitational.

The women's 4x400 relay squad set a new school record at the Penn Relays with a time of 3:36.83. Franklin, freshman Jade Miller, freshman Jackie Modesett and Gabrielle Scott surpassed the Harvard record set a year ago

Also at the Penn Relays, Morgan Kelly broke the Harvard school record in the 3000m run with a time of 9:21.42 to rank sixth overall. The San Francisco, Calif., native bested the record from 2010 by nearly two seconds.

The DMR team of Sarah Gillespie, Olivia Abbate, Erika Veidis and Molly Renfer posted a time of 11:18.59 at Penn to hold Harvard's top spot.

The 4x800m relay squad of Paige Kouba, Molly Renfer, Kieran Gallagher and Erika Veidis posted a time of 8:43.30 to hold the school record.  

At the Larry Ellis Invite, sophomore Paige Kouba posted the fastest time in Harvard history in steeplechase, breaking her own record with a time of 10:34.22.