Harvard track and field will compete at several events around the nation this weekend. (Gil Talbot)
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Harvard indoor track and field will send student-athletes to four meets across the country this weekend (Feb. 10-11), including the Husky Classic (University of Washington), the Don Kirby Invitational (University of New Mexico), the Tyson Invitational (University of Arkansas), and the Valentine Invitational (Boston University).
Sixty-three student-athletes will compete for Harvard this weekend, including seven (Brooke Starn, Erin Dietz, Eliza Rego, Elianna Shwayder, Lisa Tertsch, Judy Pendergast) at the Husky Classic, six (Simi Fajemisin, Zoe Hughes, Karina Joiner, Jade Miller, Ngozi Musa, Gabby Thomas) at the Tyson Invitational, and ten at the Don Kirby Invitational (Matthew Miller, Andrew Roney, Ian West, Anthony DeNitto, Jay Hebert, Donagh Mahon, Raegan Nizdil, Efe Uwaifo, Nicole Trenchard, Marlena Sabatino).
Forty Harvard athletes will compete locally at the Valentine Invitational (Malcolm Johnson, Alexander Moore, Sylvia Deppen, Livia Gauntlett, Micah Meekins, James Heckendorn, Alex Kirby, Tom Rienas, Will Rienas, Randall Raymond, Garrett Rouser, Jacob McLennan, Matthew Hurst, Sarah Gillespie, Jonas Aranda, Liam Hackett, Michael Kolor, Myles Marshall, Miranda Sadler, Nick Lidner, Gabe Montague, Thomas Negron, Gillian Meeks, Will Battershill, Louis Colson, Robert Hope, Kaio Kruse, Collin Price, Tyler Spear, Kieran Tuntivate, Nathan Williams Floriane Kameni, Nikki Okwelogu, Gunnar Allison, Julian Nunally, Mitch Valko, Josh Whitener, Joe Luongo, Charlie Davis, Fiona Davis)
In addition to competing at the Valentine Invitational, Myles Marshall will head to New York to compete in the Mel Sheppard 1,000 meter run at the Millrose Games in New York on Saturday.
LAST TIME OUT
The Harvard University track and field team hosted the Crimson Elite meet last weekend, the final home event of the indoor season, welcoming 12 teams from around the country to Gordon Indoor Track. Harvard's men's team finished second overall with 62 points, while the women's team placed sixth with 28 points.
In track events, freshman Will Battershill won the men's mile, finishing in 4:18.57 in his indoor debut.
Sophomore Gabby Thomas finished third in the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.44 seconds. Jade Miller took eighth place in the 60-meter hurdles final, finishing in 8.55 seconds, her best time of the season.
Full Recap: Several Standouts Pace Track and Field at Crimson Elite
Harvard also sent select student athletes to the Scarlet and White Invitational at BU last Sunday. The highlight of the day was the women's 4x400-meter relay team – Zoe Hughes, Gabby Thomas, Jade Miller, and Karina Joiner - which placed first with a time of 3:39.50, the fourth fastest time in the event in Harvard history.
Sophomore Myles Marshall neared his own personal record in the 800-meter run, winning the event by outkicking Ethan Homan of Boston University to finish first in 1:48.22, the second fastest time in school history, just .05 off his own mark.
In the women's 400-meter dash, Miller took fourth place with a time of 54.39, her best time in the event.
Full Recap: Marshall, Women's 4x400 Relay Team Lead Track and Field at Scarlet and White Invitational
MILLER HONORED BY HEPS TRACK
Senior Jade Miller was honored by HepsTrack.com as one of three women's athletes of the week. Miller recorded her best time of the season in the 60-meter hurdles at the Crimson Elite, then recorded her best time ever in the 400m at the Scarlet and White Invitational, while running a leg on Harvard's 4x400-meter relay team that posted the Ivy League's top time in 2017 (3:39.50).
HARVARD WOMEN'S TEAM RANKED No. 24
The Harvard women's team remained at No. 24 in the latest USTFCCCA Indoor Track and Field rankings, the lone Ivy squad in the top-25.
ABOUT HARVARD TRACK AND FIELD
Harvard is led by outdoor All-American and First Team All-Ivy sophomore Gabby Thomas in the 60 meter, and outdoor All-American senior Jade Miller in the 60 meter hurdles and 400m. On the men's side, All-Ivy selections Jonas Aranda (4x800m), Myles Marshall (4x800m), and Gabe Montague (4x800m) are back in action, while team co-captain Andrew Roney will compete in the pole vault, an event he finished fourth in at the Ivy League Outdoor Championships. The men's team was ranked 9th in the USTFCCCA Northeast Regional Rankings, the third highest among Ivy institutions.
A YEAR AGO
Harvard's women's team finished the indoor season as the top-ranked program in the Northeast region, while the men's team wound up ninth. The Crimson landed a pair of student-athletes with first team All-America honors during the indoor campaign: sophomore Courtney Smith and junior Nikki Okwelogu, who both had standout preformances at the NCAA Indoor Championships.
Okwelogu and Smith took third and eighth in the shot put and 5,000 meters, respectively, to earn first team All-America honors. The duo joined an elite group of All-Americans, with Okwelogu writing her name on the list for the second time.
Okwelogu earned the bronze with a career-best throw of 57-11.25 (17.66 meters), crushing her own Harvard and Ivy League records in the process by 17.25 inches. Smith ran to an eighth-place result in the 5,000 meters to garner a first team All-America nod with a time of 16:04.86. The sophomore persevered late in the race, moving up three spots over the final 2,000 meters.
Last year, several Crimson standouts kicked off their collegiate careers with unprecedented performances. Gabby Thomas tallied 10 individual victories through eight meets in the indoor season, three times in the 60 meters, five times in the 200 meters and twice in the long jump to lead the freshman class. She owns the school and Ivy records in the 60 and 200 meters. Fellow sprinter Ngozi Musa also placed in the school's top-10 list in the 60 meters (second, 7.40 seconds).
On the men's side, Myles Marshall broke indoor school records in the 800 meters at the Rod McCravy Memorial, running 1:49.35, and the 500 meters at the IC4A Championships with a time of 1:01.63. Classmate Ian West claimed top honors in the pole vault (15-9, 4.80 meters) at the Beantown Challenge, while Kieran Tuntivate owned the Crimson's best indoor mark last season in the 1,000 meters (2:28.14).
RECAPPING CROSS COUNTRY
At the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships on Oct. 29, sophomore Kieran Tuntivate's 18th place finish (24:16.8) was the top performance for the Harvard men as the team took eighth overall. Tuntivate represented the team at the NCAA Northeast Regional Championships on Nov. 11 at Van Cortlandt Park in New York, placing 23rd overall with a 31:16.40 finish on the 10k course. Tuntivate's finish was the highest by a Harvard sophomore at that event since 2008, and he earned USTFCCCA All-Region honors by finishing in the top-25.
It was a historic season for women's cross country, which earned its first team bid to the NCAA National Championships since 2012, placing 26th overall. Junior Courtney Smith earned USTFCCCA All-America recognition (20:21.1) by finishing 35th overall. Harvard qualified for NCAAs by virtue of its second place finish at the NCAA Regional Championships on Nov. 11 at Van Cortlandt Park in New York. The second place showing was the highest finish at that event in program history, as junior Courtney Smith finished second overall in 20:13.90, leading a group of five Harvard runners who each finished in the top 26 of the race. Smith, freshman Judy Pendergast (6th, 20:38.00), sophomore Erin Dietz (17th, 20:57.00) and junior Elianna Shwayder (20th, 21:08.30) each earned USTFCCCA All-Region honors.
History was made at the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships on Oct. 29, Courtney Smith won the individual title in 20:19.6 to lead the Crimson to its first Heps title since 1985 and seventh overall in program history. Smith's finish, the first individual title for Harvard since Suzanne Jones in 1989, was part of an outstanding team performance for the Crimson. Harvard's top five finishers placed in the top 12 of the race, as the Crimson totaled 33 points, ahead of Yale (69 points), and Penn (77 points) on the podium.
Use the Social Stream on GoCrimson.com to stay connected with the Crimson on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube this year. The Social Stream brings the conversation from all four platforms into one convenient location, allowing fans of all Harvard Athletics teams to monitor the action in real time.
Follow @HarvardTrack_XC on Twitter for updates during the competition.
AYE AYE, CAPTAIN
Seniors Julian Nunally Andrew Roney, and Efe Uwaifo were elected captains for the 2016-17 season on the men's side, while the women's squad will be led by seniors Madeleine Ankhelyi and Raegan Nizdil. Roney is in his second year as captain while the remaining selections are in their first season as captains of the Harvard track and field team.
AT THE HELM
Jason Saretsky is in his 11th season as the William W. "Bill" McCurdy Director of Track and Field Cross Country, and during his tenure the Crimson women have tallied three indoor Ivy League Championships. Saretsky's tenure has seen 29 All-America performances, 40 NCAA qualifiers and 99 Heptagonal champions during the indoor season.
Harvard will have two weeks to prepare for the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships on Feb. 25-26 in New York.