Women's Track and Field Clinches Fourth Straight Outdoor Heps Crown; Men (4th) Record Best Finish Since 2014

The Harvard women's track and field team won its fourth straight Ivy Outdoor Heptagonal Championship on Sunday at Yale. (Courtesy of Ivy League)

Day 1 Recap

NEW HAVEN, Conn. –
The Harvard women's track and field team won its fourth consecutive Ivy Outdoor Heps title to complete a season sweep of track and field and cross country laurels, the first time in program history that Harvard has earned the "triple crown."

The Harvard men's team had its best showing at Outdoor Heps since 2014, finishing fourth overall with 85 points, narrowly missing a spot in the top three by one point.

Sophomore sprinter Gabby Thomas was the unanimous pick for Most Outstanding Performer of the meet after winning five gold medals at Heps, taking victories in the 100-meter dash (11.15), the 200-meter dash (22.84), and being a part of two winning relay teams in addition to her win in the long jump yesterday.

Early on Sunday afternoon, Thomas teamed with Ngozi Musa, Karina Joiner, and Jade Miller to set a new Ivy League record in the 4x100-meter relay (44.42). Thomas bookended her day by running the third leg of the 4x400-meter relay, putting Harvard near the lead pack before Miller cleared the field in the final lap to help Harvard finish in 3:39.96.

Miller had a standout day as well, winning the 400-meter hurdles in 56.95, her third career Outdoor Heps crown in the event. She placed second in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 13.66.  

Musa finished right behind Thomas in the 100-meter dash in 11.39, as Thomas and Musa finished 1-2 in the event for the second straight year.

Leading the Harvard men on Sunday was senior captain Efe Uwaifo, who added to his long jump title on Saturday by taking victory in the triple jump with a 53'1" effort. Uwaifo was named Outdoor Heps Field Athlete of the Year.

Sophomore Myles Marshall won the 800-meter dash in a thrilling finish despite losing his left shoe midway through the race. Marshall edged Zachery Emrich from Brown by .05 seconds with a winning kick in the final lap, finishing in 1:53.77.

Senior Nikki Okwelogu finished a perfect Heps career in the shot put, winning her fourth Outdoor Heps title in the event (in addition to her four indoor titles). Okwelogu's third throw of the competition reached 53'11.75", more than six feet beyond her closest competitor. Okwelogu also took second place in the discus throw with a mark of 172'5".

Senior captain Raegan Nizdil capped off her career with her first individual Heps title, winning the high jump by clearing 5'7.75" on her first attempt.

Freshman Simi Fajemisin claimed her first ever individual Heps crown by winning the triple jump with a mark of 41'9.75" on her third jump of the competition.

Capping off a day of wins for the Harvard women was freshman Zoe Hughes, who won gold in both the indoor and outdoor seasons in multi-events by taking the heptathlon with 5332 points. Hughes won the 100-meter hurdles (14.05), and finished second in the high jump (5'5"), the shot put (39'1.75"), the 200-meter dash (25.30), and the long jump (18'7").

Also making her Outdoor Heps debut was freshman Judy Pendergast, who placed second in the 5000 meter run with a time of 16:36.71.

Other standouts for the men's team included freshman Donagh Mahon, who placed third in the high jump by clearing 6'9" on his first attempt. In the men's 110-meter hurdles final, junior Jay Hebert also took third place by finishing in 14.15.

One of the most impressive performances of the day came in the final men's relay of the afternoon, the 4x400-meter. Harvard's James Heckendorn, Alexander Moore, Tom Rienas and Matthew Hurst placed second in 3:12.28, with Hurst narrowly holding off Princeton's Joshua Freeman at the finish line.