Nikki Okwelogu, Jason Saretsky, and Kebba Tolbert were recognized by the USTFCCCA on Sunday.
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced Sunday (June 4) that Harvard women's track and field earned three USTFCCCA NCAA Division I Northeast Region Awards. Jason Saretsky, the William W. "Bill" McCurdy Director of Track and Field/Cross Country, was named Women's Coach of the Year, Kebba Tolbert earned Women's Assistant Coach of the Year, and senior Nikki Okwelogu was named Women's Field Athlete of the Year.
Saretsky, the Ivy League Coach of the Year, guided Harvard to its fourth straight Ivy Outdoor Heps title. Harvard won eight individual Heps crowns, plus the 4x100m & 4x400m relays. Jade Miller (400m hurdles), Nikki Okwelogu (discus throw) and Gabby Thomas (100m, 200m) qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Thomas broke school marks in the 100m dash (11.24) and long jump (6.27m) and Marlena Sabatino set a new pole vault mark (3.94m). Harvard has been ranked No. 1 in the Northeast by USTFCCCA every week since April 3.
Tolbert guided Harvard's sprinters, hurdlers, and horizontal jumpers to historic feats and contributed 117 of the team's 164 points to win a fourth straight Ivy Outdoor Heps title. Eight of the team's 10 Heps titles came in events that Tolbert coaches (100m, 200m, 400m hurdles, long jump, triple jump, heptathlon, 4x100m relay, 4x400m relay). Thomas (100m, 200m) and Jade Miller (400m hurdles) qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
Okwelogu was an All-Ivy First Team and Outdoor Heps champion in the shot put, completing a career sweep (8-for-8) in Heps indoor and outdoor shot put titles, the first Ivy Leaguer ever to accomplish that feat. She placed second in the discus throw at Ivy Outdoor Heps, and earned 18 points overall for Harvard, helping the Crimson to a fourth straight Ivy Outdoor Heps title. Okwelogu qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the discus throw with the second best mark at the NCAA East meet (55.56m/182-3).
Harvard track and field will send four qualified student-athletes to the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships this week, hosted by the University of Oregon at historic Hayward Field on June 7-10. Representing Harvard will be Miller (400m hurdles), Okwelogu (discus throw), Thomas (100m, 200m) and on the men's side Efe Uwaifo (triple jump).