CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Harvard will host a field of programs from around the country on Friday afternoon at Gordon Indoor Track when the team hosts the Crimson Elite beginning at 2 p.m. The meet will be broadcast on the Ivy League Network.
Harvard, which also hosted the H-Y-P Meet last weekend, will welcome 16 programs, including student-athletes from Albany, BU, Bucknell, Eastern Michigan, FAU, George Mason, Grand Valley State, Hampton, Jacksonville, Mississippi State, Monmouth, Morgan State, Syracuse, Towson, UMass-Lowell, and UAB.
The Crimson will also send select student-athletes to compete at the Scarlet and White meet hosted by Boston University on Feb. 3.
Last Time Out
On Saturday afternoon, it was a banner day for Harvard track and field, which competed in its first full field event of the indoor season, hosting the historic Harvard-Yale-Princeton Meet at Gordon Indoor Track. Harvard won 13 events at the H-Y-P Meet, with both the men's and women's teams placing second overall.
Highlights for Harvard included:
-Senior captain Marlena Sabatino was the last competitor standing, recording a season best mark by clearing 12'9.5" on her third attempt at that height.
-Senior captain Jay Hebert won the 60-meter hurdles with a season-best time (8.02).
-Sophomore Mike Kolor's final lap in the 4x880-yard relay brought the crowd to its feet, as he passed Princeton runner Perrin Hagge in the final 50 meters to earn the win for Harvard in 7:43.49
-The women's 4x440 yard relay team also took victory on a great third leg by sophomore Karina Joiner, who took the lead for the Crimson to set up Micah Meekins' clinching final leg. Harvard finished in 3:50.50, with Zoe Hughes and Maya Miklos kicking things off for the Crimson.
Gabby Thomas Off to Flying Start
At the Columbia Challenge held at the NYC Armory last Friday, junior captain Gabby Thomas ran 7.26 for 60 meters, setting a new Ivy League record and equaling the New England record set by UConn's Trish-Ann Hawthorne (Jamaica) in 2011 - also at the Armory. Thomas broke her own school and conference record (7.29), set last year at the Ivy League Indoor Heptagonal Championships.
In The Rankings
Both the men's and women's programs are ranked in the top 10 of the latest USTFCCCA Northeast Regional Rankings, released on Jan. 22. The women's team is third in the latest rankings, while the men's team is 10th.
A Year Ago
Harvard women's track and field won its fifth-consecutive Ivy League Indoor Heptagonal Championship and seventh in program history. Harvard sent four competitors to NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships - Zoe Hughes (pentathlon), Nikki Okwelogu (shotput), Judy Pendergast (5000m), and Gabby Thomas(200m). Thomas earned First Team All-America honors, and became the first Ivy League sprinter to reach an NCAA final, while Hughes and Okwelogu earned Second Team All-America distinction. Thomas set new school marks in the 60m (7.29s) and 200m (22.88) at Indoor Heps, and Simi Fajemisin broke school records in the long jump (6.09m) and triple jump (12.96m) at Indoor Heps.
Eight members of the women's team earned All-Ivy recognition. On the men's side, three members of the team captured individual Heps crowns – Efe Uwaifo (triple jump), Anthony DeNitto (long jump), and Myles Marshall (800m). The men's 4x400 meter relay team of James Heckendorn, Myles Marshall, Matt Hurst, and Alexander Moore set a new school record at the IC4A Championships, placing first in the preliminary round with a time of 3:10.84, while Marshall lowered his own school record in the 800m run (1:48.17).
At the Helm:
Jason Saretsky begins his 12th season at the helm of men's and women's track and field and cross country programs at Harvard in 2017-18. Saretsky's position, The William W. "Bill" McCurdy Director of Track and Field/Cross Country, became the 17th endowed coaching position at Harvard in the spring of 2013. Saretsky is just the 10th person to serve as head coach of the track and field program since Harvard began formal competition in 1874.
During Saretsky's tenure with the Crimson, Harvard has had 37 All-America performances, including eight in the 2016-17 season alone. The 2017 Ivy League Women's Outdoor Track and Field Coach of the Year, Saretsky has also mentored 48 NCAA qualifiers, 136 NCAA regional qualifiers, coached to nine individual ECAC/IC4A titles with 112 Heptagonal champions, and countless school records have fallen with more than 250 marks added to the program's top-10 list. For the first time in program history and the second time in Ivy League history, the Harvard women's team completed the triple crown in 2016-17 - winning cross country, indoor track and field and outdoor track and field Ivy League Heptagonal championships.
Harvard will send different groups to four different meets next Friday (Feb. 9), including the Don Kirby Invite, the Valentine Invite, the Husky Classic, and the Texas Tech Shootout.