CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Harvard heads to the 2018 Ivy League Indoor Heptagonal Championships, hosted by Dartmouth at Leverone Field House on Feb. 24-25 with competition beginning at 11 a.m. each day.
Women Seek Heps History
Harvard women's track and field is seeking to become the first women's program to win six straight Ivy League Indoor Heptagonal Championship titles since Cornell (2002-07), and the second men's or women's squad ever to accomplish that feat.
By The Numbers
2: At the BU Bruce Lehane Scarlet and White Invitational, the Harvard women's 4x400 relay team - Zoe Hughes (55.9), Gabby Thomas (52.2), Karina Joiner (55.0), and Maya Miklos (54.6) - recorded the second fastest indoor time in the event in program history, winning in 3:37.70. This was the fourth fastest time in Ivy League history as well.
7: Junior captain Myles Marshall is seventh on the NCAA Indoor Qualifying list in the 800 meters, having set a new school record with his 1:47.74 mark at the BU Bruce Lehane Scarlet and White Invitational.
7.26: Junior captain Gabby Thomas set a new Ivy League record and equaled the New England record set by UConn's Trish-Ann Hawthorne (Jamaica) in 2011 in the 60-meter dash at the Columbia Challenge.
7.96: At the Crimson Elite meet, senior captain Jay Hebert recorded a new personal mark in the 60m hurdles in a strong field, placing sixth in the final with a 7.96 finish, the second fastest finish in the event in program history.
Last Time Out
On Feb. 9 at the Texas Tech Shootout, junior captain Gabby Thomas swept her two trademark events, winning the 60-meter dash on Friday in 7.32 (her fifth win of the year in the event), before taking the 200-meter dash on Saturday in 22.95, her fastest time of the season in the event and a new meet and facility record at the Texas Tech Sports Performance Center. Freshman Olivia Okoli also made the final in the 60-meter dash, taking fifth place (7.51). Sophomore Simi Fajemisin placed second overall in the triple jump with a 41'6.5" effort. In the 600-meter run, Maya Miklos recorded her best time in the event in 1:32.26, placing fourth. Senior captain Jay Hebert matched his career best time in the 60-meter hurdles, finishing in third place in 7.96.
At the BU David Hemery Valentine Invitational Abbe Goldstein took 18th in 9:33.51, the eighth fastest indoor time in the event in program history. Harvard's 4x400-meter relay team – Matt Hurst, Myles Marshall, Jovahn Williamson, Rodney Agyare-May – placed second overall and first among collegiate programs with a 3:12.35 finish, the second fastest time in program history.
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 Feb. 19. The women's team is second in the latest rankings, while the men's team is eighth.
On the women's side, Gabby Thomas has the top time in the Northeast in the 60m dash (7.26), and 200m (22.95), while Hughes, Thomas, Joiner, and Miklos have the top 4x400m relay time (3:37.70). Sophomore Simi Fajemisin is the region's top triple jumper (12.70m, 41'8") so far this season. Hughes also is third in the Northeast with a season-best 3,813 points (Texas Tech Shootout) in the pentathlon.
For the men, Marshall has the region's top 800-meter time (1:47.74), while senior Matt Hurst has the region's sixth-fastest 400-meter time (48.12). The men's 4x400-meter relay team of Matt Hurst, Myles Marshall, Jovahn Williamson, and Rodney Agyare-May has the second fastest time (3:12.35).
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 sent select student-athletes to compete at the IC4A/ECAC Championships, hosted by Boston University on March 3-4.