The Harvard men and women’s track teams closed out their regular season this weekend, taking to the track against Ancient Eight foes Princeton and Yale on Saturday at the HYP meet in New Haven, Conn.
Despite coming off impressive showings at the Beantown Invitational on Feb. 4, the Crimson could not improve upon last year’s pair of second-place HYP finishes, as the Tigers took first on both the men’s and women’s side.
Princeton continued its strong season, racking up victories on both sides, to post totals of 114 points for the men and 90.5 points for the women, in comparison to Harvard’s 36 and 41.5 for the men’s and women’s sides, respectively.
“We went out and gave a good effort, but Princeton brought their game,” captain Claire Richardson said. “The Tigers are always tough competitors, and we really wanted to beat them and make them uncomfortable on top of the Ivies. We did our best, but we still have a ways to go.”
Nevertheless, Crimson coach Jason Saretsky seemed pleased with the result.
“The team took a big step forward in preparation for the Championships in two weeks,” Saretsky said.
Despite the disappointing overall result, Harvard’s weekend was punctuated by impressive performances by a talented class of freshmen, led by former Ivy Rookies of the Week Dustin Brode on the men’s side and Christina Twicken on the women’s side.
In the HYP meet, Brode placed second in the shot put with a throw of 16.81 meters, nearing his personal best of 17.00. Twicken, along with fellow freshman Meisha Brooks, led a 1-2 finish in the women’s 400, crossing the line in 56.69. The two would team up again later in the day, with juniors Magda Roback and Shannon Conway, to win the 4x400 in 3:46.10.
Freshman Alysha Johnson joined the party, placing second in the women’s shot put with a throw of 14.32 meters, a personal best that Saretsky called “a standout performance.”
Sophomore teammate Shannon Watt followed Johnson in second. Back on the men’s side, freshman Kobi Rex tied for second in the high jump at 1.94 meters.
“I feel like everyone is in the same mind set. We’re all working hard, and hoping it will pay off in two weeks,” Johnson said.
The performances of the freshmen this weekend also earned the respect of their upperclassmen teammates.
“The freshmen class works really hard,” Richardson said. “The team loves them, they fit in and put up results on the track. It’s definitely great to have them with the program.”
Sophomore Mary Hirst won the women’s high jump with a jump of 1.60 meters while classmate Oliva Weekes placed second in the triple jump (11.52m) and third in the long jump (5.47m) to continue a successful season. Claire Richardson took second in the 3000 with a time of 9:39.08 to close out the day.
Youth might have been a recurring theme, but Harvard’s upperclassmen were sure to represent the Crimson on the podium as well.