While the Harvard track and field team divided over the weekend, the conquering didn’t come quite as easily.
Some members of the squad headed to the Sunshine State to compete in the North Florida Invitational against some of the nation’s elite teams, only managing one win, while others stayed closer to campus and took care of business at the Tufts Snowflake Classic.
NORTH FLORIDA INVITATIONAL
Harvard was up against some of the nation’s best track and field teams at the North Florida Invitational in Jacksonville, Fla. The squad was pitted against a field that included Auburn University, the University of South Carolina, and Florida State University, and the University of Virginia.
“It was intimidating at first...but it’s kind of cool being the underdogs,” freshman Erika Veidis said.
The Crimson embraced its role as the underdog and was able to notch a number of top-five performances, including some personal records.
Junior Nico Weiler earned Harvard’s only event win of the meet in the pole vault. Weiler cleared 5.30 meters, a mark just shy of the school record, to take home the victory.
But Weiler wasn’t the Crimson’s only field athlete who impressed at the meet.
In his first collegiate meet, Freshman Dean Sullivan finished in third place in the javelin with a heave of 67.00 meters. The rookie’s mark is the second best in school history.
While most members of the Harvard squad had the entire indoor season to compete in their respective events, Sullivan and the team’s other javelin throwers are just beginning to see competition, as the javelin throw is limited to outdoor track.
“Dean is doing a great job of listening to [throwing coach Cathrine Grace Erickson],” Harvard coach Jason Saretsky said. “His throw was better than he threw in high school by about a meter. There’s still quite a bit to work on, but I’m excited about what’s to come for him.”
On the women’s side, senior Kailyn Kuzmuk posted the best performance of her career in the 1500m run. Following a rough start to the race, Kuzmuk was able to make her way up to the front of the pack and finish in third place with a personal-best time of 4:26.05. The veteran’s time ranks fifth all time for the Crimson.
“[Kuzmuk] ran like a seasoned veteran,” Saretsky said. “I was thrilled with way she competed.”
Florida State was otherwise dominant in the women’s 1500, placing four runners in the top seven spots with senior Violah Lagat taking first.
The Crimson women did its best to steal a page from the Seminoles’ book in the 800m run. Veidis and fellow first-year Molly Renfer, as well as senior Meghan Looney all finished in the top seven places in the event. The trio finished in third, sixth, and seventh places, respectively.