Harvard Track and Field Teams with Yale to Defeat Oxford-Cambridge

After an afternoon of running, jumping and throwing, the trophies would remain in Cambridge – Cambridge, MA that is.

In the 44th meeting of the Harvard-Yale combined track team against Oxford-Cambridge, the Americans proved dominant winning 27-11 on Tuesday at the McCurdy Outdoor Track. The meet, which is held biennially in a rotating venue, is the world’s oldest continuous international amateur athletic competition and awards points based solely on the first place winner of each event.

Crimson athletes, just a matter of days after besting the Bulldogs in New Haven, joined forces with their Ancient Eight rivals, even competing on combined relay teams.

“Teaming up with Yale is an interesting experience because our entire Harvard work ethic is about this rivalry and how we’re supposed to do whatever we can to beat them,” senior Fedor Garin said. “Now we’re alongside them which is fun because it makes us realize that even though we’re pitted against them, we’re pretty much the same people.”

The American men, who bested the Brits 13-6, found particular strength in the field events. The jumpers leapt to the podium in every event while the throwers captured all but one, the javelin throw.

Yale senior Michael Levine set the mark in the hammer and discus throw with marks of 56.47 and 51.59 meters, respectively. In the shot put, Harvard went 1-2-3- with sophomore Igor Liokumovich taking the top spot with a 17.56 meter throw, tailed by teammates junior Dustin Brode and sophomore Ben Glauser. Liokumovich was the second place finisher in the discus.

A trio of Crimson jumpers, Garin and fellow senior Nico Weiler, along with sophomore Malcolm Mason-Rodriguez, swept the jumping events. Mason-Rodriguez topped the field in the long and triple jump while Weiler, who owns the school record in the pole vault, won his signature event by nearly half a meter and Garin averaged two meters to win the high jump.

“Everyone has been after it for a while especially because we remember our trip two years ago to England,” Garin said. “I had a very good meet. I didn’t PR but I was pretty close to it. I really enjoyed the company of the jumpers from Oxford and Cambridge.”

The competitors on the track found a tougher time from the nation that produced Roger Bannister, as Oxford-Cambridge runners were able to win five of the 11 races.

Sophomore Connor McCarthy, who won the 100 and 200-meter events this weekend at Yale, broke the 200-meter meet record held since 1965 with a time of 21.10 seconds. Harvard sprinters brought home the points in the 100-meter dash and 110-meter hurdles, with wins from junior Damani Wilson and sophomore Jarvis Harris. Senior Jakob Lindaas outpaced his competitor from the other Cambirdge, Tom Watkins, by just one second in the 3000-meter steeplechase.

The women made quick work of their Oxford-Cambridge foes, disposing of them 14-5. Junior co-captain Adabelle Ekechukwu, who is also a Crimson arts and multimedia editor, vanquished the previous meet record in the hammer throw by over three meters. Her 55.81 meters is also a new personal best.

Senior Shannon Watt won both the discus and the shot put and teammate Mary Hirst won the javelin with a throw of 38.08 meters, a mark almost seven meters ahead of the second place competitor, Yale’s Megan Toon.

More records were extinguished in the 200-meter dash. While Nadine Prill of Oxford won the event in 24.64 seconds, Harvard sophomore Gabrielle Scott’s time of 24.68 also set her below the preview meet record of 24.82 seconds.

Speed continued to be on Harvard’s side as the Crimson also prevailed in the 100-meter hurdles, 100-meter dash and 400-meter run. A joint Harvard-Yale team scampered to a winning time of 47.30 seconds in the 4x100 relay, holding nearly three seconds on the British sprinters. The Bulldogs provided wins in distance events, capturing the 3000-meter steeplechase, 1500-meter run and 5000-meter run.

The meet has a history stretching back to 1899, when Cantabs and Elis traveled across the pond to compete against their British peers. The combined Harvard-Yale team has now won five straight meets.

“It’s a big honor to be part of such an incredibly historical event,” coach Jason Saretsky said. “This predates the Modern Olympics.”

—Staff writer Cordelia F. Mendez can be reached at cordeliamendez@college.harvard.edu. Follow her on Twitter @CrimsonCordelia.

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