Track Athletes Compete in Florida and New Jersey

Just like the weather in Cambridge last week, the outdoor track and field season is beginning to heat up.

With two weeks of outdoor competition under its belt, the Harvard track and field team once again split up over the weekend, sending athletes to the Florida Relays in Gainesville, Fla. and the Sam Howell Invitational, which was hosted by Princeton.

“There were some spectacular performances, especially down in Florida,” Crimson coach Jason Saretsky said. “Both groups got in some good competition and I’m really excited for how things are shaping up for the championship part of our season.”

FLORIDA RELAYS

The Crimson saw some of the strongest teams in the nation at the Florida Relays, facing a massive field that included the host Gators, whose men and women are ranked No. 3 and No. 4, respectively, by the USTFCCCA.

Harvard turned in four top-10 finishes at the elite invitational, including its men’s and women’s 1600-meter sprint medley relay teams. The men’s team took home fifth place in the event, finishing in 3:24.49, while the women’s team finished in sixth place with a time of 3:57.68.

The most impressive performance of the weekend came from the women’s 4x400-meter relay team, which set a new school record in the event. The team of freshmen Autumne Franklin and Christi Scott, junior Olivia Abbate, and sophomore Gabrielle Scott averaged roughly 55 second splits to finish in 3:40.42. While the performance was stellar by Ivy standards, it earned just 14th place at the stacked meet.

“The level of competition is unbelievable,” Saretsky said. “I feel like our student-athletes rose to the occasion and had some outstanding performances.”

Franklin also impressed in the 100 and 400-meter hurdles events, taking 15th and 11th place, respectively, with a pair of personal-best times.

SAM HOWELL INVITATIONAL

Sophomore thrower Igor Liokumovich placed in both the shot put and discus at the meet. Liokumovich took home fourth in the discus and second in the shot put behind a 16.65-meter hurl.

“In terms of the outdoor season, I feel like I’m in a good place to finish strong,” Liokumovich said. ”

—Staff writer Dominic A. Martinez can be reached at dmartinez@college.harvard.edu. Follow him on Twitter @dominicmTHC.

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