Harvard has another banner to raise as the women’s track and field team took the top spot at this weekend’s Heptagonal Invitational, making the Crimson Ivy League Champions for the second year in a row. With the men’s third place finish, Harvard earned the right to call itself the top combined track and field program in the Ivy League.
“This was probably the highest energy meet we’ve been to so far because we are all so close and it was really anyone’s game, “ freshman Nikki Okwelogu said.
Both the men and women’s programs posted personal highs in point totals. The men earned 95 points during the two days of competition, its highest Heps point total since 1985. Meanwhile, the women earned 122 points, the most in program history.
The Crimson women beat out host school Dartmouth, who finished in second with 105 points, followed by Columbia in third with 95 points. The men fell third behind title winner Cornell (145 points) and second-place Princeton (117 points).
“I was thrilled,” coach Jason Saretsky said. “I thought our men and women competed fantastically. I was really proud of their efforts. It was by far the best performance this program has seen in a long, long time.”
It was Harvard’s depth that kept it in contention all weekend. Despite the fact the women grabbed the top spot in only four events, compared to runner-up Dartmouth’s seven first place finishes, the Crimson still defeated the Big Green by 20 points. Overall, Darmouth had 11 scorers register a point in track events, while Harvard had 15 to take the edge. In the field, the Big Green had only four point scorers compared to the Crimson’s five.
“Every point matters. Every point adds up,” Saretsky said. “It can be the difference, and we just had a really fantastic meet.”