The Harvard women’s track team was on fire this weekend as it competed in the Snowflake Classic at Tufts University, winning two events by more than eight seconds.
Despite competing with a limited squad, the men’s and women’s track and field programs combined for two first-place and two second-place finishes at Dussault Outdoor Track on Saturday.
Most of the athletes on both teams did not compete this weekend, but Harvard sent a small group of middle and long distance runners to Medford, Mass. this weekend to compete against a field comprised of local teams from all divisions.
Although the men finished just 17th out of the 27 schools in attendance while the women finished 10th out of 24, the team score was largely insignificant for the Crimson, considering the team was focusing on individual performances.
“This [meet] was just for a handful of student-athletes,” Harvard coach Jason Saretsky said. “It fit in with their training to use this as a competitive opportunity.”
Only eight men and five women raced, with the men entering four runners in the 800-meter run and four in the 1500 meter, while the women entered one each in the 800 meter and 10000 meter and three in the 5000 meter.
The lack of a large team presence for Harvard did not keep those who raced from performing well, however. Sophomore Kieran Gallagher won the women’s 800-meter race in dominant fashion, finishing in 2:13.32, more than eight seconds ahead of the runner-up.
“[Not having the whole team], for me, doesn’t really change anything.” Gallagher said. “There’s so much support from the team, even if they’re not physically present there.”
Junior Whitney Thornburg took first in the women’s 10000-meter run by almost 11 seconds, with a time of 37:10.91.
All three Harvard runners who entered the women’s 5000-meter race were among the first 12 to finish, with sophomore Emma Payne, freshman Rachel Hampton and her classmate Gianna Cacciatore finishing second, seventh, and twelfth, respectively.
On the men’s side, all four entrants for the Crimson in the 800-meter race placed among the top 11 finishers, with Ryan Romain leading the way for his teammates with a time of 1:56.66, good for second overall.
In the 1500-meter run, sophomore Konrad Surkont narrowly edged out teammate Jack Stevenson, beating the freshman by a mere 14-hundredths of a second to claim sixth place. Twin brothers Carl and Fred Ward, both juniors, also ran the 1500m, finishing 13th and 24th, respectively.
“The student-athletes that we had compete did a really great job, and I was really pleased with what we were able to get out of the weekend,” Saretsky said.