After last week's success at Ivy League Championships, the Harvard track and fields teams headed to BU this weekend to compete in the ECAC and ICAAAA Championships.
The Crimson sent 27 athletes and one relay team across the river to compete. As a team, the Harvard men placed 9th out of 41 teams in the ICAAAA Championships with 35 points and the women placed 31st of 46 teams in the ECAC Championships with a 10 point total. Ancient Eight foe Cornell took the top spot for the men while Connecticut claimed the top of the podium in the women’s division.
“For us, the focal point of the season from a team standpoint is the Ivy Championships,” Harvard coach Jason Saretsky said. “This is a really great chance to get another championship atmosphere opportunity, and I thought we were very productive and got a lot out of it.”
Senior co-captain Adabelle Ekechukwu had a solid performance for the Crimson, coming off a stellar performance in the weight throw last weekend at the Ivy League Championships, Though it wasn’t as far as her championship toss last weekend, the senior finished in first place at ECACs with a weight throw of 19.51 meters on her last of six tosses. Second place finisher Jocelyn Williams of Liberty University was nearly a full meter behind Ekechukwu.
Fellow senior James Leakos had a strong performance for the men’s squad, winning the 3000-meter run. With a time of 7:57.88, Leakos beat last year’s IC4A winning time by five seconds. The mark puts him third in Harvard history in the 3K, which he also won last weekend at the Ivy League Championships. Sophomore Thomas Purnell finished sixth in the race with a time of 8:03.39.
“I was really pleased with both of those seniors and for them to be able to finish out their indoor careers with wins,” Saretsky said. “It was great to see.”
Though Ekechukwu was the only point winner for the Harvard women, senior Emily Reese and freshman Stephanie Deccy also placed in the meet. Both ran the 3K, with Reese coming in 31st and Deccy just behind her in 35th.
Adding to the Crimson senior dominance, sprinter Andrew Ezekoye finished fourth in the 60-meter dash, cutting his time in each of the three heats. In the final heat, Ezekoye finished with a time of 6.94 seconds.
“Coach is watching every aspect of my 60 run, and you know there’s little things that you can tweak with every heat,” Ezekoye said. “But on race day you try not to get overly technical, which was why I was really happy the races were spread out over two days. Coach let me know a couple things wrong with my start, and we tried to fix that going into the next day.”
Fellow sprinter Jarvis Harris claimed fifth in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.08 seconds.
In the field for the men, senior Dustin Brode and junior Ben Glauser had strong showings, and both earned points for Harvard. Brode competed in the shot put and finished fourth with a throw of 17.88 meters, while Glauser took the second spot in the weight throw with a distance of 19.46.
Freshman Andrew Roney took 15th in the pole vault, launching 4.80 meters.
Though their performances were strong, multiple competitors failed to match their times and distances from Ivy Championships.
“Once you get into post-conference championships races, everyone is coming off their conference championships,” Ezekoye said. “We try to peak for Heps, and its always tough to come back and do it again right after your conference championships. It’s where the juices are flowing the highest, and you’re really hyped to run.”
But for Ezekoye, the chance to represent Harvard and the Ivy League was the best part of the meet.
“It’s more of an accomplishment to qualify for these post season races,” Ezekoye said. “There’s a lot of energy knowing I made it here, and you know that that you’re definitely qualified to represent your school.”
—Staff writer Theresa C. Hebert can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.