In the only outdoor home meet of the season for both teams, the Harvard men’s and women’s track and field programs gave Crimson fans plenty to cheer about.
Hosting rival Yale on Saturday at McCurdy Outdoor Track, Harvard recorded two dominant victories. The women notched an 87-54 win, while the men handed the Bulldogs a humbling 104-34 defeat.
The Crimson won 24 of the 33 events contested in the rare dual meet. While both programs often split up their rosters and send competitors to disparate meets in a single weekend, all of the athletes on both teams participated against Yale.
Having full rosters proved vital for Harvard, as the Crimson’s superior depth allowed it to dominate the podium in multiple events.
“It’s really just nice to participate in the tradition, everybody had good energy and we had good weather,” sophomore Autumne Franklin said. “It was a good event overall.”
Franklin led the Harvard women with two victories, one in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 13.72 seconds and the other in the 200-meter, which she finished in 24.41.
Despite the disparity in score throughout the meet, the athletes tried to maintain their intensity and not let their concentration wane.
“Trying to run your own race was probably the biggest thing that our group was focusing on, I know our whole team was focusing on,” Franklin said. “[We tried] to perform well even though we didn’t have extremely high competition.”
Also notching two victories for the Crimson was junior Jarvis Harris, who won the 110 hurdles by over a second with a time of 14.11. He also won a closer race in the 400 hurdles, crossing the line in 52.78.
The throwing athletes had strong performances on both the men’s and women’s sides, winning every event and sweeping two of them. Junior Ben Glauser won the men’s hammer throw by more than five meters, besting teammate and freshman Josh Whitener. Senior Dustin Brode took third for the Crimson to complete the 1-2-3 sweep.
Harvard recorded another sweep in the men’s shot put, which Glauser also won with a throw of 17.71m. He was followed by Brode and fellow junior Igor Liokumovich, who took second and third, respectively.
Junior Dean Sullivan dominated in the men’s javelin, besting second-place Whitener by almost 20m with a toss of 62.0m.
In the women’s throwing events, freshman Nikki Okwelogu led the way, winning both the discus and the shot put. She threw the discus 43.87m and heaved the shot 14.34m.
Senior Hannah Mayer added a win in the women’s javelin, while senior Adabelle Ekechukwu won the women’s hammer throw, completing a sweep for the Crimson in the throwing events.
“The field events have been a real bedrock for us,” Harvard coach Jason Saretsky said. “It was great to see Nikki come away with the two wins…and Ben Glauser with the two wins.”
In a day of stellar performances for many Harvard athletes, a few of them moved into the record books on Saturday. Glauser and Okwelogu moved into fourth all-time at Harvard in the hammer throw and the shot put, respectively, while Harris’s time in the 400 hurdles put him at seventh all-time.
Harris’s effort in the 400 hurdles was remarkable considering it was his first time running the event. His performance in the event marks a continuation of his strong performances in hurdle events, as he broke Harvard records in the 60 and 110 hurdles last year.
The results for both the men’s and women’s squads extended a stretch of overall dominance against the Bulldogs; the men picked up their fourth straight win against Yale, while the women beat their rivals for the seventh consecutive year.
The teams and the fans could not have asked for a better day, as the warm weather and the cloudless sky made for perfect conditions in which to compete. Fans turned out in droves to support the squads, and the Crimson did not disappoint.
As it has throughout the season, Harvard will separate into groups and attend multiple meets next week, with four different events on the schedule.
“I was really pleased with the way both the men and women competed,” Saretsky said. “A lot of things went our way, we had a great day and great fan support, and I was very pleased to come away with the two wins.”