Track and Cross Country
Racing in multiple timezones over the course of two days, the Harvard cross country women and men separated to race in the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational, the 2016 Pre-National Invitational, hosted by Indiana State, and the Princeton Invitational.
Back on the East Coast and racing in Boston, the Harvard women’s cross country team battled to an impressive second place finish in a competition that brought together 35 of the top teams from the New England area.
Split between coasts, the Harvard cross country women and men both had impressive meets against deep fields of runners. The women traveled across the nation to compete in the Washington Invitational while the men stayed near the east coast to compete at the Paul Short Invitational
Split between coasts, the Harvard cross country women and men both had impressive meets against deep fields of runners. The women traveled across the nation to compete in the Washington Invitational while the men stayed on the east coast to compete at the Paul Short Invitational.
Competing Saturday in the annual meet, junior Courtney Smith claimed the individual women’s 5K title with a time of 19:07.8. Smith continued her offseason momentum into the collegiate cross country season, edging out two close Yale runners—Frances Schmiede and Emily Waligurski—with times of 19:08.6 and 19:08.9, respectively.
Last September, the Harvard women won the annual Harvard-Yale-Princeton meet by a one-point margin for the first time in over 10 years. This year, the team would not be able to climb back to the top spot.
A name not normally associated with the Olympics, the Harvard women’s track and field program made its presence felt during the trials period, as a strong contingent of student athletes competed for spots on their respective nation’s roster.
Rising senior Nikki Okwelogu will represent Nigeria in Rio this coming August.
Following an event win at the outdoor Ivy League championships, most track and field athletes might celebrate by kicking back and relaxing. Then again, most of these athletes are not Paige Kouba, co-captain of the Harvard women’s track and field team.
Under coach Jason Saretsky, the Harvard women's track and field has established itself as an Ivy League and national powerhouse, building an impressive reign over the top of the standings in the past five years.
As she has progressed through her years at Harvard, Okwelogu has set and broken many of her own records in shot put, placing her among the top competitors in the nation.
With times surpassing many of the older members of the team and an Olympic trial qualifying time from Thomas, these two freshmen assure the future of Harvard's women's track and field team is bright.