Track and Cross Country
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.
Over the weekend, the Harvard women’s track and field team brought home its third consecutive outdoor Ivy League Heptagonal title. The Crimson women scored 160 total points and beat out Princeton and Cornell, who finished with 139 and 107 points, respectively.
While most of the squad rested in preparation for the outdoor Ivy League championships next weekend, the Harvard track and field team sent a small delegation of athletes to the Penn Relays and Stonehill Skyhawk Invitational this past weekend. The team came home with a bevy of first-place finishes.
Seniors Paige Kouba and Autumne Franklin, sophomore Courtney Smith, and freshman Gabby Thomas all came away from the weekend with times that put them in the running for a bid to represent the United States this August in Rio de Janeiro.
Paige Kouba, co-captain of the Harvard women’s track and field team, is no stranger to the Olympic Trials. After all, each year they’re held in Eugene, Oregon—her hometown—and Kouba has attended the last two contests as a volunteer, helping to carry gear for the athletes.