The Harvard track and field team sent a handful of field athletes to the historic Penn Relays over the weekend. With the Outdoor Heptagonal Championships taking place next weekend, the Crimson athletes who were in action turned in some strong performances, including personal-bests.
Pitted against national-caliber competition at the LSU Alumni Gold Meet in Baton Rouge, La., they crushed the record. The team crossed the finish line in 3:38.79, nearly two seconds faster than the previous best mark. The performance earned third place for the Harvard track and field team.
With two weeks of outdoor competition under its belt, the Harvard track and field team once again split up over the weekend, sending athletes to the Florida Relays in Gainesville, Fla. and the Sam Howell Invitational, which was hosted by Princeton.
Including the eight points from the 4x400, 59 of the team’s 117 total points came in sprinting events, as the Crimson edged the Big Red by a final tally of 117-112.7 to win the Ivy League Championship for the first time since 2000. On the men’s side, Harvard recorded 86 team points, which was good for third place behind Cornell and Princeton.
In the team’s most crucial meet to date, junior thrower and co-captain Adabelle Ekechukwu, sophomore sprinter Danielle Barbian, and co-captain pole vaulter Sydnie Leroy broke Crimson records in their respective events.
All season, the Harvard women’s cross country team has stressed the importance of peaking at the right time. And on Friday, with a trip to the NCAA Championships on the line, the Crimson women delivered.
For this reason, I want to draw attention to the adjustments that Harvard coach Jason Saretsky made in his team’s training regimen for the 2012 season after a disappointing conclusion to the squad’s 2011 campaign.
In its most important meet of the season, the Harvard cross country team turned in a strong performance against its Ancient Eight rivals. At the Heptagonal Championships, held at Princeton’s West Windsor Fields, the Crimson women finished in a tie with Brown for third place, while the men earned a fifth-place finish.
At the Wisconsin invite, Harvard's pair of junior standouts, Maksim Korolev and James Leakos, led the men to a 28th-place finish out of 45 teams. The Crimson women relied on its depth and tight pack to earn a 23rd place finish out of 48 squads.
One squad relied on depth; the other relied on experience. But when all was said and done, both the Harvard men’s and women’s cross country teams notched 13th-place finishes at the Paul Short Invitational this past weekend.