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After a regular season filled with many individual accomplishments and strong team showings, the Harvard track and field teams did not disappoint at the Heptagonal Championships this past weekend. The men’s and women’s squads traveled to Yale in New Haven, Conn., and emerged with respectable results.
The women’s squad finished seventh, while the men earned fourth in the teams’ final tuneup before the ECAC and IC4A championships next weekend.
According to players and coaches, both Crimson squads derive most of their success this season from the growth and development that they have experienced collectively over the past four years.
“It’s incredible for me to see this senior class—my first recruited class—and to think back where we were four years ago, when they first arrived, to now,” Harvard coach Jason Saretsky said.
Senior distance runner Dan Chenoweth further elaborated by indicating that the team’s development over the years has been reflected in its performance in the Heptagonal championships each year.
“This year’s Heps has been a marked improvement from past years where we finished in seventh place a number of times and scored 30 points or so,” Chenoweth said. “But to come out and score 75 points is definitely a step in the right direction.”
The Crimson certainly showcased its growth and development as a team over the weekend, as both Harvard squads finished with nearly twice as many points in this year’s Heptagonal championships as they did last year. Leading the efforts of the women’s squad were some familiar faces as well as some new stars.
Freshman thrower Hannah Meyer captured the javelin title on the first day of the competition with a throw of 46.16 meters to earn 10 points for the Crimson.
Senior distance runner Claire Richardson finished in fourth in the 5,000-meter race with a time of 16:49.04 to earn her team four points.
In the women’s 4x100 meter relay, freshmen Christina Twicken, Chelsea Celistan, and Meisha Brooks, in addition to sophomore Olivia Weeks, earned a fourth-place finish in the finals and four additional points for Harvard.
On the men’s side, the two-day affair was similarly peppered with promising results for the Crimson. Chenoweth continued a stellar final year for the Crimson, as he finished second in the 10,000-meter and third in the 5,000 meter. The fourth-year runner posted a time of 30:24.92 in the 10,000-meter, just two seconds short of eventual winner junior Donn Cabral of Princeton—the defending Ivy League champion in the 10,000-meter. In the 5,000-meter, Chenoweth finished with a time of 14:15.26.
“I was very pleased with Dan’s performance this meet,” Saretsky said. “Dan was able to not only finish second in the 10K but also third in the 5K. It’s been a really special ride with him, and I’ve really enjoyed working with him and the other seniors on the team.”
With these two results, Chenoweth earned the men’s squad 14 points. Behind Chenoweth, the Crimson relied once again on its depth and broad talent pool on the men’s squad to round out its scoring.
In the men’s 400-meter dash, junior John Dingus placed fifth with a time of 48.25 to earn Harvard two points. Junior Nico Weiler captured the shot put title with a distance of 5.16 m—over a third of a meter more than the throw from second-place finisher, Princeton’s Derek Hynes. [CORRECTION APPENDED]
And the quartet composed of freshman Jared Kadich, sophomores Zach Herring and Julian Sherwin, and Dingus placed fifth in the men’s 4x400-meter relay.
For the men’s squad, its fourth-place finish behind Brown was a bittersweet.
“It was a little heartbreaking finishing in fourth and just one point away from third,” Saretsky said. “But it was still a great meet for us overall.”
While solid performances gained the women 71 points and the men 75 points, neither squad could not keep pace with Princeton, whose women’s and men’s squads finished in first place with 132 points and 197 points, respectively.
With their victories this weekend, the Tigers swept Ivy titles in cross country and both indoor and outdoor track and field, earning the triple crown for both the men’s and women’s teams. Princeton’s performance this season leaves little doubt as to which school dominates the Ivy League in both track and field and cross country.
The Crimson returns back into action next weekend for the ECAC/IC4A tournament next weekend in Princeton, N.J.
—Staff writer Oluwatoni A. Campbell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In his story "Crimson Improves At Final Heps Meet," published May 9, Oluwatoni A. Campbell incorrectly stated that junior Nico Weiler took first place in the shot put at the Heptagonal Championships. It was actually freshman Dustin Brode who won the event; Weiler won the pole vault.
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