Months after its last competition of the 2012-2013 season, the Harvard track and field team took to the stadium once again to start off the indoor track season.
Harvard played host to a number of schools at Gordon Indoor Track, including Holy Cross, St. Rose and Dartmouth, and the team produced solid results with regularity. The finals of the women’s 60 meter dash, for example, saw the Crimson taking four of the top five places; the women’s 300 meter dash was even more one-sided, with Harvard placing in all of the top nine spots except for seventh place.
“Overall, I was really pleased,” said Jason Saretsky, coach of the team’s distance runners. “It’s really early, but I think we’ve seen some really great performances…. I feel really good with where we’re at.”
Sophomore Autumne Franklin finished first in the 300 meter dash. Freshman Jade Miller finished 0.34 seconds after Franklin, and classmate Jackie Modesett took third. All three of the underclassmen clocked in sub-41 second finishes for the race.
“It was nice to see the girls getting so close to the school records this early in the season,” junior Owen Laub said. “A lot of the freshmen [are] really showcasing what talent they had and are getting a sense of what their specialty is.”
Laub, who has been running on the team for three years, showcased some impressive results of his own. In the men’s 300 meter dash, the junior finished second behind classmate Jarvis Harris and tied with freshman James Heckendorn with a time of 35.66 seconds. That race saw all but one of the first nine finishes being claimed by Harvard sprinters—a repeat of the women’s 300 meter dash.
Such a firm grip on the race results, however, seemed to be less apparent when Dartmouth entered the equation. In the men’s 60 meter dash, for example, the top ten finishes included runners from Dartmouth, Saint Rose, Harvard, as well as Holy Cross; the same was true for the men’s one-mile run, where Harvard senior Ryan Romain took first place with a time of 4:16.
Nonetheless, the Crimson still had other highlights among the many events. In the field, freshman Julian Nunally registered a 14.49-meter throw in the shot put to finish second behind Jonathan Beering of Dartmouth. Harris, who finished first for the 300 meter dash, also took first place in the men’s 60 meter hurdles. And to cap it all off, the final event with Crimson competitors—the men’s 3,000 meter run—witnessed juniors Connor Reck and Neph Maritim finish one-two, respectively.
“For both of us, the longest event we’ve got on the track is the 1,500 meters,” Reck said. “This is obviously twice as long, and we came in knowing that it was going to be a real grind, and that it was going to feel long. We had a bit of help from our coach rabbiting the first mile…[but] I was lucky to have my teammate holding the pace for those next few laps before I felt good again for the kick.”
“It was a very great beginning today for the indoor season,” Maritim added. “This is just the first race in many that will come in the course of next semester. It’s a great beginning for us; we were hoping to be in this kind of shape at the beginning of the season, and we are right on pace.”
Reck finished the race with a time of 8:32.10, while Maritim was just three hundredths of a second behind at 8:32.13.
For distances beyond that, the most exciting might be yet to come. As Romain noted, members of the men and women’s cross country teams were not even competing yet.
“We really have a great shot to do [well] at Heps this year,” Romain said. “There’s a lot of people who aren’t racing in this meet from cross country, and they just finished an amazing season so overall, it’s looking pretty bright right now.
Senior Maksim Korolev, in particular, has the potential to lead the way. The co-captain of the men’s cross country team claimed first place at Heps—the Ivy League championship—in November, and finished third at Nationals just weeks afterwards.
For now, however, it is the indoor track and field season, which is the primary focus. And for a good portion of the team, the outlook seems to be bright.
“I couldn’t be happier with where they’re at right now,” Harvard coach Tim Bayley said. “They’re [in] a really great spot going into the [winter] break, and I’m excited for them.”
Harvard Track and Field Starts Out Strong
Track and Field Starts Off Outdoor SeasonThe Harvard track and field team faced stiff competition in the 86th Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays that took place this week at the University of Texas at Austin from Wednesday to Saturday, and the Snowflake Classic hosted by Tufts in Medford, Mass. on Saturday.