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Women's Track and Field Win Battle for Beantown, Men Place Second

By Emily T. Wang, Crimson Staff Writer

In its first home meet of the second semester, the Harvard track and field team competed against four other local squads to earn the right to call themselves the best in Boston.

Both the men’s and women’s teams competed in the Battle for Beantown on Saturday at Gordon Indoor Track. The women’s team earned a first place finish while the men came in second. The Crimson battled teams from Boston College, Northeastern, Army, and Brown.

While the men just missed the first place spot by eight points to Army, the women won the meet by over 100 points.

“It wasn’t really what the men expected,” junior hurdler Jarvis Harris said. “Essentially the meet’s first and second place [finishes] came down to the final relays, which were the 4x800 meter relay and 4x400 meter relay. We just didn’t execute the way we wanted to, and it just happened that we came in second.”

Among top finishers was senior James Leakos in the 3000-meter, who claimed first with a time of 8:18.78. In addition, classmates Andrew Ezekoye and Damani Wilson grabbed first and second place finishes in the 60-meter dash with times of 6.81 and 6.86 seconds, respectively.

Harris ran the 60-meter hurdles in 8.13 seconds to place first, and freshman Medkim Ashebo placed second with his 22.15 time in the 200-meter dash. Harris nabbed first in the triple jump as well, with a mark of 14.28 meters.

“I felt ok about my race,” Harris said. “I wasn’t overly pleased with it, but I wasn’t upset with it. It’s the beginning of the season, so we’re just working through the meets while keeping a high level of practices during the week.”

Also in the jumping events were two second-place finishes by rookie Efe Uwaifo and sophomore Spencer Lemons in long jump and high jump, respectively. Senior Ben Glauser added to first-place finishes with his 18.67-meter mark in the weight throw.

“Our meet focuses are to apply the things we work on in practice,” Harris said. “So looking forward we’re working towards better times, especially at the meet next weekend.”

Though Harvard men’s team had many first and second place finishers, it was not enough to outrace Army’s team, and they ended the meet in second by less than ten points.

On the women’s side of the competition, the Crimson managed to place most of their team in the top places and won the meet by a wide margin.

In the high jump, freshman Reagan Nizdil took first with a jump of 1.75 meters, and teammate junior Ann Giebelhaus came in fourth with a mark of 1.65 meters.

The 60-meter hurdles was a top three sweep for Harvard, with sophomore Autumne Franklin, freshman Jackie Modesett, and classmate Jade Miller crossing the finish line in that order.

“I thought I did really well [in the meet],” Miller said. “The team had a really good day as well. Jackie and I both PR-ed in the 60-meter hurdles.”

In three other races, the 60, 200 and 500-meter dashes, the Crimson also claimed the top spots. Junior Danielle Barbian’s time of 7.53 placed her first in the 60-meter dash, with classmate Ashley Collinsworth close behind her with a time of 7.66 for second place.

Junior Gabrielle Scott ran a 25.05 for first place in the 200-meter dash. Scott also finished first in the 500-meter dash with a time of 1:13.77. In both races, Scott’s teammates were not far behind her to nab second place finishes.

“Our coach makes us have immediate goals for our races,” Miller said. “I know I need to stay taller when I run. It’s really good to have goals set while racing because it reminds you that there’s always something to improve on.”

In longer distances, a time of 2:49.72 placed junior Erika Veidis in first in her 1000-meter race. Rookie Sarah Gillespie ran the mile in 4:57.57 for a second-place finish.

“Everyone’s main goal is to learn from the good and the bad from the meet before,” Harris said. “We need to understand our mistakes and maybe in the next week of practice eliminate those things if possible. All of this is in order to win the Ivy League Championships; that is always the ultimate goal.”

—Staff writer Emily T. Wang can be reached at

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Track and Cross Country