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Track Runners Lead the Pack at Terrier Invitational

By Caleb Lee, Crimson Staff Writer

Senior Maksim Korolev set a Harvard record this school year when he placed third at the NCAA Cross Country Championships in November, the highest finish of any Harvard runner. When he crossed the finish line at Friday’s Terrier Invitational at Boston University, he broke yet another Harvard record.

Korolev’s 5K time was among the fastest of all Division I athletes this season and eclipsed a mark set almost two decades ago.

A day earlier, the Crimson women’s 4x400 relay group had broken another school record, capping off a solid two days for both Harvard squads.

On the women’s side, freshman Jade Miller set the pace for the Crimson with a 54.8 second split in the first leg of the 4x400, and her three teammates followed her lead. Junior Erika Veidis and freshman Jackie Modesett sprinted the middle two legs, and junior Gabrielle Scott blew away the rest of the field with a 53.7 time to wrap up the record breaking performance.

“We all got goosebumps watching [Scott] close like a train on the anchor leg, really chasing down the first place girl and getting her at the line to get the victory,” Veidis said. “It bodes well for rest of the indoor season and even going into outdoors.”

The foursome’s time broke a Harvard record that had stood since 1999.

“It’s really exciting [to break the school record],” Veidis said. “I think the most exciting part is that it’s the first 4x4 that we’ve run with that lineup…. We’re going to continue to do even more damage over the next couple of weeks and hopefully heading into nationals, too.”

Scott built on her relay performance with a third place finish in the 400-meter dash, coming in at 54.48, less than a second behind the winner. Veidis managed to top her teammate’s finish, breaking out to an early lead in the 800 and never looking back. Crossing the line at 2:05.55, the Sparta, N.J. native beat Ivy League foe Megan Krumpoch of Dartmouth by less than a second. Sophomore Kieran Gallagher finished third in the second heat and 10th overall in the same event.

“That was a really good race for me,” Veidis said. “It was my fastest indoor and second fastest lifetime including outdoor…. I was pretty much running from the front for all of it, and I was able to stay relaxed and smooth.”

The Crimson came away with another first and 10th place finish later in the day, this time in the 1000. Freshman Sarah Gillespie opened up a lead heading to the finish, and clocked in at 2:51.95, while sophomore Paige Kouba finished in 10th at 2:59.95.

Among the other top Harvard finishers were junior Molly Renfer, who finished ninth in the mile run, and classmate Viviana Hanley, who finished 11th in the longest event of the day, the 5000. Junior Ann Giebelhaus and freshman Raegan Nizdil tied for fourth in the high jump after both cleared the 1.65-meter bar.

The men’s team had similar success.

It’s not too often you see a time in the 5000 that starts with 13 for the minutes place, especially not at an invitational so early in the season. But after running cross country during the fall, Korolev is arguably still at peak form. He put that on full display on Saturday with a 13:42.56 finish, 35 seconds ahead of his nearest competitor and almost 17 seconds ahead of the previous Harvard record time held by Killian Lonergan ’97.

The Crimson had solid showings in the 200 and 3000 events, with senior Damani Wilson taking 14th with a time of 21.85 in the fourth heat of the former and sophomore Thomas Purnell finishing 10th in the latter at 8:05.58 in the first heat. The men’s 4x400 quartet completed the event with a time of 3:17.07, a pace good enough for ninth place.

“I thought the 4x400 was a big highlight because we had two teams go right around 3:20…with the B team all the way down at 3:21,” Wilson said. “We have probably about 10 guys who can do 50 [seconds] or better, so we have a lot of guys to choose from come Heps.”

In the field events, junior Ben Glauser came in fourth in the shot put, compiling a distance of 17.33m (56-10.25), while freshman Andrew Roney took ninth in the pole vault with a distance of 4.70 (15-05.00).

“Coaches are still figuring out who’s going to do what event, [and] who’s going to do what relay or what jumps,” Wilson said. “For right now, I think the most important thing is figuring out what exactly [each team member] thinks would be [his] best contribution to the team.”

Staff writer Caleb Lee can be reached at

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