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Another year, another Ivy championship.
Over the weekend, the Harvard women’s track and field team brought home its third consecutive outdoor Ivy League Heptagonal title. The Crimson women scored 160 total points and beat out Princeton and Cornell, who finished with 139 and 107 points, respectively.
With the victory, the squad has remained undefeated in both indoor and outdoor Ivy League championships since 2013, continuing one of the most dominant periods for the Harvard women in its history.
“We just tried to bring some ferocity and competitive energy this weekend,” co-captain Autumne Franklin said. “We definitely did that and ended up having a great meet.”
Meanwhile, the men’s squad tied for sixth place, slightly off the fifth place finish the team claimed at the indoor championships in February.
“I was really pleased with the way the men and women teams competed,” coach Jason Saretsky said. “Heps is an incredibly exciting meet—great competition, and there were a number of outstanding performers.”
The women’s performance was highlighted by wins in multiple individual events from Franklin, freshman Gabby Thomas, and junior two-time indoor All-American Nikki Okwelogu.
Thomas took home the gold medal in the 200-meter and 100-meter dash and the bronze medal in the long jump. Her times in the 100-meter of 11.55 and 200-meter of 23.38 were meet records—not surprising, perhaps, given that Thomas currently owns the Ivy record in both events.
“Gabby’s persevered and really worked hard and bought into what coach Tolbert has been preaching all year round,” coach Jason Saretsky said. “It’s obviously paying big dividends for her.”
Classmate Ngozi Musa finished right behind Thomas in the 100-meter, claiming second with a time of 11.80.
Musa and Thomas were also members of the winning 4x100 relay, which—in addition to the two freshmen—consisted of junior Jade Miller and Franklin. The relay team finished in 44.85 seconds, sixth-tenths of a second better than the second-place time.
Franklin and Miller also finished a close one-two, respectively, in both the 100-meter and the 400-meter hurdles. In the former, Franklin’s time of 13.44 broke her own Harvard record—that she set back in early April—and edged out Miller’s time of 13.89.
Senior Madison Hansen finished third in the 100-meter hurdles, behind Franklin and Miller, with a time of 14.11 seconds. Hansen also claimed victory in the heptathlon with a point total of 5530 points.
In the 400-meter hurdles, Franklin won in a time of 55.87, ahead of Miller—the two-time defending Ivy champion in the event—who claimed second in a time of 56.44. Cornell’s Taysia Radoslav took third in 56.48 seconds, the only other time below the minute mark.
Radoslav’s third-place time was more than four seconds ahead of the fourth place time, and all three times finished ahead of the meet record of 57.30 seconds, set last year by Miller.
“Winning both events was definitely a goal I had going into the meet,” Franklin said.
“It feels really good and really special.”
Indeed, it was a special meet for both Franklin and co-captain Paige Kouba, who claimed victory in the 3000-meter steeplechase with a time of 10:05.30. Kouba also finished third in the 1500-meter run.
In the throws, Okwelogu cruised to wins in the discus and shot put, with her throw in the latter of 56’3” more than ten feet better than the second place effort.
On the men’s side, the Crimson’s lone victory came in the 4x800-meter relay—an event which Harvard also won at the indoor championships.
Freshman Myles Marshall ran the final leg of the relay, helping the team overcome a half second deficit at the 2400 meter mark.
“Myles is a special talent, and the sky’s the limit [for him],” Saretsky said. “The biggest thing for us is that we want him to continue to work hard and improve.”
Elsewhere, junior Efe Uwaifo took home silver in the triple jump with a leap of 15.79 meters. Fellow junior Julian Nunally claimed sixth in both the discus throw and shot put.
The Crimson men also took home fourth-place finishes in the pole vault and 110-meter hurdles, courtesy of junior Andrew Roney and sophomore Jay Hebert, respectively.
—Staff writer Phillip Yu can be reached at email@example.com.
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