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Men’s Sprints Headline for Harvard at Joe Donahue Games

Individual performances highlighted Harvard track and field’s latest trip across Beantown, this time to Northeastern. Competing in the Joe Donahue Games, it was the men’s sprinters that tore up the Reggie Lewis Track.

The Crimson was among five other team, including Hartford, Northeastern, Central Connecticut, Holy Cross, and UMass, to compete Friday afternoon. When all the events had finished, the group of athletes that represented Harvard earned third in the men’s division and fifth in the women’s. However, those competing did not represent the entire roster of the Crimson.

“[We had] so few girls because most competed last weekend and we will be having two meets next week, one very competitive at NY armory and one is HYP for which we need to field a full team,” co-captain Marlena Sabatino said. “Our team performed fine, but we are definitely still working up to the performances we are capable of. [The] meet overall was not extremely competitive.”

Senior Matt Hurst was the first man in crimson to run, and the second to cross the finish line in the 60-meter dash finals. The senior finished in a blistering 7.02 seconds, a .02 second improvement from his preliminary time.

The senior proceeded to take gold in his next race, the 200-meter. Finishing the half-lap in 22.56 seconds, Hurst was followed by three other Harvard sprinters. With co-captain Jay Hebert, freshman Rodney Agyare-May, and freshman Jovahn Williamson claiming second through fourth, respectively, the Crimson swept the top four spots in the sprint.

Meanwhile, the other men’s co-captain, junior Myles Marshall, was busy on the 400-meter. Marshall claimed the gold with the 48.13 second finish, shattering his personal record and achieving the second fastest indoor 400-meter time in school history.

Seven other Harvard sprinters ran a 400 on the weekend, only in the variant of two 4x400-meter relay teams. The two squads placed one, two in the race. The A group, represented by Agyare-May, Hurst, Williamson and Marshall, took the top spot with a 3:21.42 mile. The B group, finishing second in 3:23.59, was represented by junior Taylor Brunskole, junior Andrew Bolze, senior Alexander Moore, and freshman Kahlil Wassell. The A squad of Central Connecticut was the next fastest group, finishing just under four seconds behind both Crimson teams.

Freshman Ryan Thrush ran in the longest event of the afternoon for the Harvard men, the 500-meter. The first-year grabbed the silver medal with a 1:01.50 finish.

The 60-meter hurdles showcased Hebert once again, this time taking first in an 8:06 second sprint.

In the field, the men’s team wasn’t as successful as it had been in the short distances, but the team still managed to rake in some hardware.

Junior Andrew Bolze did the best of the athletes in the field, jumping seven meters on his fifth long jump attempt to come away with the gold medal. Sophomore Anthony DeNitto grabbed third with a jump only .14 meters behind his teammate’s.

The men’s vaulters managed to pull two medals from the event. Sophomore Ian West grabbed the bronze medal with a 4.65-meter jump while teammate, senior Matt Miller claimed fifth after leaping 4.50-meters.

Alternatively, the women’s vaulters swept the top spots in the event. Both Sabatino and junior Nicole Trenchard vaulted 3.50 meters in the event, however Trenchard did it on her first attempt, earning gold. Sabatino cleared the mark on her final attempt and as a result left with the silver medal.

“I was pretty disappointed with my performance this weekend,” Trenchard said. “My coach and I have made some pretty major technique changes, and in the process of putting the pieces together I made a few very basic mistakes. Things are coming along, but when it comes to the vertical jumps, it doesn't matter how good it looks if you knock the bar down.

“As frustrating as the experience was, this weekend was confirmation that I'm getting a bit closer to where I need to be to come Ivy League Championships,” Trenchard added. “I saw a lot of potential in how our group competed this weekend, but I know none of us will be satisfied until we put the bar higher. Let's talk in a few weeks—I think the story will be very different.”

The men’s team placed four through six in the weight throw. Sophomore Gunnar Allison led the pack with a toss of 15.16 meters, followed closely by freshmen teammates Jason Judge and Wesley Donhauser.

“We are all really looking forward to our home meets (Harvard vs.Yale vs. Princeton) next weekend, then Crimson Elite the week after,” Trenchard said. “This weekend was a great way for all of us to get ready however worked best for our training. While you miss the energy that comes from having your entire team there, it means that we will come into the next few competitions stronger.”

—Staff writer Cade Palmer can be reached at cade.palmer@thecrimson.com.

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