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Thomas Leads Track and Field, Sets New Record

Downton Abbe
Freshman distance runner Abbe Goldstein placed first in her collegiate debut, finishing the mile run in 4:49.96.

New year, same Gabby Thomas.

The junior co-captain did not miss a beat ringing in the new year. Sprinting in the Columbia Challenge, one of the track and field team’s two meets this weekend, the Florence, Mass., native outran her own, which also happened to be Harvard and the Ivy League’s, top time in the 60-meter dash.

“When I line up to run, especially at a high caliber meet such as the one at the armory, I’m making sure that I am not distracted by who is in the lanes next to me,” Thomas said. “The most important thing is to focus on what I can control, such as my race plan. For me that means pushing out really hard and a few technical things that I need to fix. Every race is an opportunity to work on that.”

Crossing the finish line in 7.26 seconds, Thomas finished among a top-six featuring three Oregon sprinters. The top time matched the New England record in the race, set by UConn’s Trish-Ann Hawthorn in 2011—at the same track.

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“Breaking my own record is an amazing feeling,” Thomas said. “It means progress and I’m on an upward slope. I’m trying to get that 60-meter to the 7.10s so this is a good sign.”

Thomas’ performance was one of several first-place finishes by the Crimson track and field team this weekend. A skeleton squad traveled to the Columbia Challenge at the New York City Armory on Friday, while Sunday’s Harvard-Yale-Princeton Meet featured the entire group. Competing against its division rivals, the Crimson took second place in both the men’s and women’s divisions, both times falling to Princeton but downing Yale.

H-Y-P MEET

Competing at its own Gordon Indoor Track, Harvard fielded its first full event of the indoor season. The women’s team amassed 63 points, 15 less than the victorious Tigers. The men grabbed 51 points for team, 48 below the mark set by Princeton.

Freshmen contributed substantially to the team’s result on the weekend. In her first ever collegiate indoor race, freshman Abbe Goldstein was the first to finish, doing so 4:49.96 on the mile. Running half that distance, classmate Ryan Thrush running also in his first indoor race, took the top spot in the 1:55.09 two-lap sprint.

From then on, the Crimson dominated in what has become the team’s bread-and-butter, the short sprints, hurdles, and relays. Junior Ngozi Musa started things off with a bang. In her second race that week, the third-year crossed the line in 7.58 seconds and left the track with a gold medal around her neck for the 60-meter dash.

The hurdle variant of the race brought two more pieces of gold jewelry to the Harvard squad. For the men, co-captain Jay Hebert nabbed the top spot with a season best of 8.02 followed closely by first-year Erick Duffy, claiming silver. On the women’s side of the 60-meter hurdles, sophomore Livia Gauntlett also hit a season best mark in her first place finish of 8.49 seconds.

Sophomore Micah Meekins replicated the feat, but ran a bit further. In the 200-meter dash, the sophomore beat the rest of the field to the finish line, doing so in 24.91 seconds.

In mid-distance, sophomore Maya Miklos maintained her season hegemony on the genre. The sophomore took first with a clean two seconds to spare between her and the second place finisher. Junior co-captain Myles Marshall did the same, taking the gold medal with just under three seconds of space between himself in the next best sprinter.

The relays teams claimed their, what is now weekly, gold medals. For the women’s 4x440-yard relay, it was all sophomores. Comprising second-year classmates Zoe Hughes, Miklos, Karina Joiner, and Meekins, the quartet grabbed a smooth gold medal in 3:50.50. The men’s squad replicated the feat. Senior Matt Hurst, Marshall, freshman Jovahn Williamson, and freshman Rodney Agyare-May finished first, this time in 3:16.02.

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