There ain’t no rest for the weary. That isn’t a problem for the track and field team, however, which if anything is gaining steam as the season progresses.
Less than a month from the Ivy Indoor Heptagonal Championships, the group has bolstered it’s schedule. Competing in two meets this over the weekend break—prior to next week’s four meets—individual performances and rookies shined for the squad.
SCARLET AND WHITE
Remaining within city limits, the group of student-athletes traveled across Beantown to the 2018 Bruce Lehane Scarlet and White Meet held Saturday at the Boston University Track and Tennis Center. Led by junior co-captain Myles Marshall, the men’s team excelled in the mid-distance races. In the women’s division, it was the sprinters that ruled the day.
Marshall got things rolling with a record breaking two-lap sprint. Finishing the 800-meter run in 1:47.74, the co-captain emerged from the event with a silver medal around his neck, a new personal best, and a new collegiate record. The program’s fastest time in the event, the one the co-captain broke, had been previously held by none other than Marshall himself.
Then came the freshman. In the 500-meter, first-year Ryan Thrush claimed the bronze medal in his best time of the year in the event, 1:03.93.
Even when the Patriots didn’t this weekend, junior co-captain Gabby Thomas did her job in one of her staple races, the 200-meter dash. The standout junior claimed gold in 23.26 seconds. However, rookie Olivia Okoli followed close behind. The freshman, in her first collegiate attempt at the event, crossed the finish line in 24.26 seconds—enough for sixth place and to clock the fourth fastest time in Harvard history.
“I was really nervous about the race beforehand, as I’d only run one indoor 200 before, and that was with no prior experience on an indoor track, so I was slightly apprehensive as to how I’d do,” Okoli said. “But it was definitely exciting to run, and I was happy with it afterwards. It also highlighted definite areas for improvement, which just motivates me to train harder and get better over the distance.”
Sophomore Maya Miklos continued to improve on her already excellent 500-meter time. The mid-distance mogul paced the group, clocking a 1:13.26 finish and breaking her personal record in the event. Additionally, the time is the third fastest in the history of the program.
In her first ever attempt at running the 800-meter for the Crimson, junior Kathryn Gillespie ran the eighth-fastest time in program history. The 2:08.82 finish merited Gillespie a fifth place spot.
In the 4x400-meter relay, the team set another record, as has become the status quo for the group. Represented by sophomores Zoe Hughes, Karina Joiner, Miklos, as well as junior Thomas, the quartet grabbed another gold medal. In addition, the group set the second fastest indoor time in program history and punched their names in the record books with the fourth fastest time in Ancient Eight history.
On Friday afternoon, Harvard hosted the Crimson Elite meet. The men’s side of the team claimed a meet victory in lieu of a 66-point performance.
Co-captain Jay Hebert rattled things off in the 60-meter hurdles. Sprinting to a quick 7.96 finish, the senior clocked the Crimson’s second fastest time in the event ever, as well as his own personal best.
The 400-meter dash showcased some of the squad’s freshmen talent. In his collegiate debut in the race, first-year Thrush captured the gold in a 49.32 lap. In the effort, Thrush edged out his classmate, Rodney Agyare-May—who placed second—by just .02 seconds. Another fresh face, rookie John Fish, grabbed a gold of his own on the afternoon in a 4:22.78 mile.
The field was ruled by sophomores. In weight throw, Gunnar Allison reached 15.53 meters, earning a bronze necklace. Classmate, sophomore Ian West cleared 4.80 meters in pole vault to grab a gold.
“Overall, it was a productive weekend,” Allison said. “The weight throw is relatively new for me so I’m working on getting more comfortable and pushing the mark as we head towards championship season. This weekend produced a lot of things for us to learn from and I’m proud of how hard the Harvard throws crew has been working.”
In pole vault, the women’s side nearly swept, claiming both second and third. Co-captain Marlena Sabatino earned the silver in a 3.80-meter jump while junior Nicole Trenchard was one step behind after the 3.70-meter finish.
Freshman Emily Johns rounded out the field performance for the women’s squad with a second place finish in her flight, the result of 12.59-meter throw in shot put.
“As a freshman, I am happy with what I have done so far and am hoping to better myself and contribute to the team even more as the season progresses,” Johns said. “The team is really strong and coming into form as we're nearing the end of the indoor season.”
Thomas earned her first of three golds on the weekend under the roof of this Crimson arena. The junior finished the 60-meter dash in 7.32 seconds, her second fastest time of the season.
“It was a tremendous honor to be given the opportunity to represent Harvard in the mile on our home track,” Fish said. “I was excited to come home with the win, but I’m already shifting my focus to a race only a few weeks away: Indoor Heps. The team has been working incredibly hard, and I’m incredibly excited to see that pay off.”
—Staff writer Cade Palmer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @THC_CadePalmer.
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