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Track and Field Excels at Penn, Stonehill Before Ivy Heps

Running for the Hills
Track and Field’s sprinters compete in prior action in Cambridge.
As Harvard track and field prepares for Ivy Heps next weekend, part of the team competed at the Stonehill Invite while others competed at the Penn Relays for a final tune-up before one of the biggest meets of the season. The Crimson continued their success, winning three events, and placing top five in five others. With the promising results from this past weekend, Harvard finds itself in a strong position to defeat their Ancient Eight foes.

“We're using all these different meets as opportunities to prepare for the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships in Princeton in May, where we hope to improve on our 2nd place finish (women) and 3rd place finish (men) from the indoor championships” said freshman sprinter Max Serrano-Wu. “There were many PR's set this weekend, so we'll reflect on our performance and use it as a boost for the Championships.”

The Belmont, Mass. native had a significant contribution to the Crimson’s success this past weekend at the Stonehill Invite. He competed in the 400m and crossed the finish line in fifth place, posting a time of 52.20 seconds. As Ivy Heps approaches, the freshman sprinter hopes to edge closer to the 50 second threshold he has been vying for this entire season.

The 400m race also saw freshman Mason Rodriguez get fourth with a time of 51.69 seconds. If Rodriguez and Serrano-Wu can continue to lower down their times, they will provide valuable depth to a sprinting lineup that already boast the best 4x400m in the Ivy League.

Other notable performances for Harvard come from the middle distance runners. Senior Liam Hackett placed fourth in the 800m at the Stonehill Invite with a time of 1:56.78. His leadership along with senior captain Myles Marshall, the reigning 800m Ivy Heps Champion, will be crucial in order to secure points in the middle distance events come next weekend.

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The highlight of the weekend comes from both the men’s and women’s distance teams, who excelled at the Stonehill Invite and Penn Relays respectively. The Stonehill Invite saw junior Charlie Davis win the 3000m steeplechase with a time of 10:20.08 while at Penn, freshman David Melville earned a new personal record with 9:23.14 in the 3000m steeplechase. Sophomore Michael Alber would win the 3000m at the Stonehill Invite in 8:50.50.

On the women’s side, there were a slew of personal bests and one incredible school record to boast. Junior Lisa Tertsch finished second in the women’s 5000m at Penn Relays with a time 16:03.15. Her time was the fastest by a collegiate student-athlete at the meet and broke the school record by over eight seconds, surpassing Morgan Kelly ‘14’s time of 16:11.05. Such a dominant performance at one of the most competitive meets in the nation bodes well for Tertsch at Ivy Heps.

Along with Tertsch’s impressive school record performance, the women’s distance runners also succeeded at the 3000m, 5000m, 10000m. In her first time running the 3000m, sophomore Tessa Medrano placed 13th at the event with a time of 9:54.19.

In the 5000m, junior Brooke Starn broke her personal record by over 20 seconds with a time of 16:55.04 and placed 18th in the event. Finally, Gillian Meeks exceeded her personal best by over 30 seconds in the 10000m to place 6th in the event with a time of 34:59.33. Her time was the 10th best mark in program history.

With excellent performances by the distance team this past weekend, the Crimson should be encouraged heading into Ivy Heps next weekend. Both the mens and womens team will need their distance runners to perform at their best if they want to take home the chip.

— Staff writer Mahtab Shihab can be reached at mahtab.shihab@thecrimson.com.

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