Extending a banner year for Harvard’s athletics, the men’s and women’s track and field teams have been breaking University records left and right. With their season running through May and ending with Olympic tryouts in early June, these runners, long jumpers, and weight throwers show no sign of slowing down.

“Harvard Track and Field has had a rich tradition of success, and to see the current team members rewriting the record books has been remarkable,” said Jason Saretsky, director of track and field and cross-country. “The fact that so many different event areas are at all-time-best levels is especially impressive.”

German-born pole-vaulter Nico Weiler ’13 set a school record on Feb. 11 at a meet against Yale and Princeton by clearing 17′ 4.5″ (5.30m). “My brother started pole vaulting at 14. I’m three years younger than him, so I was about 11 when I started,” said Weiler. “As a little kid, jumping over things is always fun.”

Pole-vaulter Allie Pace ’14 took home second place at the meet, but set a school record, clearing 12′ 9.5″ (3.90m). The Chicago native said she sometimes gets a bit nervous before performing. “It’s a very mental event. The more scared you are, the likelier you are to get hurt,” said Pace. “But I overcome any mental instabilities by repeating a mantra before jumping: ‘I am fast. I am furious. I can do this.’ ”

Success was just what Pace needed after facing a difficult freshman year. “I hit a plateau, so over the summer I worked really hard to get into great shape,” she said. Determined to surpass her own personal record, Pace did just that — and the University’s as well. “By 4 inches,” she said, grinning.

“I definitely had that sense of ‘finally!’ ” she sighed. “Now the only person I have to beat is myself.”

Hurdler Jarvis Harris ’15 broke a University record at the Feb. 3 Battle of Beantown, where he clocked in at 8.11 seconds in the 60-meter hurdle.

“It feels really good being able to contribute to the history at Harvard,” said the freshman from Ama, La. “I broke the record pretty early on in the season, so I’ve got to keep progressing.”

Harris, who began running track when he was 9, was indifferent about hurdling when his coach pressed him to try it at 13, the age where more-advanced track and field activities can be introduced. “Once I was able to do it, I was like, ‘Let’s go!’ ”

He still falls sometimes, he admitted. “My mom hated that — she winced,” he recalled of his high school meets. Because of the team’s whirlwind travel schedule, including an upcoming meet in Houston, a six-hour drive from Ama, his parents may still get to see him in action.

Olivia Weeks ’13 found herself taking second place in Harvard’s records for the triple jump at the Battle of Beantown in early February, and Ben Glauser ’15, took second place in the record books for the shot put at Jan. 28’s Night at the Armory. For them, first-place glory is close, very close.

For sophomore Adabelle Ekechukwu, who holds the second-place record for weight throwing with a distance of 18.54, beating herself is the real objective. “That’s my goal for each upcoming meet,” said the neurobiology concentrator. “It’s reachable; I just hope I can perform,” she said.

The team is on the cusp, they know. “We’ve definitely grown a lot from my freshman year. We’re starting to realize that we’re really good, and realizing our own potential,” said Weiler.

“We’re eager this season,” added Harris. “And hopeful. We’re looking for a better season than we’ve ever had before. We’re hungrier.”

Off to the races

Jon Chase/Harvard Staff Photographer

  • Flying high

    Flying high

    At the Feb. 11 meet against Yale and Princeton, Harvard's Ashtynn Baltimore helped secure a sweep in the long jump event with her leap of 19 feet, 2 inches (5.82 meters).

  • Fearless


    Alexandra Pace '14 clears the bar in the pole vault. She took second place, but posted a new school record in the event, clearing 12 feet, 9.5 inches (3.90 meters).

  • 'I can do this'

    'I can do this'

    Allie Pace: “I overcome any mental instabilities by repeating a mantra before jumping: ‘I am fast. I am furious. I can do this.’”

  • Brothers in arms

    Brothers in arms

    Michael Slovenski '15 (left) waits to jump against his brother, David, who took second place for Princeton.

  • Bend it

    Bend it

    Jonathan Sparks '14 leaps over the bar in the high jump event. Sparks cleared 1.99 meters, tying him with the eventual winner, but was awarded second on the basis of more misses.

  • Home free

    Home free

    John Dingus '12 leads the pack down the home stretch in the 500-meter run. Dingus was the only athlete on the day to break the 1:05:00 barrier, winning convincingly in 1:04:54.

  • Hurdling


    Jarvis Harris '15 (left) leads teammate Timothy Moan '14 on his way to win a preliminary heat of the 60-meter hurdles.

  • Record breaker

    Record breaker

    Nico Weiler '13 turned in one of the top performances of the day, capturing the pole vault with a clearance of 17 feet, 4.5 inches (5.30 meters), setting a new University and meet record in the event.

  • Blazing


    Damani Wilson '13 wins his heat in the 60-meter dash. Wilson placed second in the final.

  • Going for it

    Going for it

    Connor Hinebaugh '15 leads the pack in this 400-meter heat. He finished 6th overall.

  • Running down a dream

    Running down a dream

    Gabrielle Scott '15 runs a close second to Princeton's Cecilia Barowski, the eventual winner, in the 400-meter run.