Campus & Community

Race to the top

5 min read

Harvard Track and Field talent dominates in recent meets

Harvard Track and Field put their best foot forward at the Crimson Elite meet on Feb. 6, with the men topping the opposition and the women finishing second out of 10 teams. On the women’s side, Gabrielle Thomas ’19 and Ngozi Musa ’19 took second and third in the 60 meters, respectively, with Thomas setting a Harvard and Ivy record with a time of 7.38 seconds. Thomas completed the day with a victory in the long jump.

Harvard placed three in the top four of the pole vault, led by sophomore Marlena Sabatino’s second-place finish and school-record height. Nicole Trenchard ’19 and Lexie Schachne ’16 also had career-best heights of 12 feet 3.5 inches (3.75 meters) to tie for fourth.

Nikki Okwelogu ’17 dominated the shot put, taking first place by nearly seven feet. Autumne Franklin ’16 took second in the 60 meter after being edged at the finish line. Franklin’s season-best mark was just .01 seconds off her career-high.

The Crimson men tallied top results in the jumps, with Spencer Lemons ’16, Malcolm Mason Rodriguez ’16, and Efe Uwaifo ’17 all claiming first place. Mason Rodriguez won the long jump with a season-best mark of 23 inches 1.25 inches (7.04 meters), while Uwaifo, competing for the first time in 2016, jumped to 50 feet 5.5 inches (15.38 meters) in the triple jump.

Jay Hebert ’18 dashed to first place in the 60-meter hurdles with the second-best in Harvard history. Alexander Moore ’18 placed second in the 400 meters, clocking in at 49.88 seconds, while Max Mondelli ’18 finished fourth in the 60 meters in 6.92 seconds. Both marks were collegiate-bests for the sprinters.

In the weight throw, Josh Whitener ’17 took third, while both Matthew Miller ’18 and Andrew Roney ’17 successfully cleared 15 feet 1 inch (4.60 meters) in the pole vault.

Nicky Maxwell ’19 made NCAA history in the 60 meters as the first organization-cleared runner with a prosthetic to compete at the collegiate level, clocking a career-best 9.01 seconds.

Following the Crimson Elite meet, the teams traveled to Ithaca, N.Y., for the Ivy League Indoor Heptagonal championships. The women captured their fourth Ivy title in a row, while the men finished fifth. Franklin was named the meet’s Most Outstanding Track Athlete after posting victories in the 400 meters and 60-meter hurdles, while also serving on the championship-winning 4-by-400 meter relay team. Thomas had a memorable meet as well, capturing victories in the 60- and 200-meter runs to go with her triumph in the long jump. Okwelogu captured her third consecutive Heptagonal title in the shot put, winning the event by nearly 10 feet.

The men’s squad captured a pair of victories in the meet, coming in the triple jump and 4-by-800 meter relays. Uwaifo defended his Heptagonal crown with a jump of 52 feet 2.75 inches (15.92) meters, setting a new career- and Harvard-best. After the meet, 17 student-athletes received All-Ivy League honors, and Jason Saretsky, the William W. “Bill” McCurdy Director of Track and Field/Cross Country, was named the co-coach of the year on the women’s side for the second year in a row.

Marlee Sabatino ’18 clears the bar in the pole vault. She cleared 12 feet 11.5 inches (3.95 meters) for a new school record.
Gabrielle Thomas ’19 , left, soars to victory in the long jump. She recorded a collegiate-best mark of 18 feet 9.75 inches (5.73 meters). Nicole Trenchard ’19, right, clears the bar in the pole vault. She tied teammate Lexi Schachne ’16 for fourth place.
Max Mondelli ’18 runs to a fourth-place finish in the 60 meters at the Crimson Elite track and field meet.
Spencer Lemons ’16 clears the high jump bar. Lemons won the event with a leap of 6 feet 6.25 inches (1.99 meters), tying a season high.
Gabrielle Thomas wins the 60-meter dash with a Harvard and Ivy League record of 7.38 seconds, edging teammate Ngozi Musa ’19 (not pictured) by a tenth of a second.
Garrett Rouser ’19 (center) and Randy Raymond ’18, far right, round the turn in the 400 meters. Rouser finished fifth in 50.74 seconds, while teammate Raymond was clocked at 51.35.
Nikki Okwelogu ’17 heaves the shot put 55 feet 7 inches (16.94 meters), a season-best distance, to win by nearly seven feet.
Nicky Maxwell ’19, center, leaves the track after clocking a career-best 9.01 seconds in the 60 meters. James Lin ’16, far left, had a time of 7.49 seconds.
Harvard hurdles are stacked beside the track until the sprints are finished.
Autumne Franklin ’16 was in a neck-and neck race, but was edged out at the finish. She took second in 8.42 seconds. Jackie Modesett ’17, far left, finished fifth.
Jay Hebert ’18, center, pulls out a victory in the 60-meter hurdles with a career-best time of 8.12 seconds.
Crimson Elite track and field meet. Haley Baker ’17, left, leaps for a distance of 16 feet 11.5 inches (5.17 meters) in the long jump. Allison Morrison ’16, right, gets some good air time in the long jump. She also placed third in the 400 meters.
Alex Kirby ’17 runs the 400 meters. He was third in his heat with a time of 51.87 seconds.
Sylvia Deppen ’17 runs a heat of the 60-meter dash in 7.84 seconds.
Josh Whitener ’17 lets go a heave of 58 feet 3.75 inches (17.77 meters) in the weight throw, good for third place.
Alexander Moore ’18 leads the pack in the 400 meters. He finished second.
Pole vaulter Lexi Schachne ’16, second from right, talks with track and field teammates after receiving flowers as part of a Seniors’ Day celebration.