Opening Up Our Remaining Valentines

Some last bits of weekend competition as our final Valentine’s gifts to HepsNation.

Don Kirby Elite Invitational (Albuquerque, NM) – L. Kelsey Armstrong

Several of Harvard women traveled to Albuquerque, NM to experience some competition at altitude.  The eight ladies were rewarded with multiple top ten conference performances, a school record and a conference record.

The 4x400m quartet (Gabrielle Thomas, Autumne Franklin, Christi Scott, Jade Miller) eclipsed the conference record held by Cornell since 2014 (3:36.63).  Their time of 3:35.14 (3:35.58 adjusted for altitude) garnered a fourth place finish overall and is now fifteenth best in the country. Miller ran a school record time of 1:31.48 in the rarely-run 600m to place third overall.  Rookies Ngozi Musa and Thomas continued their fantastic indoor seasons by placing fifth (7.41) and seventh (7.46) in the 60m.  Musa jumped up to #2 in the conference with her 7.40 (7.42A) in the heats, which is the 3rd fastest ever in the league.  Nikki Okwelogu was the lone thrower and launched the shot put 53-11 3/4 for third place. Thomas placed sixth in the 200m in 23.72, while Franklin stormed to a 24.29 (24.36A) sixteenth place finish.  That time, is not only a personal best, but the 4th best in the Ivies this season.  Franklin also competed in the 60m hurdles, placing in fourteenth (8.56), while her teammates Jackie Modesett (8.66) and Miller (8.66) placed twenty-fourth and twenty-fifth respectively.  Miller’s adjusted time of 8.68 is #4 in the league.  Modesett also chipped in with a 56.01 (56.21A) effort in the 400m, placing thirty-first overall and 8th in the conference rankings.

Husky Classic (Seattle, Wash.) – L. Kelsey Armstrong

Two seniors (Kieran Gallagher, Paige Kouba) and two sophomores (Courtney Smith, Elianna Shwayder) traveled up to the Northwest to compete in the traditionally competitive Husky Classic.  From this trip, there was one top ten collegiate performance and two other top ten conference times.

Courtney Smith led the group with a third place finish overall in the 5,000m.  Her time of 15:46.44 is the conference leader, fourth all time in the league, and currently ranked eighth in the country (check out her post-race interview with Shwayder followed behind in thirty-eight place with a #5 conference time of 16:47.41.  Paige Kouba placed fifteenth overall with a 4:43.77 performance in the mile, #5 in the league.  Gallagher ran the 800m in a time of 2:21.02 for twenty-second overall.

 Gordon Kelly Invitational (Cambridge, Mass) – Mary Boggs

Dartmouth sent their sprinters and field eventers to MIT’s Gordon Kelly Invitational on Saturday, and they just dominated the fields.  On top of winning 11 events, three of those events had a 1-2-3-4 finish sweep (women’s 60m and 200m; men’s hurdles) while another two had a 1-2-3 finish (men’s pole vault; women’s long jump).  Kaitlin Whitehorn continued to own the 60m (7.76) and high jump (5-07 3/4) this season as she won both events.  Nicole DeBlasio won the 200m (25.76) while finishing as the runner up in the 60m dash (7.86).  Allison Frantz was in a similar situation – she won the hurdles (9.25) and finished second the long jump (17-01 1/4).  The long jump was won by Kayla Gilding with a distance of 17-08 1/4.  Kaitlin Mccallum won the pole vault with a 12-01 1/2 clearance.  For the men, Victor Williams won the men’s 60m (7.12) and Corey Muggler won the triple jump (48-11 1/2).  Alex Frye led a 1-2-3-4 sweep in the hurdles behind his 8.28 winning time.  Max Cosculluela continued to win at the pole vault (15-11).  Colin Minor won the weight throw with a 59-01 1/2 toss.

2016 Cornell Sunday Invitational (Ithaca, NY) – Becky Wexler

We can only imagine how cold it was this afternoon in Ithaca, but luckily, this is indoor track season and the Cornell Sunday Invitational took place today inside Barton Hall. The men and women competed against local rivals such as Binghamton and Cortland State.

On the men’s side, several of Cornell’s sprinters and jumpers established personal records and conference-leading marks. Freshman Alex Beck had a stellar meet, winning both the 60m (6.86) and the 200m (21.90/21.54c). Going into Heps weekend, Beck is now tied with teammate Brailin Paulino for third in the conference in the 60m and ranks second in the 200m conference standings.  Sophomore Myles Lazarou and junior Josef Mankovecky both cleared 6-10 3/4 to win (tie, really) the high jump. That height ranks second on the conference list and was a personal best for each.

Other meet highlights include:

  • Sophomore Alex Rodriguez won the long jump with a conference-leading (and personal best) leap of 24-07.
  • Junior Bobby Plummer won the triple jump with a conference-leading (and personal best) leap of 51-03 ½.
  • Sophomore James Smith won the 500m in a time of 1:05.56.
  • Freshman Leena Morris won the shot put (44-06 ¼, person best, ranked third in the conference) and was second in the weight throw (56-05 ¼).
  • Sophomore Kate Gulbrandson won the high jump in a personal best of 5-07 ¼, a mark that ties her for fifth in the conference. Gulbrandson also earned a personal best in the long jump (16-04 ½).
  • Freshman Ellery Bianco won the 500m (1:17.09/1:16.12c).
  • Sophomore Caroline Markowitz won the 800m(2:20.76/1:19.16c).
  • Freshman Gracie Todd ran a personal best to win the mile (5:06.16/5:03.16c).

New Balance Indoor Grand Prix (Boston, Mass) – Mary Boggs

Other alumni racing this past weekend included the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix at the Reggie Lewis Center last night.  This event is a part of the IAAF Indoor Tour – the only stop on American soil – an inaugural two-year track & field tour where athletes seek prize money and wildcard berths into future IAAF World Indoor Championships.  Athletes get points for finishing in the top four of their respective events.  Olympic champion and former Ivy shot put record holder Adam Nelson was one of the TV commentators/announcers for the meet.

Abbey D’Agostino and Kate Grace grabbed their first points of the Indoor Tour.  D’Agostino led the chase pack for the women’s 3,000m as Ethiopia’s Meseret Defar took the pace out quick as she aimed for a sub-8:30 clocking.  D’Agostino was personally aiming for sub-8:50 but came up a little short, finishing second overall in 8:56.77.  The time is a IAAF Indoor World qualifier (9:00.00) – she will need to place in the top 2 at USATF Indoor Nationals to get a spot on Team USA.  Kate Grace raced the indoor 1,500m and came out with a new all-time best of 4:06.75 (her outdoor PR is 4:07.35) to finish third in the event behind Ethiopia’s Dawit Seyaum and USA’s Brenda Martinez.  Grace’s time is also an IAAF Indoor Qualifier equivalent for the indoor mile (4:13.00), and like D’Ags, she will need a top 2 finish at USATF Indoor Nationals to make it onto Team USA.

Morgan Uceny managed to avoid going down during the women’s 1,500m as another athlete went down in front of her midway through the race. The race announcers originally called out Uceny for falling but it was actually Treniere Moser.  Uceny was behind her but managed to step around her, losing some speedy in the process.  Uceny finished eighth in the race with 4:15.88.  Megan Krumpoch was the rabbit for the women’s 1,500m.  Liz Costello was the final Ivy competitor – she finished seventh in the 3,000m with a time of 9:03.12.

 Interview with Abbey D’Agostino done by

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