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John Harvard's Journal | Sports

Spring Sports

July-August 2017

Jade Miller
Photograph courtesy of Harvard Athletic Communicaitons


Jade Miller
Photograph courtesy of Harvard Athletic Communicaitons

Track and Field

After a season of big wins and broken records, Harvard’s track and field team sent three women to the NCAA championships in Eugene, Oregon, as this issue went to press. Two seniors—sprinter and hurdler Jade Miller, and shot-putter and discus thrower Nikki Okwelogu (a 2016 Olympian for Nigeria)—punched their tickets to the tournament with strong performances in the NCAA East preliminary meets in late May. So did standout sophomore sprinter and jumper Gabby Thomas, who this spring helped the women’s team to its fourth straight Ivy Outdoor Heptagonal Championship title—and with it, for the first time in program history, a “triple crown”: a sweep of all three titles in cross country, indoor track, and outdoor track.

The men’s team took fourth place in the Outdoor Heps, missing third place by a single point. Senior Efe Uwaifu, a jumper, qualified for the NCAA tournament in Eugene as well, reaching ninth place overall with a 51-foot, 5.5-inch triple jump in the East regional preliminary round.


Kendrick Vinar
Photograph courtesy of Harvard Athletic Communciations

Golf

After finishing second in early April at the Princeton Invitational, the men’s golf team won its second straight Ivy League championship at the end of that month, defeating the field of seven other teams by 15 strokes, earning a trip to the NCAAs; the Crimson had topped the leaderboard on each of the tournament’s three days. At the NCAA regional competition in mid May, Harvard senior Kendrick Vinar placed thirteenth overall with a final score of 218 (plus-two, 76-69-74), the highest NCAA finish for a Harvard player since 1982.

The women’s team, after taking third in the April 1 Harvard Invitational and winning first a week later in the Navy Spring Invitational at Annapolis, Maryland, placed second in a field of seven in the Ivy championship. Sophomore Anna Zhou led the way with a final score of 231 (plus-15, 77-76-78).

Crew

In mid May, the men’s heavyweight crew took second place at the Eastern Sprints Championships in Worcester, Massachusetts. During a wild afternoon on Lake Quinsigamond, the varsity eight was barely beaten by Yale after making a furious comeback; the second varsity boat took fourth, and the third boat rowed to a first-place finish. Two weeks earlier, the team had swept Northeastern to win its twentieth consecutive Smith Cup, and before that had swept all five races against a higher-ranked Princeton team to bring home the Compton Cup for the first time in three years. As the magazine went to press, the Crimson was preparing for the 152nd Harvard-Yale Regatta in New London, Connecticut. (Last year’s varsity contest was declared, controversially, to have no official winner, after Harvard’s boat sank in rough waters within the first half-mile of the course and the race was called off with Yale ahead.)


Heavyweight women’s crew
Photograph by Zack Williamson/Harvard Athletic Communications

 

The men’s lightweight team, meanwhile, hoisted the Jope Cup at the Eastern Sprints, winning the championship for the first time since 2011. Rowing at home in late April, the Crimson had beaten No. 1 Yale and fourth-ranked Princeton to capture the Goldthwaite Cup, adding to the spring’s existing haul of the Wales-Kirrane Cup (versus Columbia and Georgetown), the Biglin Bowl (versus Dartmouth and MIT), and the Haines Cup (versus Navy and Delaware).

After an up-and-down spring, the eighteenth-ranked women’s heavyweight crew won gold at Eastern Sprints, placing first in five of its six races on a late-April afternoon during which competitions were delayed by lightning. The Radcliffe lightweights also finished first at Eastern Sprints, winning gold in the varsity eight race, silver in second varsity, and gold in third varsity. A week earlier, the Radcliffe lightweights had upset third-ranked Princeton on a cool and foggy Saturday in Cambridge to win the Class of 1999 Cup for the second year in a row.

Tennis

Closing out its season in late April with a 17-8 overall record (5-2 Ivy), women’s tennis handed losses to Ivy rivals Princeton, Yale, Columbia, Brown, and Dartmouth this past spring. Toppling Princeton 5-2 in the final win of the season, the Crimson earned a share (with Dartmouth) of the Ivy League trophy for the first time since 2009. Sophomore standout Erica Oosterhout secured the winning point in that contest. A first-team All-Ivy player who won seven of her last 10 matches, Oosterhout was 18-9 overall in singles competition this season, and 16-9 in doubles when partnering with senior captain June Lee.

Men’s tennis finished with an 18-9 overall record (6-1 Ivy), clinching a share of the conference title on the final day of the season, with a dual match win over Penn. The team had won nine of its last 10 matches, marred only by a 4-2 loss to Cornell (with whom it would share the Ivy crown, along with Columbia). In singles play, the Crimson was led by junior Jean Thirouin (with a 16-4 overall record) and sophomore Andy Zhou and junior Kenny Tao (both 14-7). The doubles pair of sophomore Christopher Morrow and freshman Logan Weber led the team with an 18-6 record; Tao and senior Brian Yeoung followed close behind with 16-6. 

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Senior captain Josh Ellis '17 started playing catcher as a 10-year-old Little Leaguer, he says, and "never looked back."

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Harvard baseball player Josh Ellis is profiled

Katie Benzan ’20 was a first-team All-Ivy honoree and led the team in scoring (13.4 points per game) and assists (4.2 assists per game).

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