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RE: Harvard Takes Another Hit - From a Coach on Staff

Elbatata wrote:

The following was just shared as a comment on Lauren's article. Is Lucy also "hysterical"?

As a recent Harvard graduate (Class of 2015) and former athlete on the female track and cross-country teams, I very strongly identify with this article. Kudos to you, Lauren Kuntz, for bravely publishing this and choosing not to hide behind the cloak of anonymity. I ran for a few years under Jason Saretsky (he oversaw the female distance program at this time point, circa 2011-2013) and chose to quit the team during the spring of my sophomore year. I was constantly injured, running 2x the mileage I ran during high school and felt like an inconsequential statistic. Jason rarely displayed empathy and compassion to his female athletes who were not in the top 3 of their distance group and berated my best friend (who was the female track team captain at the time) for her serious injuries and difficult choice to not compete during her senior spring. This is a man who spoke to other members of the womens team and urged them to individually talk to my best friend and "encourage" her to participate at the outdoor Ivy League Championships i.e. guilt trip her into competing. Jason was relentless with this campaign and it infuriates me to this day that he remains employed at my alma mater.

If anyone within the Athletic Department is reading this, I highly encourage you to schedule meetings and circulate a poll within the womens track and cross country teams to garner objective, honest feedback free from the fear-based results that would occur if Jason were to ask for feedback.

Please remember that this man is in a position of power over 18-22 year old women; these are their formative years and being coached by someone like Jason Saretsky is a surefire way to wreck their physical and psychological health.

And as my username suggests, my name is Lucy McCullough. I invite anyone reading this who is skeptical of my background to google search me and verify that I did attend Harvard, I did run on the cross country and track teams, and I do have personal experience with Jason Saretsky and the rest of the administration.

Running twice the mileage of high school, feeling like a statistic , being pressured to run when a bit hurt, coaches not showing empathy, this unfortunately is not unique to Harvard. I've had a few of my HS athletes experience this when they chose to run for D1 schools. Most also stopped running. I was never able to understand why a nurturing environment can't take place on more D1 track teams. No wonder some HS runners don't improve in college.
I've read these threads over the last few months without commenting because I have nothing to add and have no clue what is happening. I've known Jason and his family since he was a kid and this saddens me. Hopefully the administration will have meetings, circulate a poll, watch the coaches closely and "read them the riot act" give them one last chance or remove them. Horrible for all involved.

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