Philip Simmons alum a scholar and an athlete

Track and field standout Noah Ward admits the transition from high school to college has been a challenge – athletically and academically.
But Ward, who is a member of the Harvard University team, after a memorable career at Philip Simmons High School, has been up to the challenge. Recently, he saw his hard work and dedication pay dividends.
He and other members of the Crimson team competed in the prestigious Penn Relays, the oldest and largest track and field extravaganza in the United States. The event, hosted by the University of Pennsylvania, first held in 1895, returned after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ward was one of 15,000 runners to compete in the meet on April 28-30, which was held at Franklin Field in Philadelphia. It features high school, college and club track teams and individuals across North America.
“It was a great experience,” said Ward, a freshman at the Ivy league school in Cambridge, Massachusetts. “It’s a meet I’ve wanted to race at since I was in middle school, so it was nice to finally compete there. My race didn’t go well, but I still had a good time competing and traveling with my teammates.”
Ward was an honor student at Philip Simmons and concluded a prep career that included 11 individual state championships in cross country and track and field.
Now, Ward’s wrapping up the first year of his college experience.
“It has been pretty difficult balancing both academics and athletics, but definitely manageable,” Ward said. “I would say about 90 percent of the time here I am either training or trying to get school work done. It took 
me about the whole first semester to adjust to the academics and get into a healthy routine of studying. Harvard also does an amazing job of providing academic support for its students which has been super helpful.”
Ward’s potential as a student and athlete made him the perfect candidate to attend Harvard. But the school attracts top talent from around the world, and its talent pool is deep.
“Honestly, the biggest adjustment has been realizing how talented everyone else in the NCAA is,” Ward said. “Coming out of high school I thought I was going to continue winning races and making the travel squads, but that was not the case. It was the first time in my life that everyone else on my team was just as good as I am, if not better. It’s been a pretty humbling experience, but it has ultimately just motivated me even more to try and become a better athlete.”
Ward said he had a mediocre cross country season in the fall of 2021 as he adjusted to the new level of training and academic workload. But his spring track and field season went well, as he improved on his personal bests.
Ward’s academic focus is concentrating in economics and possibly a secondary in statistics.
“I’m not sure if I will go to graduate school somewhere, but my mom really wants me to so if it makes her happy I 
might have to,” Ward said.
Ward’s goals for his remaining time at Harvard are to stay healthy while remaining motivated and passionate for running. He also wants to compete at the national championship and “enjoy the little things along the way.”

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