W. Track | Personal bests not enough at ECACs

· May 28, 2009, 5:00 am

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Anna Aagenes and the Penn women's track and field team were in top form during competition at the ECAC Outdoor Championships May 15-17. Unfortunately for the Quakers, it did not amount to much on the scoreboard.

With her fourth-place finish in the 800-meter on the event's final day, Aagenes garnered all five points scored by the Quakers at the meet. The junior advanced to the finals after her spectacular finish Saturday, posting a career-best time that ranked third in the history of the women's team. The time now ranks Aagenes 10th in the East Region.

Penn finished in 42nd-place overall out of 59 teams receiving points. With 88 points, Connecticut took the 2009 ECAC title.

Penn coach Gwen Harris was happy with her team's effort in approaching personal records in numerous events.

"They competed well," Harris said. "If I had asked them to do better, they would have had to [beat their personal records] by huge margins. I don't know if they're strong enough to do that yet, but they're trying hard."

The Red and Blue had 16 women travel to Princeton's Weaver Stadium to compete. Senior Kinjal Parikh was the Quakers' lone competitor Friday, running in the 5000 meters. The East Meadow, N.Y., native finished in 26th place with a time of 18:00.73.

Saturday, freshman Paige Madison almost posted a personal best in the 400-meter hurdles with a 16th-place finish of 1:01.88. Much to her own and the rest of the Quakers' dismay, she was less than a second off the time needed to qualify for Regionals. Harris is confident in Madison's future success, however.

"She's got 4 more years; it's going to be fun," Harris said. "She'll run much better. I think she's going to be one the people we talk about a lot."

Many Penn competitors suffered the same fate as Madison, performing close to personal bests but failing to advance. These results included the 400-meter relay team's time of 47.20 seconds and junior Jamie Massarelli's 18th-place finish out of 31 in the 400-meters at 55.77 - bested only by her May 10 time from Heptagonals.

The season for women's track and field does not end with the ECACs. Aagenes and senior Leah Brogan will be competing at the NCAA East Regional Championships in Charlottle, N.C., tomorrow and Saturday. According to Harris, their goal is to go to nationals, so they are in the process of developing a plan for Regionals that will allow them to advance.

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