After a forgettable end to their indoor season two weeks ago at the Easter College Athletic Conference Championships, the women’s track team was ready to take its talents outdoors.
“We just got off break and we’re just trying to revamp and get our engines running again to start competing outdoors,” coach Gwen Harris said.
Traveling to Winston-Salem, N.C., for the Wake Forest Invitational, the Quakers felt primed to start off the spring season on a high note.
“We were really excited about the opening of outdoor,” sophomore standout hurdler Gabielle Piper said. “The weather was supposed to be bad, but it ended up being really nice out.”
In a field of over 1,000 total athletes, Penn secured multiple top-10 finishes.
“The talent varied from the very best, all the way down,” Harris said. “For us it was decent talent, not championship-level, but it was pretty good for this time of the year. It was a big meet, there must have been 30-40 teams.”
The Red and Blue’s sole first place finish of the meet came from sophomore Kersie Jhabvala, who won the 10,000-meter run in a time of 37:04:59. The time was sixth fastest in school history.
Junior Morgan Wheeler also had a strong performance, finishing third in the javelin throw.
Piper finished fifth in the 100-meter hurdles out of 54 competitors, while senior Emily Townsend had a personal record with a 12.23 finish in the 100-meter dash, which was the seventh fastest time in school history.
“If we look at where we were at this point last year, most of the team is doing tremendously better,” Harris said.
Senior Kristen Judge came in third in the high jump and junior Davielle Brown came in fifth in pole vault.
Laura Steel also finished fifth in the 3,000-meter run in 9:57:41, while Catherine Okoukoni finished fifth in the triple jump.
The 4 × 100-meter relay, run by Piper, Renee McDougall, Nony Onyeador and Lydia Ali, took tenth place with a time of 47.45.
“We had a good time and are excited to continue our season next week,” Piper said. “We’re happy with our performance but it’s still early and there’s room for a lot of improvement.”
The Quakers will be at Franklin Field next weekend for the Big 5 Invitational. They hope to improve week after week.
“We’re going to do the things we need to do to make sure we’re ready to run our best in May,” Harris said.
Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.