In an individual sport like track and field, most competitors have a single skill. But for Morgan Wheeler, one event just isn’t enough.
Coming off of a third-place finish in the javelin at the Wake Forest Invitational, the junior is hoping to find even more success at this Saturday’s Big 5 Invitational at Franklin Field.
After a strong opening performance, Wheeler is primed to put up a season even better than the one that enabled her to qualify for NCAA East Regionals last year.
In fact, she’s already way ahead of the curve.
“I opened last meet with a 41 [meter throw], and that was great because it was so much of an improvement over where I was last year at the time,” Wheeler said. “So hopefully I’ll be able to continue on this season and continue to improve.”
There is far more to Wheeler than just the javelin, though.
As part of the heptathlon competition, Wheeler also represents the Red and Blue in the 100-meter hurdles, 200-meter dash, 800 meters, high jump, long jump and shot put.
A true jack of all trades, Wheeler ranks in the top 10 in the Penn record books for her performances in the heptathlon and high jump as well.
However, the hot start hasn’t come without its complications. Running the 200 last weekend, Wheeler began to feel pain in her quadriceps.
As a result, her preparation for the Big 5 Invitational has taken on a different focus.
“I haven’t done anything like sprinting,” Wheeler said. “I high jumped a bit, throwing jav, just trying to not do anything really high, at that.”
Though she may not be at full strength this weekend, plenty of others on the team are.
Six other Quakers posted top-10 finishes last weekend, highlighted by sophomore Kersie Jhabvala, who won the 10,000 meters with a time of 37:04.59.
The Red and Blue seem primed for success on the season in spite of the injury bug.
“We have such great talent in every grade, from freshman to senior,” said Wheeler. “Hopefully there will come that time when we have everybody healthy, and we’re able to perform to the best of our ability.”
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