Penn track builds on its momentum and wins in New York


Quakers' men continue to dominate in the early weeks of 2013 at Armory




After finishing second at the Armory in New York two weeks ago, the Penn men’s track team returned Friday to pick up where it left off.

With its most recent performance over the weekend, the team has achieved top-two finishes in three consecutive meets, with victories coming in its last two events.

The men’s team has dominated the early part of the 2013 indoor track and field season.

“It’s always fun to win the event,” coach Steve Dolan said.

Behind first-place finishes by Semi Ibikunle, Kirk Webb, Tim Carey and Thomas Pitt, the Quakers scored 164 to beat out eight other teams comfortably. Army finished second with 139 points.

Webb and Ibikunle finished with their first collegiate victories in the 800 meters and long jump, respectively.

“It feels great to win, after such a long time (since senior year in high school),” sophomore Ibikunle said. “I wasn’t expecting it so it was definitely a nice surprise.”

Ibikunle’s leap of 6.48 meters on his fourth try catapulted him to first place in the meet.

“For the season we’re trying to build up how fast people run, how far they throw – we’re just building performances,” Dolan said.

Their work has been apparent thus far, and multiple athletes are seeing great returns from their effort and dedication.

Just 5.9 tenths of a second was the difference between the finishes of two Penn teammates, freshman Webb and senior Matt Chylak. Webb finished the first heat with a time of 1:56.18, with Chylak clocking in at 1:56.77 in the second heat.

Pitt also beat out a teammate for his first-place finish, winning the high jump by clearing the two meter mark on his first try — the only competitor to do so. Junior Nate Harriger finished second.

“The team has been competing quite well,” Dolan said. “It’s good that we are having overall team success, but I think more importantly it’s good that we are seeing increases in individual performances from week to week.”

Other top-three finishes included Mason Smith and Everett Hateley in the 60 meter dash, Thomas Awad in the 3000 meter run, Michael Brown in the 60 meter hurdles, Nick Straughn in the triple jump, and Jake Brenza in the shot put.

This combination of strong performances across the board resulted in the overall victory.

“Continued hard work and training, and doing everything we can to make sure the athletes remain healthy,” Dolan said. “It’s a long season, so consistent hard work will be key to our success during the season.”

The team will next be at Penn State University for the Sykes Sabock Cup on Saturday.

A previous version of this article stated that Penn’s Kirk Webb beat his teammate Matt Chylak by .59 tenths of a second. Webb actually beat Chylak by 5.9 tenths of a second.

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