After a successful weekend at the Sykes & Sabock Challenge in early February, the Quakers returned to the historic New York Armory this week for two more competitions.
On Friday, the men’s and women’s teams combined to post seven top-10 school records, as the Quakers put forward another impressive performance at the Lafayette/Rider Invitational .
Among those athletes that raced their way into the record books on Friday were freshman Ashley Montgomery and senior captain Chelsea Delaney. In the 1000 meter event, Montgomery placed herself at sixth all-time for Penn with a time of 2:53.22, and Delaney finished with a time of 2:54.24, which landed her in seventh all-time. The pair finished behind only Olivia Sadler of Columbia on the podium for the event.
Penn continued to have success throughout the day in the long distance events. In the 3000-meter race, sophomore Elyssa Gensib finished fourth overall with a time of 9:41.21, which was good enough for third all-time for the Quakers. Freshman Cleo Whiting was also third in the mile race with a time of 4:56.87.
In the men’s 3000m event, two underclassmen added their names to the all-time list. Sophomore Clark Shurtleff and freshman Nick Tuck moved into sixth and eighth in the record book with top five finishes on the day. Shurteff crossed the finish line 8:13.99, which was good for a third place podium spot, and Tuck finished in fifth overall.
However, the highlight of Friday’s meet for the Quakers was the all-around performance of junior Lydia Ali. Ali clocked a season best 7.67 in the 60m, which was good for second place overall. In the intermediate distance events, Ali placed seventh in both the 200m and 400m races, with times of 25.21 and 56.75 respectively. Both of these marks were fast enough to give Ali claim to two top-10 records for Penn.
“We had lots of performances to be proud of this weekend, ” Director of Track and Field Steve Dolan said. “The whole essence of track and field is making steps forward, and I think we are making tremendous improvements week in and week out.”
While the bulk of Penn’s racing was concluded when the team returned to campus Friday night, some members of the team had racing to do the following day.
On Saturday, Penn sent a select few members of their squad to compete at the prestigious Millrose Games at the Armory.
The team of sophomore Tim Hamlett, junior Mato Bekelja, sophomore Drew Magaha and freshman Chris Hatler took fifth place in the 4x800-meter relay event against a tough field of competition that included Duke, Villanova and Monmouth.
In addition, senior Maalik Reynolds, Penn’s All-American high jumper, placed fourth in his event as he cleared the 2.19 meter mark, but failed to advance past the 2.24 meter distance.
Meanwhile, the Red and Blue sent sophomore Tom Awad to compete in the Scarlet & White Invitational at Boston University on Saturday. Awad beat the field in the 3000m event with a time of 8:03.34.
With only the Princeton Invitational now standing between the Quakers and the Ivy Heptagonal Championships, Penn’s athletes are hitting their stride at the best possible time going into the most competitive and significant part of their season.
“It’s been great watching the athletes compete and get the opportunity to see so many make consistent improvements,” Dolan said. “These next few meets should be fun.”
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