Penn track soaks up the sun in home opener


The Quakers put up some impressive performances at Franklin Field




The Quakers may have been coming off of last weekend’s outdoor season opener in Florida, but given Philadelphia’s weather on Saturday, they very well may not have been able to tell the difference.

In its home opener at Franklin Field, Penn hosted several local schools in the Philadelphia College Classic , taking full advantage of the day’s gorgeous 60 degree and sunny weather in the process.

Although the meet was not scored on a team level, the Quakers pleased with their individual results across the board.

Some of the best performances of the day came off of the field for the Red and Blue.

Senior thrower Jake Brenza was possibly Penn’s top performer, placing first in the hammer throw, second in the shot put and third in the discus.

Not to be outdone, his fellow throwers, sophomore Sam Mattis and freshman Nailah Hill , broke school records in the men’s and women’s discus, respectively.

Meanwhile, juniors Jordan Jett and Jenny Thompson also secured wins for the Quakers in both the men’s and women’s triple jump.

The biggest highlights of the day may have come in the field events, but Penn’s runners also put together a very respectable performance on Saturday.

Coach Steve Dolan used the meet largely as an opportunity to give his runners some experience in secondary events.

In the 3000-meter run — an event not usually scheduled in outdoor meets — the men put together an impressive performance, taking the top ten spots in the race with standout sophomore Thomas Awad crossing the line first in a time of 8:25.78.

The women also impressed in the 3000m with freshman Ashley Montgomery building on her breakout performance in indoor track with a first place finish. Meanwhile, sophomore Amy Darlington finished in third place in the 1500m, less than three seconds behind first-place finisher Julie Williams of Villanova.

“In the distance races, we tried to work collectively and work as a group,” Dolan said. “I think we had some really successful outings.”

Additionally, the women competed in the year’s first 4x100m relay, with the Red and Blue’s B and A teams capturing the top two spots.

“It was exciting to finally get together as a team and pass the baton around the track,” junior sprinter Lydia Ali said.

On the whole, the day provided the Quakers — and particularly the underclassmen — with a low-key environment to familiarize themselves with Franklin Field.

“We train out here but it feels a lot different on a meet day,” Dolan said. “We wanted to support each other and have fun out there competing and I think we accomplished that.”

Penn will hit the track again next weekend at the Raleigh Relays.

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