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Coach Steve Dolan has repeatedly stressed the importance of using early track meets as building blocks.

Photo: Drew Hallowell

After two small meets at Lehigh to bring in the indoor season, Penn track and field is looking to take on all comers.

At Saturday’s Princeton Invitational, the Quakers were matched up against the most talented field they have seen all season, and they responded with some strong individual showings throughout the day.

The event was not team scored, which makes it difficult to assess the team’s overall performance. However, a reduction in individual victories from 11 in its 2015 opener to just a pair on Saturday clearly signaled the increase in competition.

The first two meets of the indoor season were highlighted by breakout young talent on the track for Penn, and the Princeton Invitational was no exception. Both individual victories over the weekend came from underclassmen sprinters.

The first came from the men’s side, as sophomore Storm Dublirer dropped a personal record of 1:07 in the 500-meters to top the field. Not to be outdone, freshman multi-event athlete Barbara Biney won the 60m along with two eighth-place finishes in the 200m and the long jump.

The throwers were the breakout event group for the majority of last year’s track season, and they are setting themselves to put up strong results once again this season.

At the meet, freshman Taylor Hojnacki, senior Marcus Laroche and star junior Sam Mattis all came through with strong throws that propelled them into program top-10 lists.

Conspicuously absent from the proceedings were the Red and Blue distance runners, whom coach Steve Dolan has made a point to ease back into action after a long and grueling cross country season in the fall.

In the week leading up to the meet, Dolan commented that he was looking to get his athletes into top form by the end of the month. This meet appears to have been another positive step in the right direction for the Red and Blue.

The Quakers will get a chance to prove they are in top form and take another step up in terms of competition when they travel to New York to compete at the historic Armory on Friday and Saturday.

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