While the indoor season has not quite wrapped up, it’s time to bring some of Penn track and field’s accomplishments out into the open.
Over the past month, the Quakers have been tearing up the indoor circuit in the six meets they have competed in since winter break. Only half of those competitions had team scoring, but a quick look at the individual results shows a Red and Blue side that has been dominant in multiple areas.
“It’s been a really exciting season,” coach Steve Dolan said. “I think one of the things I’m really pleased with is that in track and field you want to be a really balanced team, and I think it’s been fun that in all the different disciplines, we’ve had success in all different areas.”
This past weekend, the team participated in the Princeton Invitational, the last regular season meet before the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships. As has been the case for much of the season, many of the Quakers who made good impressions on the day were underclassmen.
On the men’s side, freshman Sean Clarke has been the leading pole vaulter. His most recent score saw him break into Penn’s top-ten all-time list.
Freshman Maura Kimmel has proven to be an absolute standout for the women in the shot put. At the beginning of the season, she broke the school record for the event. She has since broken her own record three times.
“[She] has been almost surprisingly good as a freshman in the shot put,” Dolan said. “She’s really just improved a lot since high school.”
The Red and Blue’s throwers have also seen success from Rachel Wilson, who set a new school record in the weight throw, good enough for No. 8 all-time in the Ivy League.
“I think the season has gone really well for all the throwers,” Wilson said. “We’ve just had a lot of success this season, and the dynamic of the team has been really supportive and peaks with some people’s success influencing other people’s success.”
To no surprise, more established names have stepped up in the indoor season as well. Men’s captain Noah Kennedy-White recorded the program’s second best-ever throw in the shot put, while women’s captain Taylor McCorkle broke her school record once again in the 60-meter sprint.
The most notable accomplishment this season might have to be senior Chris Hatler’s performance at the Millrose Games two weekends ago, where he became the second Penn athlete to run a sub-four minute mile at 3:59.21. This is the same event in which legendary then-senior Thomas Awad broke the Ivy League record just a year ago.
“I’ve been running at the Armory since I was 16 years old,” Hatler said, “so to be able to go back and accomplish one of my lifetime goals was something that was pretty incredible.
“It’s something that every miler works for, the magical sub-four mile.”
For Penn, these feats spell out very promising things for the team as it heads into the Ivy League Championships this weekend.
After the loss of some serious talents from last year — namely Awad and former NCAA champion discus thrower Sam Mattis — the men’s side has shown that many of its athletes are able to step up in their place.
And as for the women, there is no end to their improvement in sight.
“I think we’re really hitting our stride,” Dolan said. “This appears to be one of strongest teams in recent history.”
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