While most Penn athletes were enjoying their first days of summer without games or classes, Penn’s rowing and track and field athletes were still hard at work over the weekend.
For Penn track and field, the team’s appearance at the ECAC/IC4A Championships actually marked the end of team competition for the Red and Blue this season.
For the men, several Quakers notched top-six performances in the field events to help Penn finish in the upper half of the 49 schools at the meet, but in the end, it was the women who stole the show.
The weekend’s biggest highlight might have been the Quaker women’s first-place finish in the 4x100 meter relay, but several individuals also delivered strong individual performances.
Penn’s freshmen were particularly impressive as they more than held their own against stiff competition. Nia Akin won gold with a personal record in the 800m, Tia Livingston came in second in the 400m hurdlers and Maura Kimmel did just enough to win bronze in the shot put.
Junior Candace Taylor provided the Quakers with their other medalling finish as she took home third in the 400m. Overall, Penn did well enough to place in second as a team out of 50.
While some of Penn’s athletes will qualify to compete individually in the upcoming NCAA East Preliminaries, the weekend’s meet served as a nice send-off for the seniors who were donning the Red and Blue for the final time. It also hinted at what might be a very promising future for Penn’s track and field program as underclassmen were the ones really leading the charge.
Out on the water, Penn’s various rowing squads also saw mixed results, but it was the women who probably had the most success once again.
Competing at the Ivy League Championships on the Cooper River, Penn women’s rowing secured fourth-place finishes in the Varsity 8, Second Varsity 8, and Varsity 4. In all, the Quakers scored 50 overall points, as they finished fourth in the team standings as well.
“It has been one heck of a challenging season and I’m really impressed with the resiliency, fight-back, and tenacity of the crews who represented us at this Championship,” coach Wesley Ng told Penn Athletics.
While the women were competing at the Ivy Championships, the men’s heavyweight and lightweight teams were racing at the EARC Sprints on Lake Quinsigamond.
It was a tough day for much of the lightweight roster, but the Varsity 8 was able to outperform expectations. After being seeded fifth, the Quakers finished the grand final behind only Cornell and Harvard.
For the heavyweights, it was a day filled with mediocre performances. The Varsity 8 held their seed at 10th and the Second Varsity 8 and Third Varsity 8 both tallied 13th-place finishes.
Fortunately for the Red and Blue, both men’s teams will have the opportunity to give a better showing at the IRA National Championships Regatta in California in early June.
So while some rowers still have more competitions to prepare for, this weekend also saw many athletes competing for the final time of the year — some even for the last time in their careers.
Outside of women’s track and field, this weekend was far from a storybook ending, but all of the Quakers still have plenty to be proud of as they rest and reflect over summer.
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