Women impress at Heps, take second
May 12, 2006, 5:00 am·
Penn women's track coach Gwen Harris likes to talk about her practices as "coming to the party."
It made perfect sense, then, that on the day of the team's annual banquet, the Quakers threw their biggest party in a very long time.
Thanks to sophomore Jesse Carlin's dominant victory in the 400-meter sprint and top-three finishes in seven other events, Penn placed second with 102 points in Saturday's Heptagonal Championships.
"We came to the party today, but it was ours -- it was our party," Harris said.
Although Cornell easily won its fifth straight women's Heps title, Carlin sent an unmistakable message to the Big Red about what she has in store for it over the next two years.
First came Carlin's win in the 400m run with a time of 53.62 seconds -- more than half a second ahead of second-place finisher Nicole Burns of Brown and a second and a half ahead of last year's winner, Linda Trotter of Cornell.
"I knew I had it in me," Carlin said.
Then came the anchor leg of the 4x400m relay, in which Carlin made up a sizeable time deficit in the front stretch to lose by only a few steps.
"She is the bomb," Harris said of Carlin. "And to be honest with you, you ain't seen nothing yet."
As for the Penn men, there were mixed results. They included a decathlon win for sophomore Kyle Calvo, a second straight 110m hurdles title for sophomore David Whitehurst and a third straight 800m title for senior Courtney Jaworski.
But despite the usual winners putting forth good efforts, other events didn't go as well, leading to a fourth-place finish with 94 and a half points.
"You always look at things and say we would have, could have, should have," head coach Charlie Powell said.
Calvo was pleased with his victory primarily because it made up for a close loss a year ago.
"It feels good to win it after last year," he said.
Jaworski simply blew the rest of the field away in the 800m, finishing more than two seconds ahead in 1:48.24.
He also competed in the 5,000m run later in the day, though he didn't finish it.
Powell said Jaworski's willingness to even give the distance run a shot was a testament to the senior captain's abilities.
"He's one of the best athletes to ever walk through here, no question about it," Powell said.
Whitehurst, a hurdler, also went beyond his usual specialty of the 110m race, finishing a respectable sixth in the 400m race -- good enough for one point in the standings.
"That was nothing but for the team," Whitehurst said. "That's not my favorite event to ever run -- this was my first weekend running it, and I just wanted to get some points."
Overall, Cornell won the team title with 129 points, its fourth straight men's championship.