This past weekend, three recently-graduated members of Penn’s track and field team competed in the US Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon for a spot on team bound for Rio this coming August.
For most of Penn’s undergraduate population, the end of the final exam period signals the time for kicking back, relaxing and fondly looking back at the previous year.
But for a very lucky, very small fraction of the student body, the onset of summer simply means business as usual.
Playing on a varsity spring sport inherently carries the risk of playing past the school year’s conclusion, and 2016 was no exception.
Last Thursday, the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame announced its induction class of 2016. One team and 15 individuals will be inducted — some posthumously.
And in a class that features world boxing champions, NFL Hall of Famers and the 1966-67 Philadelphia 76ers, one induction will be an old Quaker.
George Washington Orton graduated from Penn with a Masters in 1894 and a Ph.D.
It’s the end of an era for Penn men’s track and field.
After years of service leading the rebuild of the Quakers’ men’s program, senior superstars Sam Mattis and Thomas Awad donned the Red and Blue for the final time on Friday evening, competing in the discus throw and 5000-meter run, respectively, at the 2016 NCAA Track and Field Champions in Eugene, Ore.
Mattis finished in second place in the men’s discus throw earning his third consecutive first team All-American honors, while Awad took 22nd place in the men’s 5000m to secure an honorable mention All-America spot.
Penn’s evening was opened by Mattis, who was the presumptive favorite in his signature event all season after setting a still-standing American-born collegiate record with a gargantuan toss of 67.45 meters back at the Philadelphia College Classic in March – a full sixteen feet further than the next farthest throw by an NCAA athlete in 2016, courtesy of Kansas’ Mitchell Cooper.
But Mattis – attempting to become Penn’s first two-time national champion since Bruce Collins won the 400m hurdles in 1972 and 1974 – struggled early on, barely advancing into the final flight with a first round mark of 57.98 meters.
They made the cut.
Seniors Tommy Awad and Sam Mattis are going to Eugene, Ore. to compete in the NCAA championships next week.
Now that all of the times and marks have been recorded for the regular season, berths for the postseason have been confirmed — 16 track and field stars will be representing the Red and Blue in the first round of postseason meets, the NCAA East Prelims.
With a quarter of a second to spare, senior distance runner Thomas Awad took a colossal step towards representing the United States in the Rio Olympics this August.
Last Monday at the Swarthmore Final Qualifying meet, Awad recorded a personal best in the 1,500 meter race with a historic time of 3:37.75, narrowly giving him an automatic qualification to compete in this July’s United States Olympic Trials.
Following 30 years of service to the Penn track and field program, women’s head coach Tony Tenisci has officially announced his retirement, effective at the conclusion of the 2015-16 season.
While all of Penn spent its weekend trying to end the semester with a bang by studying hours on end, one group of students spent its time seeking to go out with a bang by throwing things, jumping around, and running in circles.
At the 122nd Penn Relays this weekend, Penn track and field felt right at home.
“You don’t bet against Awad in the last hundred," Penn director of track and field Steve Dolan said minutes after Penn won its first relay at Penn Relays since 1974.
Like any aging lady, Franklin Field got a facelift this year — and it is a big one.
The new surface of Penn’s track is immaculate — the colors pop out enough to make any graphic designer jump with joy.
Elite athletes of all varieties will head to Franklin Field this weekend, as collegiate superstars in several different events will use the Penn Relays to tune up for NCAA Finals and, hopefully, the Rio Olympics.
Three Ivy League championships. Two All-American selections. Three qualifications at the NCAA Track and Field Championships.
There’s succeeding, and then there’s success.
When the Villanova Women’s Distance Medley Relay team collected its first Penn Relays title in 1984, not even the school itself could have predicted the decades of success that were to follow.
The Distance Medley Relay, or DMR, is a race that is comprised of four legs, each of varying length.
The runners have taken their places. It’s a beautiful, sunny Saturday in April, and the competitors are lined up in front of a crowd of over 40,000 at Franklin Field.
The Philadelphia Eagles aren’t the only stars that have graced Franklin Field with their presence in the past.
He came to Penn with dreams of seeing the Quaker track team become a powerhouse, and leaves University City with dreams of racing in the Olympics.
On Friday and Saturday, Penn track and field competed at Princeton in the Larry Ellis Invitational.
Mother nature has not shone brightly on Penn track and field this season. The Quakers have been forced to embrace the elements at the vast majority of their meets.
This weekend should be no different.
All of Penn’s student body knows that “finals season” is approaching.
But for a select subset of the school, the phrase is a bit of a double entendre.
If you asked most Penn students if they really enjoyed their toughest Pottruck workouts, the answer would probably be no. Hard runs or the dreaded leg days are often the things that — despite being sometimes necessary — they dread the most.
Calvary Rogers, freshman track phenom, on the other hand, relishes the opportunity to have his coaches push him every day in practice.
On Saturday, amid perfect conditions, Penn’s two track programs combined for 11 event victories and several personal best times at the Chester Quarry Classic, hosted by Widener University.
Once again, Penn track and field was split between two meets this weekend.
After a crazy weekend, the track team is reunited. And this time, they mean business.
Last weekend, three groups traveled far and wide in search of elite-level performances that would earn them qualification for the NCAA preliminaries.
Penn track and field was spread thin over three states for three prestigious meets this weekend as the Quakers begin the crescendo towards the Penn Relays and NCAA championships.
It’s a common saying in the world of track and field: “One moment of pain is worth a lifetime of glory.”
The track and field athletes competing this weekend may not be able to achieve a lifetime of glory just yet, but they can get close — qualification for the NCAA preliminaries.
If all goes as planned for senior men’s track and field stars Thomas Awad and Sam Mattis, this June’s NCAA National Championships won’t mark the end of their respective 2016 seasons.
Five track and field freshmen to watch out for in 2016
Historically in athletics, men and women of respective professional sports do not train with or compete against each other.
For the second consecutive weekend, Penn track and field will host a meet at Franklin Field, with Saturday’s Penn Challenge against Army, Manhattan, Rider, Villanova and Connecticut just days away.
While there will be some similarities between the Penn Challenge and last weekend’s Philadelphia College Classic, sophomore Jeff Wiseman says there is a key difference in the level of competition.
“The competition is a lot stronger,” he said.
It’s springtime in Philadelphia and Penn track and field is gearing up for outdoor season.
Three weeks removed from Ivy League Indoor Heptagonal Championships, this Saturday’s Philadelphia College Classic will be the first official competition for many members of the team in a while.
After breaking the Penn and Ivy League records for the mile back in February senior distance runner Thomas Awad finished in third place at the NCAA indoor track and field championships on Saturday afternoon in Birmingham Alabama.
With a time of 4:06.97, Awad became just the fifth Penn athlete to earn All-American status during the indoor season.
While he finished nearly ten seconds slower than his record setting 3:57.03 time from the Millrose games, Awad, in just his first trip to the NCAA indoor championships, was able to lock down a spot in the podium.
Out of the gates Awad was not in the front of the pack.
Penn track and field traveled to Cornell over the weekend to compete in the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships, with the men’s and women’s teams placing fourth and seventh, respectively.
Records are made to be broken — and for Penn men's track, another record fell on Saturday.
At the Millrose Games, distance runner Tom Awad continued his torrid pace — literally — as he set a new Ivy League record for the mile time.
This past Friday at Staten Island was one for the books for Penn track and field.
Returning for the second time this month to the Ocean Breeze Complex in New York, the Red and Blue broke records and brought the heat to the highly competitive Fastrack National Invite.
For Penn track and field, the importance of Friday’s Fastrack National Invite is crucial.
Same, same but different.
The typical American collegiate experience is four years. While some deviate from that path and finish early or late, a majority of students at Penn find themselves on a similar track.
Ashley Montgomery is making it look easy for Penn cross country.
Competition may be over for rising senior Sam Mattis, but that hasn’t stopped the awards from continuing to roll in for him.
With the dog days of summer approaching, the star discus thrower has been named male Outdoor Field Scholar Athlete of the Year by the U.S.
The majority of Penn’s undergraduate population is off campus for the summer, resting up after a long and arduous school year.
The 2014 Penn Relays had everything you could ask for: dramatic finishes, record setting performances and a number of impressive victories by the hosts.
Towards the end of spring break, the basketball teams -- and respective fan bases -- from Harvard and Yale gathered at the Palestra for the Ivy League's one game playoff.
Track is a unique sport in that months of training all boil down to one race on one day that is over in a matter of minutes. The story is no different for Penn’s women’s 4x800-meter relay, as just nine minutesseparate four runners from glory.
For the first time in nearly a decade, Penn will be represented in the championship heat for the 4x800m relay with a squad of junior Taylor Hennig, freshman Candace Taylor, and sophomores Ashley Montgomery and Carey Celata.
One week after splitting up to opposite coasts for the Florida Relays, Sam Howell Invitational and Stanford Invitational, the Red and Blue will be competing as one unit at this weekend’s George Mason Invitational in Fairfax, Va., albeit without a number of key contributors.
Penn track and field may be known for traveling distances quickly on the track, but this weekend, the program will take its traveling abilities to the extreme.
In the course of only a few days, the Quakers will send athletes to compete in Florida, California and Princeton in what should will serve as their biggest competitive test to date of the still-young season.
The former track athlete Timothy Hamlett went missing on Dec. 26 and was last seen near the George Washington Bridge.
The first week since Spring Break has seen the Sun break through its winter haze, lighting up Penn’s campus with a newfound radiance.
As a bookish, unathletic high school freshman, Elton Cochran-Fikes shuddered at the idea of anything having to do with sports.
Little did he know that, less than a decade later, he would become the first Ivy League athlete to run a mile in less than four minutes.
After a monumental performance at the Armory Invitational this past weekend, the Quakers are yearning to continue their campaign at the Sykes & Sabock Challenge Cup in State College.