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The Penn women's track team finished in a six-way tie for 35th at last weekend's ECAC championships.

If this seems like an anticlimactic end to an outdoor season that saw the Quakers crawl out of the Ivy cellar, don't worry, it's always like this.

"[ECACs] are really not a great emphasis for us," Quakers assistant coach Tony Tenisci said. "It doesn't have the meaning that the conference meet does."

The conference meet is the Heptagonal Championships, held this year at Franklin Field the weekend before the ECACs.

In that two-day meet, the Quakers posted a sixth-place finish over two gorgeous West Philadelphia days.

One short week later, they finished 35th under the cold, gray skies of Princeton, N.J.

"It was cold and wet, and just a miserable weekend," Tenisci said. "Everybody had major rigor mortis out there."

The Quakers managed to loosen up enough to score points in two events: the 100-meter hurdles and the 4x400-meter relay.

Sprinter JaJuan Gair had a tough road to her 6th-place finish in the hurdles. she placed 11th in the preliminary race, which easily put her in the semi-final field of 16.

Then, things got interesting.

In the semi-final round, Gair barely made the 8-person cut, edging out the 9th-place runnner by a mere two-hundredths of a second.

Rather than content herself with having made the final cut, Gair had her best time of the meet -- a 14.26 -- in the finals, good enough for 6th place, and another two-hundredths of a second shy of fifth.

"JaJuan ran a beautiful race [in the finals]," Tenisci said. "She just barely got nipped by fifth-place. JaJuan and the 4x400 relay team did just a super job."

The 4x400 team is made up of 3 juniors -- Qianna Snooks, Bassey Adjah, and Jeraldine Cofie -- and fresman Petra Stewart, who ran the anchor leg of the race.

Like Gair, the relay team just made the finals cut, as the 8th team to qualify for just 8 spots, and, like Gair, the team improved its performance in the final race.

In the finals, the Quakers shaved nearly two seconds off their preliminary time of 3:50.35, and, in the process, took home a 7th-place finish.

"The 4x400 beat a lot of very hihg-powered teams in just making the finals," Tenisci said. "It's great because they're real tired, they've been through finals, and it was a two-day meet. It's also been a really long year."

The relay team's performance is all that more impressive when you consider that, after winning at Heps the week before, these Quakers really had nothing to prove.

"They won the conference," Tenisci said. "There was nothing for them to do. They had already achieved the finest as far as the coach and athlete are concerned."

Freshman javelin-thrower Julie Siebert-Johnson was another Quaker who had already "achieved the finest" as far as Tenisci was concerned, but she didn't fare as well on this day.

After throwing for a new Quakers record and winning her event at Heps, Siebert-Johnson -- hampered by a sore knee -- managed a toss of just 128.07 feet, 22 feet shy of the record she'd set the previous week.

"We had ideal conditions at Heps, and she was really up for that," Tenisci said. "She was not wanting to slip again and hurt her knee."

Siebert-Johnson isn't going anywhere, though. She'll stay on campus to train for the Junior Nationals in Denton, Texas, in late June.

"She's just blossomed as a star," Tenisci said.

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