It may be a different sport, but it's the same old story. Once again, Penn is gunning for Princeton. This weekend, the Quakers will take on the Ivy League powerhouse Tigers, along with the rest of the Ivy League, at the Heptagonal Championships in Boston. The Quakers have had a successful season so far. However, head coach Charlie Powell is hedging his bets. "I hate to say this, especially since my team reads the paper," Powell said. "But we'll have a hard time being in the top half." Powell attributes this to the other Ivy schools' good recruiting classes over the past few years, along with the inexperience of his team. Although the Quakers may not be able to win at Heps, many individuals have excellent shots at placing well. "You know the old saying, dance with the girl you brung to the dance," Powell said. "We'll be counting on the same guys we counted on all season." One of the Quakers' top performers has been sophomore 800 runner Sam Burley. Burley's 1:49.35 is currently tied for the fourth-best half-mile time in the nation. "I'm really excited about Heps," Burley said. "It should be fun running against more top competition." Burley is currently ranked second in the 800 on the Penn all-time indoor track list and has qualified for NCAA Indoor National Championships. Another Quaker looking to do well is junior Tuan Wreh. He will be competing in the long and triple jumps. "My season's been a little slow so far," Wreh said. "I'm going to turn it up this weekend." Wreh finished fourth in the triple jump at the talent-laden Penn State Invitational earlier this year. He also won the Princeton Invitational in early December. Sophomore Brian Abram will also be a factor this weekend. He'll be running the 500, an event he finished ninth in at Penn State to qualify for IC4As. Other Quakers to watch will be junior O'Neil Bryan, who has the ninth-fastest time on the Penn indoor record list in the 55-meter hurdles, and senior Brian Kovalsky, who has been steadily improving in the 3,000. Although his coach may not be optimistic, Burley is hopeful about his team's chances this weekend. "We have a lot of really young runners, and this will be their first championship meet," Burley said. "But, if everyone stays focused, we have a really good shot." Meanwhile, Tuan Wreh is focused more specifically on himself than his opponents. "Honestly, I don't really care who's my competition," Wreh said. "If I go out there and do what I can do, I'll be fine." The meet will be a tough one for the Quakers. They lost by 90 points to Cornell and 50 points to Navy early in the season. However, the Quakers are a much different team now. "We've trained hard and improved with each meet," Powell said. Although as a team the Quakers might suffer the same fate as the basketball team did last week, Burley is excited about the rivalry. "Princeton is my competition," Burley said. "It's a school rivalry and they're really good competition." With all the complexities of indoor track, Powell does have one simple method for success in Boston. "Run fast, jump far, do the best we can," Powell said. This weekend the Quakers plan on doing just that.Comments powered by Disqus
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