The Penn men's track team did its best to prove coach Charlie Powell wrong last weekend at the Heptagonal Championships in Boston. Pegged as a middle-of-the-pack team by Powell last week ("I hate to say this... but we'll have a hard time being in the top half," Powell told The Daily Pennsylvanian on Thursday), the Quakers finished second in the meet with 84 points. League power Princeton (118) finished first. In the meet, the Quakers bested two schools, Navy and Cornell, which topped them by easy margins earlier in the season. "An effort like this makes you feel real good," Powell said. "We really rallied together as a team." Three Quakers turned in first-place performances. Sophomore Brian Abram won the 500 meters in 1:03.89, and junior O'Neil Bryan won the 60-meter hurdles in 8.12 seconds. Powell was very enthusiastic about the performance of Bryan in the hurdles. "Bryan worked really hard this season," Powell said. "It's great to see him run so well." And after a strong season, Penn junior Tuan Wreh became a two-time winner in the triple jump with a leap of 49'11 3/4". "I was extremely happy," Abram said. "I was the fourth seed coming in [to finals] and I really ran well." Abram was not the only Penn runner to overachieve. Sophomore Anthony Sager, the 14th seed in the mile, finished third in a time of 4:09.55, and Jared Shoemaker, the 17th seed in the 60-meter hurdles, finished fifth. More than just individual accomplishments, the Quakers also displayed their depth. Junior Gene Sun, junior Steve Faulk and senior Laethe Coleman finished second, third and fifth, respectively, in the 60-meter dash. "It would have been nice to win," Sun said. "But I ran a [personal record] and ran a good race." Other top Penn performances were turned in by sophomore Sam Burley, who finished second in the 800 in 1:51.68, and senior Bryan Kovalsky, who finished fifth in the 3,000 in 8:21.42. Even though they were not able to defeat the archrival Tigers --winners of four straight indoor titles -- the Quakers were excited about their performance. "We threw everything we had at them," Powell said. "There wasn't anything more we could do." And while the Red and Blue reveled in individual accomplishment, they were even more pleased with the team's performance as a whole. "We really gelled as a team," Wreh said. "There were a lot of breakthrough performances I knew guys had in them." After the first day of events, the Quakers were stuck in fifth place, behind Princeton, Cornell, Dartmouth and Brown. But Penn was able to finish four points ahead of third-place Brown in the final standings. For the Red and Blue, this weekend was a chance to prove that they belong among the elite teams in the Ivy League. "We did a lot better than everyone predicted," Sun said. "We're one of the top teams in the Ivies." And Powell -- originally wary of his team's chances at Heps --was so enthused with his team's finish at Heps that he said last weekend's meet will go down as one of the great performances in Penn indoor track history. "I've received compliments from coaches up and down the East Coast today," Powell said. "It was a wonderful weekend that made for some great memories." The Quakers will again travel to Boston for IC4A Championships this weekend. More than 10 Penn athletes have qualified for the regional meet.Comments powered by Disqus
Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.