Three members of the Penn women's indoor track team are headed to Boston this weekend to compete in the prestigious Eastern College Athletic Conference indoor track and field championships. Two are going to end indoor careers there, the other to cap the beginning of one in a meet that pits the best athletes on the East Coast against one another. "When you step on a runway or in a circle or you're vaulting in the Easterns in any event, you are one of the best in East or you wouldn't be there," Penn assistant coach Tony Tenisci said. "Only the best go there because it's a very high standard to go." Quakers senior long jumper Bassey Adjah knew she was going to ECACs for the fourth time in a row in her signature event well before the new year had even started. She nailed a jump of 19'0.75" at the Princeton New Year's Invitational on December 9, placing her well above the 18'8" standard. Adjah didn't stop improving after qualifying, though -- she broke Penn's 17-year-old indoor long jump record at Princeton on February 3 with a leap of 19'4.28", then recorded her third-highest career mark last weekend at the Heptagonal championships with a leap of 19'0.5". "At least I'm consistent, and that's good coming in [to ECACs]," Adjah said. "Consistency is everything." So is breaking the Penn record one last time for the senior long jumper, whom Tenisci called a "star extraordinare" because of her additional success in the hurdles and pentathlon. "I know I have it in me," Adjah said. "This is the first time my stuff has been consistent, has been on. Now I just have to concentrate on the actual jumping. "I'm going in there fresh, so hopefully I'll be able to break the school record once more." Another Penn senior and record-holder in her event who is headed to a career finale in Boston is 20-pound weight thrower Yinka Orafidiya. The Philadelphia native and veteran shot-putter hadn't competed in the weight throw until this season, but has made great strides in the event. At the Cornell Invitational on January 21, Orafidiya launched a throw that landed almost two inches farther than both the Penn record and the ECAC qualifier -- 54'6". "All of a sudden she's emerged as a very formidable 20-pounds weight thrower, and she has just gotten better and better," Tenisci said. "Basically [at ECACs] we're taking one more go at it and we're hoping to continue the success that she's had in that particular event. "I'm just thrilled for her. I wanted her to be in this elite company because she's an elite thrower now." Orafidiya shares the same sentiment about using ECACs as a way to go out with her best mark -- and she feels that the meet provides the perfect atmosphere to make another record-breaking performance. "I feel like I should be able to do better," Orafidya said, "because it's a little more relaxed than Heps in the sense that you're not there necessarily to score points for your team, but you're there for your own personal improvement. "It's exciting because I've never been to this type of meet. Even in high school I never went to a really big championship meet." While Adjah and Orafidiya will be aiming for that one last record-breaking performance, Penn freshman Caroline Rebello will be looking to establish herself as an up-and-coming star in the pole vault amongst her East Coast peers. Rebello first qualified for ECACs at the Princeton Invitational with a vault of 11'1.75", a solid three inches above the standard. Rebello matched that height two weekends ago at the George Mason Invitational and tied the 10'10" ECACs qualifying mark at Heps. "We're just thrilled with her that she made that Easterns standard," Tenisci said. "We want her to go to be with the best that are there and to establish herself as one of the contenders in this event in the East."Comments powered by Disqus
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