As outdoor season approaches, the Penn men’s and women’s track and field teams were looking to make themselves noticed this weekend in Cambridge.
But that was not to be the case.
The men’s and women’s squads finished seventh and sixth out of eight, respectively, in the Ivy League Heptagonal Indoor Championships held at Harvard University.
Coach Steve Dolan described the results as satisfactory, given the team’s youth and expectations going into the meet.
“We knew going in we weren’t going to be in contention for the title,” Dolan said, emphasizing his runners’ personal achievements. “We didn’t really focus on the team race.”
Sophomore sprinter Heather Bong echoed Dolan’s sentiments.
“We’re just a younger team,” Bong said.
Bong was one of several members of the men’s and women’s team who obtained a personal record, doing so in both the 60 and 200-meter dashes.
“I just wanted to contribute to the team,” Bong said. “It was great to be able to contribute and give points to the team.”
Both the men and women had particularly strong days in field events. Freshman Theresa Picciallo placed third in shot put and freshman Thomas Pitt placed fourth in the high jump.
The tournament included all eight teams in the Ivy League. Cornell placed first in the men’s meet, while Harvard won the women’s. It was the third to last meet before the indoor season, including the NCAA Championships.
The indoor track teams performed well in their previous meets, including strong showings at the Mountain Hawk Invitational and College Night at the Armoty. However, Dolan said the Ivy League has a particularly strong field and that building a team capable of winning the Heptagonal Championships would be a multi-year process.
“We knew it would be a challenge in the team scoring,” Dolan said.
Bong said that the team’s strengths lie more in the outdoor season than in the indoor one.
“We’re more of an outdoor team,” Bong said. “I think we’ll do better in outdoor.”
The teams run next week at the Columbia Last Chance Meet.
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