Penn’s men’s and women’s track teams had impressive performances in the final weekend before Penn Relays, rewriting the school’s record books in the process.
“This was our last meet to post individual times before Heps [Heptagonal Championships] since this week is Penn Relays,” junior Gabrielle Piper said. “I think overall as a team we’re right where we need to be to do really well at both Heps and Relays and I’m excited about what’s to come.”
Competing at rival Princeton in the unscored Larry Ellis Invitational, the Quakers were able to race to some impressive finishes.
The women’s team had multiple competitors enter or move up the list of top ten all-time best finishes in their events, while the men’s team had a series of season-best performances.
The women’s 4×100 meter team — formed by Rachel Hlatky, Nony Onyeador, Heather Bong and Piper — moved into fifth all-time in Quakers’ program history with a time of 46.56.
Onyeador also moved into sixth place in the 100m dash for Penn with a time of 12.12.
Two 13th-place finishes by seniors were good enough to make Penn history. First, senior Chelsea Delaney moved from 10th to sixth in the school record book sin the 1500m with a time of 4:30.82. Later, Margaret Diacont finished the steeplechase in 10:49.48 to replace her old second-place time of 10:55.98.
Two freshmen also stood out over the weekend. Kaci Jones recorded the third-longest discus throw in Penn history with a 46.07m toss. Her impressive performance was matched by classmate Chad Payne, who secured the 4×100, victory for the men’s team in a nail-biting finish.
Payne ran the anchor position in the relay and beat rival Princeton by one-hundredth of a second, finishing with a time of 42.00. Seck Barry, Mason Smith and Kyle Webster ran the first three legs of the relay.
“That race was really exciting,” Payne said. “I’m thankful for my teammates. They ran really well in the relay and believed in me. When I got the baton from Kyle, and saw that Princeton was within range, there was no way I was going to let us lose.
“It’s a big step for our team with Penn Relays this week.”
Sophomore Jordan Jett also had a career day in the triple jump, surpassing 46 feet for the first time in his collegiate career. His jump of 14.04 meters was best for third overall at the meet.
“It felt good to finally get over 46 feet,” Jett said. “I’d been struggling a bit for the past two meets. I’m excited to go further at Penn Relays so I can really be in the mix when Heps comes up.”
It seems to be the perfect time for the Quakers to be peaking, as the 119th running of the Penn Relays is just around the corner.
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