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Big 5 Cross Country Meet. Penn dominated Credit: Michele Ozer , Michele Ozer

After a monumental performance at the Armory Invitational this past weekend, the Quakers are yearning to continue their campaign at the Sykes & Sabock Challenge Cup in State College. From hurdles to pole vaulting, long jumping to meter relays, this upcoming meet will provide another opportunity for the Red and Blue to assert their excellence.

In years past, several Penn athletes have shattered records at this prestigious event. Recent graduates Maalik Reynolds and Mike Kiley are the current holders of the high jump and steeplechase events. Coach Steve Dolan is looking for the team to repeat this past success to rewrite the record books once more at Penn State.

Among the competition, there will be 11 other teams battling against the Quakers this weekend. Junior Thomas Awad and sophomore Carey Celata will spearhead this talented squad on the road to State College.

Awad recently broke the 42-year-old school record in the indoor mile with a staggering time of 4:00.20. Celata has already managed to secure the second best all-time school record of 2:49.00 in the indoor 1000-meter run.

While the older members have proven to be the cornerstone of this team, freshman Candace Taylor continues to showcase her talent at every turn. In the first month of spring competition, she soared through the 500-meter run in just one minute and 12 seconds, earning her the third-best mark in school history.

The sophomore class has energized this determined team as well, as both Ashley Montgomery and Brendan Shearn continue to impress with sub-5:00 miles and historic finishes in the 5000-meter run, respectively. The Red and Blue should continue to benefit from this dynamic roster in their last few events of the season.

This event will be the last competition for the Quakers before the Ivy League Indoor Heptagonal Championships. Last season, the Red and Blue performed well with the men’s and women’s teams finishing fourth and seventh, respectively. In order to ignite more explosive results this year, commanding performances from the entire team will be essential.

Even with the top runners competing at the highest caliber, Penn will need impressive results from everyone to complement these notable outliers. When asked about the keys to success this weekend in State College, mid-distance runner Ella Wurth said they would need “to stay aggressive from the gun and race with confidence.”

The Quakersuse the meet at Penn State as another opportunity to prepare themselves for Indoor Heptagonals, which will be held on the last weekend of the month.

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