So far, so good for the Red and Blue.
With the Penn Relays beginning Thursday, Penn track and field will look to put on a solid performance in front of a raucous crowd at Franklin Field.
The Quakers have had a successful outdoor season thus far, with both teams setting multiple records throughout the year.
The Red and Blue opened the outdoor season with the Penn Challenge on March 24 following a second place men's finish at the Ivy League Indoor Heps and a championship for the women. Penn had a hot start to the outdoor season, as the women’s team finished first in the Penn Challenge, while the men came in second out of seven teams.
Sophomore Maura Kimmel broke her own program records in the discus (50.80m) and shot put (15.25m), foreshadowing what would be a terrific year for the thrower. On the track, the women’s quartet of freshmen Hannah Lueders, Caroline O’Neil, and Camille Dickson and senior Taylor McCorkle dashed to a time of 45.90 in the 4x100m relay, which was the meet’s best time and fourth in program history. The men’s team saw first-place finishes from sophomore Anthony Okolo (55.06) in the 400m hurdles and senior Patrick Hally (3:50.80) in the 1,500m.
A week later, the Quakers set five new school records in the Raleigh and Florida Relays. The women saw standout performances from junior Anna Peyton Malizia and senior Abby Hong. Malizia — the second-seed for the Penn Relays' high jump on Saturday — set the school’s outdoor record by leaping 1.76m. Hong, for her part, ran the 5,000m with a program record time of 16:05.26. Additionally, the 4x400 team of senior Candace Taylor, sophomore Cecil Ene, freshman Uchechi Nwogwugwu, and O’Neil raced to a new school record with a time of 3:37.17.
On April 6, at Princeton’s Sam Howell Invitational, the Red and Blue won first place in eight events on the day. One of the key performers was junior Rachel Lee Wilson, who reset her own program record in the hammer throw with a 60.51m mark.
The following weekend was a busy one for Penn, as many of the Quakers competed in either the Tennessee Relays, Temple Invitational, or Bison Outdoor Classic, hosted by Bucknell. Junior Calvary Rogers dominated in the 200m with a program record time of 20.90, tying a mark set in 2005. On the women’s side, Nwogwugwu had a terrific showing in the 400m (53.17), breaking a Penn record. Kimmel continued to prove her greatness by resetting her shot put school record with a throw of 15.55m.
This past weekend, the Quakers garnered some momentum going into the Penn Relays. The men and women set five new top-10 program records. This featured a meet record time of 45.33 from senior Barbara Biney, senior Taylor McCorkle, freshman Camille Dickson, and Ene. Another meet record was set in the pole vault by sophomore Sean Clarke, as he cleared a season best mark of 5.33m.
The Quakers' recent stretch of form has solid leading up to the much-anticipated Relays. Now, they have the opportunity to continue this success on one of the biggest track and field stages of the world.