Every time Penn track and field competes, records are bound to fall.
The Red and Blue completed the sweep over Harvard on the road on Sunday, with both the men and women scoring solid victories on another productive day.
The women took eight event wins en route to their 63-41 win over the Crimson, and the men had five individual event wins to finish on top 59-44. Highlights included a new program best on both sides, as junior pole vaulter Sean Clarke cleared 5.41 meters and junior thrower Maura Kimmel launched the shot put 16.77m to reset their records set at last week’s NJIT Opener.
“I’m very happy with our performances, really a great early-season dual meet. The kind of competition we had today was fantastic for our program, for me personally it’s one of the best pre-holiday meets we’ve been a part of,” coach Steve Dolan said.
On the women’s side, the matchup was a meeting between the top two teams from last year’s Indoor Ivy Heptagonal Championships, with Penn grabbing the edge last February.
The Quakers started the day with a bang, as senior Rachel Lee Wilson and freshman Mayyi Mahama took first and second in the weight throw for the second straight week. Although Wilson owns the school record, Mahama moved into second place in Penn history with her 18.67m throw.
“I think that Mayyi and I set the tone for the meet well,” Wilson said. “Going first and second for the event definitely got the day going off on the right foot.”
Kimmel improved on her mark of 16.28m last week to extend the shot put record even further and out-throw Harvard’s Chelsea Offiaeli by nearly five meters.
Junior Olivia Welsh set her personal best for the second week in a row, winning the high jump by clearing 1.78m, good for second best all-time for the Red and Blue.
Other wins for the women included junior Nia Akins in the 1000m, junior Cecil Ene in the 300m, sophomore Melissa Tanaka in the mile, the 4x400m relay team, and the trio of junior Zoe Early, junior Katie Schroeder, and freshman Abby Norwillo all clearing 3.81m in the pole vault.
Clarke and sophomore Jake Kubiatowicz led the way in the field for the men, capturing wins in the pole vault and weight throw, respectively.
Four events on the men’s side were swept entirely by Red and Blue athletes, as the Quakers captured all possible points in the pole vault, 60m dash, 1000m, and 3000m.
Sophomore Marvin Morgan finished first in the 60m dash with a time of 6.89 seconds, freshman Mason Gatewood ran to his first win as a Quaker with his time of 2:27.57 in the 1000m, and junior Mitchell Poynter stuck it out to win the 3000m.
“It was a great start for us today, but it’s still early,” Dolan said. “There’s a long road ahead of us, but certainly an exciting start; we’re excited about our potential.”
"I think that this meet set us up very well for when we come back,” Wilson agreed. “We have had very good momentum throughout the last two meets, so we plan to keep that up when we return in January.”
The men and women will now have off from competition until 2019, when the team will travel to Annapolis to face Navy on Jan. 12. However, the sweep this weekend will give the team confidence that it can compete with other Ivy programs, and fans should expect the same success when the Quakers return to Harvard for Ivy Heps in late February.
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