In a matchup that feels somewhat familiar, Penn track and field will face Harvard in the Quakers' first dual meet of the season on Sunday.
For the women's side, the meet will pit last year's top two teams in the Ivy League, as Penn came in first and Harvard came in second in both the Indoor and Outdoor Ivy League Heptagonal Championships. Coming off an impressive showing in New York last week, the Quakers are optimistic about their chances this weekend.
“I always say if you have a good fall, you’ll have a good season, and this group has had an excellent fall,” assistant coach J.J. Hunter said. “We are a well-rounded program; we are competitive in every single event area, so we are a complete team. That always bodes well when you’re going head to head with somebody.”
Senior Anna Peyton Malizia placed first in the high jump at last week’s TCNJ Opener with a 1.75 meter result, which junior Olivia Welsh later matched in three attempts to place second and set a personal record. This weekend, the pair is slated to compete against Harvard’s Ann Giebelhaus, who has a personal best of 1.70m.
“Last weekend was a really good starting point. For the team as a whole, the bar is set really high coming off of two championships last year. The coaches have put together a great schedule with elevated competition for us this year, and the team is really excited about it,” Malizia said.
Penn’s women also placed first and second in the weight throw event last weekend behind senior Rachel Lee Wilson and freshman Hawa Mahama. Wilson broke the program record, which she had previously set, with a throw measuring in at 20.04m.
“It’s definitely an exciting meet because we get to take Harvard head-on in the indoor season before Heps, because usually we don't see them until Heps,” Wilson said. “We are probably two of the most stacked teams in the Ivy League for track and field … and it’s just us two battling it out for who’s the better team.”
Penn's men also placed first in the weight throw at the TCNJ Opener last weekend due to the strong performance of sophomore Jake Kubiatowicz. Kubiatowicz, who recorded a 18.71m throw last week, is set to compete against Harvard’s Gunnar Allison, whose personal best is 15.91m.
Both men’s and women’s pole vault secured the top three spots at the TCNJ Opener. Despite having to return from an injury last week, junior Sean Clarke had a notable performance at the competition, shattering his previous program record in the pole vault and placing first at 5.40m.
“[Harvard has], I believe, the number two guy in the northeast, Erick Duffy, so I’m excited to have someone to really jump against as opposed to last week where it was just me. I definitely prefer competition, and I think that will be exciting,” said Clarke.
Players to watch in other events include sophomore Camille Dickson, who placed second in the long jump last weekend at 5.42m and will compete against Harvard’s DaLoria Boone, and junior Maura Kimmel, who placed first in women’s shot put last week.
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