While some students might be sitting at home watching Netflix over break, the men’s and women’s track and field teams are off to the races.
Fresh off the start of 2019, the Red and Blue traveled to Annapolis, Md. this weekend to take part in the Wesley A. Brown Invitational from Jan. 11-12. They squared off against some familiar foes in Navy, which hosted the invitational, Princeton, Villanova, and Mount St. Mary’s.
Coming off a record-breaking sweep of Ivy rival Harvard, the Quakers were eager to continue their New Year’s success. Coach Steve Dolan was pleased by what he saw out of both the men’s and women’s teams in Annapolis.
“I thought we competed really well. We just got back this week on campus and started training, so as coaches we always love to see what we look like getting back into the swing of things,” Dolan said. “I thought the team did a really good job. I was really pleased with our results across all events — sprints, distance, field events, jumps, throws. It was an all-around team effort.”
Penn notched some impressive wins throughout the Invitational. For the women, junior Cecil Ene posted a time of 55.16 second in the 400-meter run — the top time in the Ivy League so far this season — while senior Anna Peyton Malizia tied her conference-best mark of 1.80m in the high jump to set a new facility record for the Wesley A. Brown Field House.
The Red and Blue women continued their dominance in the field, as junior Maura Kimmel threw for 16.77m in the shot put — an Ivy League-best distance — and senior Rachel Lee Wilson posted a mark of 19.77m in the weight throw.
On the men’s side, senior Calvary Rogers won the 200m run with a time of 21.67 seconds, junior Anthony Okolo tied with Princeton’s Connor Matthews in the 400m run with 48.83 seconds, and senior Joe Novak won the 800m run in 1:53.89.
Senior captain Lance Yassay cleared 2.05m to win the high jump, and junior Nathan Fisher vaulted 5.00m to capture the pole vault crown. Dolan had nothing but high praise for these athletes.
“Especially when it’s so early in the year, those were really outstanding numbers. It’s very encouraging as a coach to see these types of performances,” Dolan said. “I was really pleased with our overall effort and performance.”
Dolan was also impressed with the performances of juniors Elena Brown-Soler and Evan Lee throughout the invitational, which led to wins in the women's and men's pentathlon.
“Brown-Soler had a great pentathlon and so did Evan Lee, who actually was a few points short of our school record,” Dolan said. “It was a great way to start the meet with the two multi-event participants winning. Both of them were very impressive, no doubt.”
The Quakers will be back in action next weekend when they host the Penn 8-Team Select in Staten Island, N.Y.
“I feel like a lot of people can do really well next week having gotten one competition under their belt this week,” Dolan said. “We’re expecting the best of the best next week and should have fun come next Saturday.”