Another weekend brought another slate of all-time performances for Penn track.
The Quakers traveled to University Park, Pa. on Friday to compete in the Penn State National Open, which featured 31 other teams in action. One week after the Penn 8-Team Select, in which the Red and Blue put up eight top 10 all-time performances, Penn continued its record-breaking habit with eight more changes to the top 10 of the school's record books.
“[New records] are both exciting and rewarding,” coach Steve Dolan said. “One of the goals is to improve and to progress from week to week as you build momentum through the season. … We have had some school record performances, and that is pretty unique and pretty neat that that kind of history has happened.”
Five Quakers had outings this weekend that rank in the top three all-time in program history. On the men’s side, sophomore sprinter Marvin Morgan recorded a time of 6.79 seconds in the 60-meter dash, which ensured that his name would occupy the No. 1 spot in Penn history for that event.
Freshman pole vaulter Payton Morris, who set a personal record last weekend by clearing 5.11m for the fifth all-time height in program history, soared to 5.20m for a new personal record and the third all-time result for Penn. Just last week, Morris expressed confidence in his ability to do even better, and his work at the National Open proves that his self-assuredness was not misplaced.
“It definitely felt good,” Morris said. “Like I said last week, I thought I could do better, so my goal was to make first attempts on all the bars that I could, and that’s exactly what I did."
Also in the pole vault, junior Nathan Fisher posted a personal record height of 5.10m to earn third place, while freshman distance runner Ray Sellaro became tenth all-time in the 1000 with a time of 2:26.02 to place fourth in the event. Senior distance runners Kurt Convey and Joseph Novak placed third in the mile and 800, respectively, while junior sprinter Anthony Okolo took second in the 400 and sophomore jumper Cristian Constantin placed second in the triple jump.
For the women’s team, another freshman had a big day. Thrower Mayyi Mahama threw 19.21m in the weight throw for second all-time in the program’s record books and fourth place in the event. Senior thrower Rachel Lee Wilson, who already held the school record at 20.04m, finished second in the event with a throw of 19.72m.
In the women’s distance medley, a Penn team comprised of sophomore Melissa Tanka, junior Cecil Ene, junior Katie Devore, and junior Nia Akins ran in 11:25.51, which earned the group a runner-up finish and the fifth all-time showing for the program. Devore also participated in the 800m, where she ran 2:09.34 to move to No. 8 all-time for the Red and Blue, and Ene moved to No. 2 all-time in the 400m with a time of 55.14.
To round out a successful weekend, two more Quakers took first in their respective events. Senior high jumper Anna Peyton Malizia cleared 1.81m to become the top all-time high jumper in Penn track’s storied history. Additionally, junior Elena Brown-Soler took first in the 300.
With lots of records to go around, Morris noted that his teammates are able to feed off the energy of others’ individual accomplishments.
“To see your teammates do well just makes you want to do well yourself,” the freshman said. “Friday night, Marvin Morgan broke the school record in the 60-meters. Just to keep seeing that makes us want to do better in the next competition, shoot for school records, and do the best that we can.”
Next up for the Quakers is the Villanova Invitational, which will take place on Feb. 2 in Staten Island, N.Y.
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