Penn track competed all across the country this weekend, but they were united in one thing: their dominance.
In another split weekend, the Quakers attended three different meets — the Texas Tech Invitational in Lubbock, Texas, the FastTrack National Invite in Staten Island, N.Y., and the Millrose Games in New York. The Millrose Games are the oldest and most prestigious indoor track and field event within the United States, dating back to 1908.
Junior Colin Daly and a women’s distance medley team had the honor of representing the Red and Blue on a national stage in the Big Apple. The women’s team of four, made up of juniors Maddie Villalba, Katie Devore, and Nia Akins alongside freshman Caroline O’Sullivan, took first place in their event, covering 4000 meters in 11:38.23. They held first place throughout the course of the entire race, finishing seven seconds ahead of the next best team.
Daly competed in the Allan Steinfeld Mile against high performing international athletes and claimed 7th place with a time of 4:03.82.
“The goal was to see how many people could get under four minutes. The mentality was feed off the environment and really just dig into racing these high-caliber guys,” Daly said. “With 200 meters to go, the top guys in the field had an extra gear. I held my own but I wish I had been able to run with them and compete all the way to the end. But that comes with time and practice and more fitness, so I really couldn’t have been happier with how the race ended up.”
While Penn had an incredibly strong representation on the national stage at the Millrose games on Saturday, the Red and Blue had an equally impressive showing in Texas on Friday.
At Texas Tech, the Quakers faced strong Big 12 schools including Texas, Oklahoma State, and Kansas, but still left the meet with new records in the books.
In the 200-meter dash, senior Calvary Rogers' third place performance at 21.05 was good for an all-time school record and earned him the second best time in Ivy League history. Sophomore Marvin Morgan was not far behind, coming in at 21.46 seconds for the third best Penn finish in program history.
And the record breaking didn't stop there.
Senior Rachel Lee Wilson and freshman Mayyi Mahama set new personal records in the weight throw, placing second and fourth in the event, respectively. Their standout performances were enough to put them into record position as the third and fourth all-time in the Ivy League. Wilson holds the Penn record, while Mahama is right behind her at second in program history.
Junior Nathan Fisher hit a new personal best for the pole vault, earning him third place at 5.28m, and second all-time in the Ivy League. Junior Maura Kimmel came in second for the women’s shot put at 15.85m, and is currently ranked No. 14 in the country with her 16.77m personal best.
Rounding out the historic weekend, the women’s 4x400-meter relay hit a new all-time Penn record, finishing in 3:38.29.
The rest of the team competed at the FastTrack National Invite. There were a number of strong performances across the board as the Quakers faced tough regional competition.
The Red and Blue have only two weeks until the Ivy League Indoor Championships. Last year, the women claimed first place and ended a 22-year drought, while the men took second. With a number of record-setting performances, the team is in great shape to see where they stand within the League.
“We’re really at a historic time within the Ivy League," coach Steve Dolan said. "The League is competing at a super high level right now, so it’s going to be a great competition in two weeks. We’ve had a great season, as have a number of the other Ivy League schools.”
With confidence building across the squad, high performing athletes will have to step up to execute against an increasingly impressive conference.
“There’s been some hot times and great performances throughout [the League], so I think it’s going to be awesome competition like it always is, and I definitely think we’ll have to bring our A-game if we want to win,” Daly said.
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