The Quakers kicked off their highly-anticipated outdoor track season with the Penn Challenge this Saturday, but challenging does not seem to accurately describe the manner in which the meet went for Penn track.
Feeling right at home at Franklin Field, the women secured a dominant first place overall finish against a very competitive mix of 12 teams. The men finished second out of 10 teams, just six points behind Army.
While these finishes for the teams as a whole were both impressive and promising, various individuals made it clear that they were coming out of the gate hot and wasting no time in reaching their goals.
Senior Rachel Lee Wilson continued her quest to demolish the Penn track record books by breaking yet another record in the hammer throw with a 63.21-meter toss. Right behind her was freshman Mayyi Mahama, who threw for 57.29m, putting her in second-place all-time in the Penn record book.
Senior Anna Peyton Malizia also continued to make her mark on the program, winning the high jump for the Red and Blue with an impressive height of 1.78m. Junior Kathryn Schoenauer grabbed another first-place finish for the Quakers in the long jump. Additionally, the team conquered the shot put and discus throw, as junior Maura Kimmel won both events and sophomore Ashley Anumba placed second in discus and third in shot put.
In the track events, the women took more than their fair share of top finishes. Junior Maddie Villalba took first in the 800m, finishing in a time of 2:11.48. It seems that Villalba has found her best event, as she also won the 800 at the Ivy League Indoor Heptagonal Championships last month. Freshman Skyla Wilson finished first in the 400m hurdles, running it in 1:02 flat, which was fast enough to land her in the record books at seventh best in Penn history.
The Red and Blue men showed up to compete in the field events — they swept the discus, javelin, and pole vault. Junior Sean Clarke won the pole vault, clearing a height of 5.16m. Freshman Payton Morris impressively matched Clarke’s height as well. Sophomore Chudi Ikpeazu won the discus, throwing for 55.47m, and sophomore Jake Kubiatowicz was victorious in the hammer throw with a toss of 56.56m. Last but not least, freshman Marc Minichello won the javelin, throwing for a distance of 68.58m and earning a third-place spot in the Penn record books.
In the track events, the Quakers took numerous top-10 finishes. Junior Colin Daly won the 3,000 in 8:31.02 and his twin brother, Will, was just behind him in third. Freshman Enoch Cheung finished second in the 100m hurdles, crossing the line in 14.95 seconds. In another impressive freshman performance, Ray Sellaro placed second in the 800 with a time of 1:53.89.
Due in part to the brevity of the outdoor season, Penn will be competing next weekend as well. The team will be split, with some athletes competing in the Texas Relays in Austin and others competing at NC State for the Raleigh Relays. The weekend will be yet another chance for the Quakers to perform against some of the top teams in the country.