Anna Peyton Malizia's performance continues to exceed expectations, but she refuses to settle as she keeps aiming higher.
Malizia, a senior high jumper for Penn women’s track, has seen major development over her four years at Penn. Accordingly, she has high hopes for her last outdoor season at Franklin Field.
Malizia's passion for the sport stems from her high school days, where she competed well enough to impress Penn coaches and secure a spot on the Penn roster.
“I was recruited to Penn pretty late," she said. “Once I got here, my coach broke down my jump and retaught me how to do it. My first year wasn’t very good, and he actually started to train me for different events, but over the years it’s started to come together more and more, which has been fun and exciting.”
Malizia’s performance during her senior year speaks to her hard work and perseverance.
“Indoor season built up for me," she said. “From my first meet on, I just started getting better.”
Malizia had her eyes set on competing at the NCAA Indoor Championships throughout the indoor season and ended up missing the cutoff by just a centimeter, finishing 17th in a competition for 16 spots.
At the beginning of track’s outdoor season, however, Malizia cleared 1.82 meters among stiff competition at the Texas Relays for both a personal and program record.
“At the Texas Relays, all those competitors [from Indoor Nationals] were there and I [set a personal record], which was really exciting," she said.
As Malizia continues to dominate the high jump for Penn, she is looking forward to her final few months with the Quakers. She has concrete goals for both herself and the team as a whole, and she is set on making them a reality.
“For the outdoor season, I definitely want to jump six feet, which will be the next height," she said. “That’s my main goal.”
She has also qualified for the NCAA East Region preliminaries courtesy of her Texas Relays jump, so she'll be jumping through late May for a shot at making Outdoor Nationals. In preparation, she plans to improve as much as she can on her craft for that crucial moment.
If she places in the top 12 in prelims, she'll be heading back to Austin, Texas for Nationals in early June, hoping to hit another personal-best mark on the same track where she set the program record just over a week ago.
Malizia also has high expectations for her teammates, who have competed historically well over the last few seasons.
“Our team is the best it’s ever been," she said. “I think that this year in particular, we could have a record-breaking number of people going to Nationals.”
Aside from her involvement on the track team, Malizia also juggles commitments and leadership roles academically, athletically, and socially. She is majoring in Biological Basis of Behavior and minoring in Healthcare Management, is involved in the Student Athletic Advisory Committee, and is a member of the Penn chapter of the Delta Delta Delta sorority. After she graduates, she plans to move to Houston to work in investment banking.
This week, Malizia and the rest of Penn women's track will head to the Tennessee Relays for another important competition, and she'll be ready to aim higher than ever before.
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