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Junior Grace O'Shea races against a Villanova athlete in the 100-meter hurdles during a meet at Franklin Field on April 24, 2021. Credit: Samantha Turner

It was an eventful day for Penn’s track and field teams at the Villanova Invitational held in Staten Island, NY. The Quakers continued their momentum from last week’s Penn 10-Team Select and had a strong showing in New York. 

The women’s effort was highlighted by junior sprinter and hurdler Katherine Muccio, who won the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.69 seconds and finished fourth in the 60-meter hurdles event, crossing the finish line with a time of 8.80 seconds. 

“I was a little nervous going in. I haven’t run 60 hurdles or the 60 [meter dash] a lot, but I was just excited, and wanted to trust my training,” Muccio said. “I think I have such great teammates. I rely on them…they can rely on me too. I wouldn’t be able to do it without them.”

Muccio’s time was good enough to rank in the top ten in the program's history. 

“When the meet started, I thought we got off a quiet start to the day, and I think Katherine was really kind of a spark plug to the day for us,” coach Steve Dolan said. “She kind of surprised everybody when she won the 60 [meter dash], that was a huge run for her."

Distance runner Maeve Stiles captured another key result for the team with a win in the 3000-meter run. Her teammate, Elizabeth Bader, finished fourth. Caia Gelli also impressed with a second place finish in the 200-meter dash and another second place finish in the 500-meter dash.

The men’s team also had some standout performances. The 1000-meter event was a gold mine for the Quakers, with three runners finishing in the top five. Senior Ray Sellaro took first place, while teammates Justin Cornetta and James Lee finished third and fourth, respectively. Sellaro’s time of 2:23:57 is third-best in Quaker history. 

“Ray ran a great race. Actually, that whole group ran a great race…they worked as a group,” Dolan said. “Ray had the best closing kick to get that time.”

In the high jump, Michael Hermes won the event with a 2.00-meter height, and Mark Anselmi finished third. The Quakers also had a 1-2 finish in Men’s Pole Vault with James Rhoads and Benedikt Sachta notching 5.05-meter and 4.85-meter results respectively. The men’s 4x400 meter relay squad was able to finish second as well.

Looking ahead to the Penn State event next week, the goal remains the same: consistent improvement week by week.

“The goal is to get better each week," Dolan said. "I’m really excited to see our throwers compete at Penn State next week."