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M. Track shows power in Relays field events

(04/29/98 9:00am)

The pinnacle of the 1998 Penn men's outdoor track season arrived this weekend when the Quakers hosted the 104th running of the Penn Relay Carnival. Amidst all the excitement that brought a record 90,000 people to Franklin Field was the host team, which placed itself among the nation's elite. The Quakers proved competitive in all aspects of the Relays, but especially shined on the field, earning its only first-place finish in the Eastern Triple Jump, where Dan Nord leaped 48'8". Penn's second-best performance, in terms of place, was senior Corey Shannon's javelin throw. Shannon hurled the javelin 217'3", which was five inches shy of Nebraska Cornhusker Scott Warren's throw. "I knew there were a lot of really good throwers, but I knew I could throw as far as those guys," Shannon said. "[My career at Penn] has been a great experience. I have to attribute a lot of credit to the coaches, especially Nathan Taylor and John Taylor." The Penn pole vaulters also had a fine showing. Sophomore Bobby Reynolds finished second in the Eastern Pole Vault by clearing the mark of 16 feet, 3.25 inches. His teammate --senior John Linhart -- finished fourth in the regular pole vault contest with his vault of 16'1.25". While the Quakers were leaving their mark on the field, the track athletes were also succeeding. In the Shuttle Hurdle Championship, the relay team of Eric Hyde, Dan Nord, Mike Aguilar and Darnel DeGand finished sixth with a time of 58.86 seconds. Clemson's time of 55.27 seconds won the race and broke the Relays record -- formerly held by the 1982 Tennessee team, which ran the shuttle relay in 55.4 seconds. "It was the toughest competition we've faced all season long," said Clemson's Greg Hines, who passed Texas A&M;'s Bashir Ramzy on the final leg. "We haven't lost all season and I didn't want to see our unbeaten streak broken." Penn's 4xMile relay team of Robin Martin, Jason Greene, Paolo Frescura and Aaron McCommons, recorded the seventh best time at the Relays and the second best result in school history with a time of 16:37.08 "We beat some great distance schools," coach Charlie Powell said. "We beat Villanova by 12 seconds." The 4x400 relay team also recorded the second-best time in Penn history. Although the 4x400 was unable to repeat as IC4A champions, its third place time of 3:09.26 was actually quicker than last year's 3:10.31 finish. One of Penn's finest individual performances came on the first two days of the five-day competition. Senior Eric Hyde finished fourth in the decathlon by accumulating 7,215 points. "I always wanted to finish in the top five, so it was a great accomplishment for me," Hyde said. Taylor placed an emphasis on the value of experience for decathletes, as he anticipates freshman Matt Newcomb and Josh Coleman, who finished 14th and 15th respectively, will reach Hyde's level in the future. "You have to know how to go into it," Hyde said. "If you do badly in one event, you have to shake it off and move on to the next event." Penn's finish to its 1998 homestand was memorable, not only because it was during the largest track-and-field event in the world, but also because the Quakers' results were world-class. Penn now hopes to translate its success at the Relays into success at the 1998 Outdoor Heptagonals, which are on May 9 and 10 at Brown University.

M. Track puts pride on the line vs. the nation

(04/22/98 9:00am)

It's that time of the year again, the time that every collegiate track and field superstar eagerly anticipates. Yesterday, the 104th running of the Penn Relay Carnival began on Franklin Field. For the Penn track team, which is showing itself to be the class of the Ivies during the outdoor season, the Relays gives it a chance to play host to nearly every one of the nation's top teams. "This is the largest track event in the world," Penn coach Charlie Powell said. "We had almost 18,000 people on the track last year. The Olympics don't even have 10,000." Recent excitement over the Penn Relays has been stirred by the announcement that Michael Johnson will be running with Jon Drummond, Allen Johnson and Maurice Greene for the Nike International Team in the 4x200 relay. Nevertheless, a few years ago a poll was conducted, and the results indicated that most fans truly come to see the high school and college students compete. Regardless of the reason, over 40,000 people should be in attendance to see one of the best event track events of the season. "It's exciting for me because I've never been in a meet where all these people are watching," freshman Andy Girardin, who is running the 800 meter leg of the distance medley, said. The fans will be treated to incredible competition, as Penn welcomes some of the best athletes from every top track and field program in the country to West Philadelphia for the weekend. Included in the field are Georgetown, the 1998 Indoor Intercollegiate Association of Amateur Athletes of America (IC4A) Champions and Arkansas, the 1998 Indoor NCAA Champions. "You finally get a chance to go head-to-head against the nation," Powell said. "How often do we get to go against teams like Tennessee, Texas and TCU?" Yesterday the Quakers showed they belong in such esteemed company, as decathlete Eric Hyde set a number of personal bests as part of a fifth-place finish during the first day of competition. Hyde tallied 3,708 points, putting him fewer than 200 points behind Kutztown's Jeremy Culver, who posted a score of 3,899. Among Hyde's personal bests in the decathlon were his 100 meter time of 11.43, a throw of 12.17 meters in the shot put and 1.92 meters in the high jump. Last year the Quakers had top finishes in the jumping events, the 4x1500 relay and the sprint medley. Their greatest accomplishment, however, came from the IC4A 4x400 relay team, which won the race. Class of '97 graduate Greg Davis, seniors Mike Stiffler and Kael Coleman and junior Robin Martin broke the tape with a time of 3:10.31. According to the most recent schedule, which is subject to change, freshman Mike Aguilar will join Stiffler, Coleman and Martin in their quest to repeat as IC4A 4x400 meter winners. In order to defend their Championship Saturday, the team must first qualify Friday. "There are a lot of great teams like Pitt and Seton Hall," Martin said. "We're going to have to do our best just to be in it, but I like our chances." Along with the 4x400 meter relay, the 4xmile relay should highlight Penn's competition Saturday. The 4x100 meter relay, the sprint medley and the distance medley should be Friday's most competitive events on the track from a Penn standpoint. As always, Penn is expected to excel in the jumping events, led by senior Okinyi Ayungo, juniors Dan Nord, Stan Anderson and Rich Carlson and freshman Mike Wise. While the team stresses the importance of upcoming league championship meets, Penn's ability to compete and potentially beat the country's best athletes makes this meet one of the biggest thrills of the year.

M. Track preps for second dual meet

(04/17/98 9:00am)

The Quakers return home for their final meet before the Penn Relays. The Penn men's outdoor track team returns to Franklin Field Saturday to host Cornell in the Quakers' second dual meet of the season. After losing in their first dual meet at Princeton last weekend, the Quakers will have an easier opponent in the Big Red, who finished sixth at the 1998 Indoor Heptagonals. "I think we're a better team," Penn coach Charlie Powell said. "Hopefully we'll prove that. As long as our athletes all show up to compete, we'll be fine." Cornell (2-1) lost its season opener to Navy, the fifth-place finisher at Indoor Heps, 103.5-48.5. The Big Red's wins came in the same meet against Maine, 48.5-42, and Colgate, 48.5-7. Although Penn's depth translated into greater success at the Indoor Heps, Cornell has some solid athletes on their team that will be good competition for the Quakers. In particular Cornell features some of the Ivy League's top field competitors. Cornell senior Shaka Davis finished second in the triple jump, third in long jump and 11th in the high jump at Indoor Heps. "He's a good competitor," junior Stan Anderson, who outleaped Davis by over one foot to win the triple jump at Indoor Heps, said. "For me personally, he will make this meet exciting. I'll have to compete against him at Heps, so it'll be good because we don't see many Heps competitors during the season." Cornell also has sophomore Nat Toothaker, who finished 10th in the triple jump and sixth in the long jump at Heps. Powell and assistant coach Nathan Taylor point at these three jumping events and the pole vault as being the most competitive field events. Cornell juniors Greg Schlachter and Nathan Jauvtis finished fifth and sixth, respectively, in the pole vault at Indoor Heps. The best event Saturday, however, may be the 400 meter intermediate hurdles. "Six of the top nine intermediate hurdlers in the league will be on the track at the same time in a dual meet," Powell said. The race will feature Penn freshman Mike Aguilar, sophomore Craig Douglas and junior Tarak Sallam, who finished fourth at the 1997 Outdoor Heptagonals. They will be racing against two of the other top six finishers at last year's Outdoor Heps. Cornell senior Matt Worster finished third and his teammate, junior Bryan Weissenboeck, was sixth to cross the finish line. Nevertheless, this meet means more than just good competition. For the Red and Blue, it is their final meet of the season before Penn Relays, and subsequently the postseason. That means it is Penn's last chance to fine-tune everything before the heart of the schedule arrives. "I have a chance to improve in the high jump where I've been struggling all season," Stan Anderson said. For Cornell, this Saturday's dual meet is all about pride. "They consider us their big rival," Powell said. "Believe me, they will be ready and they will not take us lightly."

M. Track heads to separate states

(04/02/98 10:00am)

This weekend, the Penn men's outdoor track team will participate in two different meets. Some athletes are competing in the Texas Relays in Austin, which began yesterday and will continue through Saturday. The rest of the team is hosting the Penn Invitational Saturday at Franklin Field. The splitting of the team should be beneficial to the entire Penn squad. The veterans of the team are travelling to the University of Texas for the Texas Relays. "This is one of the events of the season," Penn coach Charlie Powell said. Many of the nation's top athletes will be at this meet, which is considered to be as competitive as the Penn Relays. The mile relay team is among the teams that had the honor of being invited to the Texas Relays. They are accompanied by teammates such as senior Eric Hyde, who began the decathlon yesterday, Texas natives John Linhart and Matt Pagliasotti and other field competitors. With those Quakers running in a different time zone, the rest of the team is focusing on this Saturday's Penn Invitational. "The young and up-and-coming guys are here with me," Powell said. "This is our team of the future. We'll [be able to] see what the team will be like a couple of years from now." The Penn Invitational will have ample competition to test the younger Quakers. After competing in the Quaker Invitational two weeks ago, local rivals, St. Joe's, La Salle and Temple will return to Franklin Field. Over 10 teams will be here this weekend including Haverford -- home of one of the top Division III programs -- Kutztown -- a top Division II school -- and Ivy League foe Cornell. One of Cornell's star athletes is senior Shaka Davis. At the 1998 Indoor Heptagonal Championships, Davis finished third in the long jump, 11th in the high jump and second in the triple jump behind Penn junior Stan Anderson. A major area of competition could be in the middle distance events including the 1500 meter run and the 800 meter run. St. Joe's, La Salle, Kutztown and Haverford all have solid middle distance runners and should give the Red and Blue a challenge. "It's going to be a neat meet for me," Powell said. "We'll see if some guys step up. Even if the performances aren't there, I'd like to see the effort there." As with every competition, both meets this weekend provide the Quakers with a chance to qualify for post-season action. "We could have some guys with IC4A [Intercollegiate Association of Amateur Athletes of America] qualifiers or better," Powell said. Some of Penn's top athletes at the Texas Relays this weekend may even be aiming for an NCAA qualification. This weekend should be an indicator of not only how good Penn is, but how much better they will be in the future. With Penn Relays approaching three weeks later, followed by the outdoor post-season, now is a good time for the Quakers to show everyone what they are made of.

M. Track looks strong in Raleigh

(03/30/98 10:00am)

The Penn men's outdoor track team, along with 93 others, competed in the Raleigh Relays this weekend, hosted by North Carolina State. With over 2,000 athletes participating in the weekend meet, the Quakers were guaranteed to face some tough competition. "The best benefit is that it gives the athletes confidence that they can perform in high stress situations prior to when they want to perform their best," Penn assistant coach Nathan Taylor said. "I think it's beneficial all year long," Penn coach Charlie Powell said. "You won't get the best out of yourself in anything unless you challenge yourself." The Quakers met their personal challenge at Raleigh, exemplified by the performance of the athletes who set career best times. Penn javelin thrower Corey Shannon set a personal best, throwing the javelin 219 feet -- third best at Raleigh and 10 feet further than his old career best. His throw nearly qualified him for NCAAs. "That's been my goal all year," Shannon said. "I came within 10 inches, and I watched some tapes which show I still have a few things to correct." Shannon and Taylor both feel an NCAA qualification is an attainable goal for the senior javelin thrower. Next weekend at the Texas Relays, Shannon could earn a position in the national championship. "His performance was outstanding," Taylor said. "He and [Matt] Pagliasotti were the best performers at the competition." Pagliasotti finished in third place in the discus throw. His toss of 172 feet, 4 inches beat his personal record by about 23 feet, and it put Pagliasotti fifth all-time in Penn history. Overall, the field athletes fared very well, as they finished in the top eight in all but two events, the shot put and the hammer throw. On the track, Mike Stiffler finished in 12th place yet ran a personal best in the 400-meter dash with a time of 47.70 seconds. "Stiffler didn't score, but ran a personal best," Taylor said. "Typically it is the most competitive event down there." Penn also had two third-place finishes. Paolo Frescura finished third in the 1,500-meter run with his time of 3:52.47. While fighting illness, Sean Macmillan ran the 3,000-meter steeplechase in 9:17.76 -- placing behind only two of North Carolina's premier runners, Jeff Connolly and Mike McKeeman. Once again, the Quakers used their schedule to the fullest. Last week, Penn hosted a more low-key event -- the Quaker Invitational -- to open the season. This past weekend, the results weren't as auspicious for the Red and Blue. But in addition to a few personal bests, facing the nation's elite provided adequate preparation to the other Quakers in their quest for back-to-back Heptagonal Championships.

M. Track finally runs at home

(03/23/98 10:00am)

The Penn men's track team began its outdoor spring season yesterday by hosting the Quaker Invitational. Unfortunately, the outdoor season opener was not met by spring-like weather. The athletes representing the 10 schools, including locals such as St. Joe's, Temple and La Salle, competed in near-freezing temperatures at windy Franklin Field. "[The bad weather] doesn't affect the throwers quite as much," Penn assistant coach Nathan Taylor, who coaches the field athletes and sprinters, said. "But by the time we got to the shot put, these guys were frozen, and when you're cold, you lose your flexibility." The Quakers highlight of the afternoon came from the individuals in the hammer throw. Lucas Deines, Matt Pagliasotti and Kyle Turley finished first, second and third respectively, as their distances were all good enough for Intercollegiate Association of Amateur Athletes of America [IC4A] qualification. Deines also finished first in the discus throw with his hurl of 46.24 meters. "Matt Pagliasotti had the best performance out of the guys I coached today," Taylor said. The day's most exciting track event was the 800 meter run. Freshman Andy Girardin bested St. Joe's Dave Polis by one hundreth of a second with his time of 1:55.75. Girardin broke away from the pack in the final lap of the race. Going into the last 200 meters, he built a convincing lead, but Polis crept back. Polis nearly caught Girardin, but thanks to a good final effort, Girardin held on for a photo-finish victory. The Invitational was good for Penn because it enabled the team to develop its depth. Kei Yamamato outjumped two athletes from Moravian College to capture first place in the triple jump. Sean Macmillan and Matt Blodgett won the top two spots in the 3,000 meter steeplechase. Also, freshman Josh Coleman won the pole vault, an event in which Penn took the top three places. Historically, Penn is a better outdoor track team than an indoor team. Part of this is due to the lack of an indoor facility, but that's not the only reason. "Success in the indoor competition comes from having good middle distance runners," Taylor said. The outdoor IC4As don't have middle distance events such as the 500 meter dash, the 4x800 meter relay and the two mile run, which occur at the indoor IC4As. Although Penn has a few excellent middle distance runners, the absence of these events may help the Red and Blue in May. Georgetown, who won the 1998 Indoor IC4As, scored a majority of their points in the middle distance events. While many teams score less points at the outdoor IC4As, the Quakers generally score more. With this in mind, the future of the 1998 outdoor season looks bright. The indoor team finished eighth in the United States Track Coaches Association rankings. With what Powell dubbed as "a good start to the season," the Quaker Invitational could be the beginning of another championship season for the defending 1997 Outdoor Heptagonal Champions.

Martin takes 800 title at IC4As as team takes fourth

(03/18/98 10:00am)

The Penn men's track team finished fourth while several individuals excelled among the field. The 1998 Penn men's indoor track season ended in impressive fashion. The Quakers finished fourth out of the 51 teams that competed at the Intercollegiate Association of Amateur Athletes of America (IC4A) Championships at Cornell on March 7 and 8. Penn's 43 points placed them fourth overall at the championships, its best finish during Charlie Powell's 16-year tenure as head coach. The top three teams were Georgetown, Penn State and Manhattan, who scored 81, 65 and 44 points respectively. The Red and Blue finished above all other Ivy League representatives at the IC4As, including Princeton. Princeton won the Indoor Heptagonals the week before, but Penn outscored Princeton by a decisive 21 points in Ithaca. "It was a great meet for us," Powell said. "It legitimizes the fact that we feel we are one of the best teams in the East, and I think we could have done even better." Indeed, they could have. Penn finished only one point behind Manhattan and they ran the 4x400 meter relay without one of their best runners, junior Robin Martin. Martin had been suffering from illness for over a week going into the competition, so Powell did not run him in the 4x400 relay. Nevertheless, Martin ran in the 800-meter run, and he won the race by 23 hundredths of a second. "The fact that he won after being in bed all week is phenomenal," Powell said. Martin's victory at the IC4As culminated a remarkable season. He set a school record time in the 800-meter run and won the 500-meter dash and the 1000-meter run at Heptagonals, not to mention several other first-place finishes. "What he did at Heps proves he's an outstanding athlete," Powell said. "He won the 1000-meter against Trinity Gray, one of the best middle distance runners, and 40 minutes later he won the 500." Penn's lone second-place finish came from junior Dan Nord, who had a leap of 24 feet, 9 inches in the long jump. Nord was eclipsed only by Penn State junior John Gorham, who also won the long jump event in 1997. Nord's leap was six inches farther than the third-best jump of the weekend, which came from his identical twin brother, Jeff Nord, who competes for Brown. "I finally beat my twin brother," Nord said. "I did it on my last jump, so it was very exciting." Nord's second-place finish proved to be a great accomplishment as both a jumper and for personal reasons. In high school, the competitive twins mostly competed in different events, where Dan was usually better on the track and Jeff was better in the field. "He's probably better than half the guys at Nationals, but he didn't get the big one to help him qualify," Powell said. Nord also finished fifth in the triple jump, right in front of teammate Stan Anderson, who had jumps of 50' 1.75" and 50', respectively. "I think I definitely have a chance to win the long jump and the triple jump next year," Nord said. Penn's 1998 indoor track season closed out with its best team performance in decades at IC4As. This finish was sparked by more incredible individual accolades by many of the Quakers. The team hopes to follow up a great indoor season with an equally impressive outdoor season and perhaps a victory in the Outdoor Heptagonals.

M. Track finishes behind Princeton

(03/02/98 10:00am)

Despite six first-place finishes, the men's indoor track team failed to amass enough points to repeat as Heptagonal Champions. This year Princeton earned the honor, as the Tigers scored 138 points. Penn finished second with 115, which put them 44 points ahead of third-place Brown. The 1998 Indoor Heps showed itself as a two-team race from the onset. After the first day of competition, Princeton -- who hosted the meet -- and Penn already had grabbed a solid hold of the two lead spots. "Usually you get 10 to 15 points for home field advantage," Penn senior Mike Stiffler said. "Many upperclassmen felt we should have won the meet, if we were, to use the cliche, running on all cylinders." But the Quakers are accustomed to competing on the road, as Penn does not possess an indoor track. Penn's standout runners continued their road dominance, shown by four first-place finishes this weekend, including Shawn Fernandes' win in the 55 meter dash by three-hundreths of a second with his time of 6.44 seconds. In the 400 meter dash, Mike Stiffler and Brown's Trinity Gray both finished with a time of 48.63 seconds. But a photo finish indicated that Stiffler won the race. "I had to make a quick spurt for the lead at the 150 meter break," Stiffler said. "I was pretty much leading throughout the race, and then I saw Trinity on my right at the last meter." Robin Martin took the Quakers' other top finishes on the track. Martin defeated Harvard's Joseph Ciollo by two-tenths of a second. Martin's second win was even a closer call. Martin beat Gray by five-hundreths of a second in the 1,000 meter run with a time of 2:24.17. The duo are two of the nation's top runners, as exemplified by their sub-1:49 runs in the 800 meter run earlier in the season. Penn also won two field events -- the weight throw and the triple jump. Lucas Deines' weight throw of 63 feet and 4.00 inches was over four feet further than the second-best throw at Princeton, which came from Dartmouth's Shaun McGregor. For the second consecutive year, the Red and Blue continued their dominance of the triple jump event. At the 1997 Heps, they scored 25 points by having five of the top six jumps. This year they took four of the top six spots -- including Stan Anderson's first-place finish -- accumulating 17 of the 31 possible points in the event. Penn's accomplishments at Jadwin Gym were very impressive, as they have been all season long. Going into the competition, the Quakers were a solid contender, especially considering they were defending champions. "We felt it was our meet to win or lose," Stiffler said. "We'll get them outdoors." Unfortunately, 1998 was not Penn's year in the Indoor Heps, but Penn will get a rematch with Princeton in the spring at the Outdoor Heps. The Quakers' season continues next weekend at Cornell, where its top athletes will compete in the IC4As.

M. Track favored to win Heps

(02/26/98 10:00am)

A victory at league championships would give the Quakers their first repeat championships since 1976. Almost three months ago, the Penn men's indoor track team began preparing for its biggest weekends of the season: Indoor Heptagonals weekend. This year's Indoor Heps, featuring the eight Ivy League teams and Navy, will be held in Princeton's Jadwin Gym Saturday and Sunday. After winning the Heps last year for the first time since 1984, the Quakers are on a quest to make it two in a row. Penn is looking for its third back-to-back Heps championship ever, and its first since 1975-6. "It's going to be a battle between us and Princeton," junior Dan Nord said. "We're confident, but we have to run on all cylinders." Last year, Penn's greatest competition came from the second-place-finishing Tigers. Penn overcame a Princeton rally with the help of the triple jumpers, who scored 25 points by earning five of the top six finishes. "It was awesome to rule one event," Nord, who won the event last year, said. "We wanted to sweep, but one guy from Dartmouth snuck in there." These 25 points made the difference as Penn won the 1997 Indoor Heps by 24 points. The 25 points that the triple jumpers won actually exceeded the total number of overall points Cornell scored at the meet. "If we keep doing what we can do and if we have solid performances from everyone, we have a good chance of repeating," coach Charlie Powell said. Penn's depth gives them a legitimate shot at glory. Unlike many of the other schools, Penn is so well-rounded that they have athletes competing in all 19 events with a strong chance to score points. "We are spread throughout," junior Robin Martin said. "It's a different look for our team. Heps is the one time where it is a huge team effort." Customarily, Powell does not schedule a meet the weekend before either Indoor or Outdoor Heps. "It helps us focus, and it also lets us heal nagging injuries," Powell said. Currently, the team is healthy except for shot put thrower Brent Stiles. Stiles has a bad tendon in his hand, which may inhibit him from competing this weekend. Although most of the team had last weekend off, the 4x400 relay team travelled to Northern Arizona, where they set an Ivy League record. After setting a school record, with a time of 3:12.34 the week before at the St. Valentine's Invitational, the team broke their own record the following weekend. At Northern Arizona's Flagstaff Invitational, the 4x400 relay team set an Ivy League best time of 3:11.57. "It's cahsing times," Martin said. "It's a different side of track that's not about the team." Also, at the St. Valentine's Invitational, Martin set another school record, this time in the 1000 meter run. His time of 2:24.62 is his second individual school-breaking record of the year; the first came last month when he broke his own record in the 800 meter run. The year-long impressive individual and relay accolades of the Red and Blue, however, are not the focus this weekend. Scoring points for the team is the priority for the Quakers, as they try to win back-to-back Heptagonals for the first time in 22 years.

Students protested Hockey's demise

(02/25/98 10:00am)

Despite the lack of fan support for the varsity hockey team during its existence, Andy Geiger's announcement 20 years ago this week that hockey would lose its funding drew an amazing response. Friday February 24, 1978, was the day that Geiger told the public that hockey, along with gymnastics, badminton and golf, were getting cut from the varsity program. Coincidently, the Quakers had two home hockey games that weekend. Penn hosted St. Lawrence and Clarkson with 1,400 and 1,600 people attending each game, respectively. Not only were Penn students in attendance, but reporters from Philadelphia's major newspapers, The Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News, covered that weekend's games. "No one in the press box this weekend could recollect the last time they had seen any of Philly's major sportswriters at the rink," Danny Rosenbaum wrote in the Daily Pennsylvanian 20 years ago. The irony of the weekend following the announcement was that Penn had never received strong fan support in the past. In its final weekend, however, the 3,000 fans that crossed the turnstiles at the Class of '23 rink showed immense support for the team. Goalie Bob Sutton received a standing ovation after every great save. Moreover, the fans continuously chanted "Let's Keep Hockey"or "Keep Penn Hockey" during both contests. The basketball team was also home that weekend and Geiger was in attendance at Saturday's game. During warm-ups he walked across the court, causing thousands of the 8,152 fans in attendance to boo. Athletics was not the only department to fall under the axe of budget cutbacks. The $75,000 the termination of the hockey program would save only moved the school partway toward erasing its $500,000 debt. Due to increased costs, the University would also be unable to continue the professional theater series. The Annenberg Center was sustaining itself via a $250,000 grant from a Trustee which was schedule to expire at the end of 1978. Therefore, the fund-strapped Annenberg Center would go back to producing only student productions. The cutbacks of the hockey program and the professional theater at Annenberg created a campus-wide movement. On Thursday March 2, 1978, college students took over College Hall in protest of the cutbacks. It was the first takeover of College Hall since 1973, when there was an anti-rape movement. Students sat in College Hall while negotiations went on with University President Martin Meyerson, administrators and trustees. The protest lasted until 3:35 a.m. Monday morning -- almost four entire days. During the protests, students held banners, for example, "Arts and pucks deserve bucks." The agreement that was finally reached included a reinstatement of the gymnastics, badminton and golf programs and also promised an effort to raise money to keep the professional theater productions. Friday March 3, 1978, while the protest was going on, Penn hockey played its final varsity home game in school history. The game was sold out and the fans flooded the ice at the conclusion of the game. Unfortunately, the hockey program could not be salvaged by the protest. The administration promised to assist the players in transferring to other schools with varsity hockey programs. The entire incident might have been avoidable had students not waited until after the announcement of the program's demise to start supporting the team. If the hockey team played in front of 1,500 people throughout its history, one can only wonder if there would still be a varsity program today.

Penn club hockey teams skate to prominence in post-Ivy League era

(02/19/98 10:00am)

Twenty years after losing its varsity team, Penn hockey has found a niche. Two questions always arise when hockey at Penn is mentioned. The first question students ask about Penn hockey is, Penn has a hockey team? The answer is yes, Penn does have a hockey team. In fact, Penn has two. The second is, Why doesn't Penn have a varsity hockey team? This is a question that runs through the minds of all the hockey fans on campus. Penn already has a home arena (the Class of '23 Rink), but the problem is Penn's unwillingness to invest the money for two varsity hockey teams. "I think every college needs a varsity team," said Lisa Bard, who starts in goal for the women's team. Nevertheless, most players are satisfied playing for a club team. "I am perfectly happy with my decision," Roman Krislav, Penn's leading scorer on the men's team, said. "I was able to play competitively here for four years, and the team's time requirements matched what I wanted to give." From 1966 to 1978 Penn had a men's varsity team which lost its athletic funding when the Athletic Department had a $500,000 debt. The men's team, which was originally a club team, went back to playing at the club level and has been there ever since. "Penn had a very competitive, fledgling program," Tim Taylor, current Yale varsity hockey coach, said. "We were disappointed when they lost their team because the effort to institute the program was positive for the league." Taylor, the 1994 U.S. Olympic Hockey coach and head coach of currently No. 6 ranked Yale for the last 19 years, debunks any myth that Penn isn't capable of supporting successful varsity hockey teams. The women never had a varsity hockey team, but had a club team in 1978. That program was also cut by Penn Athletic Director Andy Geiger in 1978, but the Penn's women's hockey club was rejuvenated in the early 1980s. Currently, Penn and Columbia are the only two Ivy League schools without varsity hockey pro grams, while the other six Ivies are in the Eastern College Athletic Conference, which is one of hockey's elite Division I conferences. The Men's club hockey team is one of 12 teams in the Delaware Valley Collegiate Hockey Conference (DVCHC). The conference is broken into two six-team divisions: the Southeast Division, in which Penn plays, and the Northwest Division. In its second season in the conference, Penn (12-9-1, 10-4 in league) qualified for the playoffs by finishing at least third in their division. The Quakers can win the division title with a win Friday at Franklin and Marshall and a St. Joseph's loss. If the Quakers do not finish first then it looks like they will play Princeton's club team in the opening round of the playoffs. "Our goal was make to the playoffs," Penn coach Dave Heary said. "Now our goal is the Championship Cup. We're turning the corner. We're going to be a team to reckon with in our league." Krislav netted his 13th goal of the season in a 5- 5 tie against Drexel one week ago today. Three days after tying Drexel, Penn defeated the Northwest Division-leading Millersville, 3-0. Considering that Penn opened its season with an 11-1 loss against Drexel, the team's late season success gives it a lot to be proud of. "We wanted to prove to ourselves that we've made it to a new level of hockey," said sophomore Josh Remick, who is also president of the Men's Hockey Club. "I think we showed it [last Thursday] night. It was the most rewarding feeling I've had as a Penn hockey player." The men's team predominantly plays clubs team, but they occasionally play charity games against teams such as the Philadelphia Fire Department. Since the men's and women's hockey teams are club level teams, the Athletic Department does not fund their existence. The hockey teams get a decent portion of their funds from the Student Activities Council. This, however, is not enough to even pay for their ice time. Therefore, students pay dues ranging from $200-$300 per season. The men's team also runs a telethon in an attempt to gain alumni support. Recently, Ed Little, Class of '63, donated $5,000 to both the men's and women's hockey programs. Little played for the men's club team in his days here in the early 1960s before the team went varsity. Neither the men's or women's team actively recruit. Instead, they use word-of-mouth to get hockey players on campus aware of the team. The men's team is in the process of getting sponsors for next season. Although Penn features club teams, some of the hockey players could have played for Division III schools, namely women's co-captains Nicole Terry and Lisa Bard, who both played for competitive New England hockey programs in high school. Both Terry and Bard played against 1998 U.S. Olympian A.J. Mleczko in high school. "The club was more of an attraction than Division III hockey," said Bard, who has been starting in goal for the last four seasons. "I had the ability to participate in other things." Both hockey teams only practice twice a week, primarily because the cost of ice time at the rink is so expensive. This enables the players to participate in other activities. This, however, is not the only reason some of the hockey players enjoy their club status. "It'd be nice to have a varsity team, but I'm grateful that I can play here," Remick said. The structure of the women's team is quite a contrast to that of the men's. The women (8-8-3) are not in a league and play a wider array of teams, including Division III varsity teams, college club teams, regional club teams and high school teams. The Quakers were going to join a league with mid-Atlantic women's club teams, but the league fell through. Presently, Rutgers is in the process of creating a club league for collegiate teams. Last weekend, Penn's hosted Rutgers in their annual Penn band game. Every year the Penn band comes to the frosty Class of '23 Rink to support the women's team. Penn dropped the contest 1-0, despite good play at both sides of the ice. Penn defeated Rutgers last semester, but Rutgers has since added many players to their roster. "There is a very wide range of skill and experience," coach Kevin Coloton said. "Everyone is eager to learn new techniques and strategies of the game. They all come to practice and work very hard." The Red and Blue play their final home game February 28 against the Chesapeake Women's Club Team. Although Penn has been lacking varsity hockey for the last 20 years, two hockey teams exist on campus, and they are quite successful. Not only is the men's team in a stable league, but they are succeeding also. The women may be headed in a similar direction. For the mean time, the women's team has a quality record with a schedule that includes games against varsity programs. What the future holds for Penn hockey nobody knows. What people should know is that the present holds two legitimate hockey teams that love to play one the most expensive, yet popular, collegiate sports.

M. Track runs the fastest 2 miles in the East

(02/05/98 10:00am)

Robin Martin, Paolo Frescura, Jason Greene, and Andrew Girardin ran the 2-mile relay in 7:38.13 last weekend. One week after Robin Martin set this season's top time in the 800 meter run, he again entered the 1998 record books with the rest of the two-mile relay team. Martin, Paolo Frescura, Jason Greene and Andrew Girardin made up last weekend's two-mile relay team that ran at the Terrier Classic, hosted by Boston University. Their time of 7:38.13 topped second place Georgetown's time by slightly over one second and it gave the relay time the top collegiate time in the East. Penn coach Charlie Powell strategically gambled when putting together last weekend's relay team. "On an indoor track where the first leg is crowded, you want someone who is strong and has experience," Powell said. Powell chose senior Frescura to run the first 800 meter leg. As the only senior on the relay team, Frescura, who normally runs the mile, brought the most experience to the table. Following Frescura came Greene, another one of the team's top milers. Both runners' versatility is shown by their ability to run top times in the 800 meter leg, where they are normally accustomed to running the mile. "It's a different pace. If it's shorter you have to be aggressive," said Martin, who can relate to Frescura and Greene because he runs two different distances (400 and 800 meters). The major coaching decision Powell needed to make was when to run Martin, the nation's fastest 800 meter runner this year. Powell could have had Martin run the third leg in an attempt to give Penn a large lead entering the last leg. Powell's other option was to save Martin for the end. Powell opted to run Martin third. As the baton was passed to him, Penn was in second place. Powell's plan was executed to perfection, as Martin easily passed the leader of the race and gave Girardin a 10-12 meter lead heading into the final leg. "In an open event, you just think about winning," Martin said. "In a team event, you're trying to give your teammates an advantage. It's a different mindset." In the final leg of the relay, the Georgetown competitor came on strong, but was unable to pass Girardin in the final stretch. "At the end, it's more of an adrenaline rush than anything," Girardin said. "In a relay, the stakes are higher because you don't want to lose it for the team either." The team that ran the top time in the East is a unique group of individuals. All four classes at Penn are represented by these athletes, and they originally came from places all over the world. Frescura, the senior, is from France. Junior Robin Martin and sophomore Jason Greene represent the midwest, hailing from Michigan and South Dakota, respectively. The relay team's New Hampshire representative is the freshman, Girardin. Next weekend, the track team heads south to the University of Delaware for their Invitational. Powell is going to mix things up by having his athletes participate in events new to them. Frescura will be running the 3000 meter and Martin will be running the mile. Greene, who normally runs the 1200 meter leg of the distance medley, will be running the 800 meter leg. Girardin, however, will not change his event. He is running the 800 meter because he is still looking for his IC4A qualifying time. Next weekend's break from the norm should be interesting because the team will do something irregular. However, it will be hard to match the excitement created by the two-mile relay team last weekend. Thanks to great coaching and four fabulous performances in 800 meter runs, Penn now holds this season's top two-mile relay time in the East.

M. Track changes pace at Terrier Classic

(01/29/98 10:00am)

Last weekend the Penn men's indoor track team went to Virginia Tech for an invitational featuring some of the nation's powerhouses from the Atlantic Coast Conference and Southeastern Conference. This weekend the Quakers head north to participate in the Terrier Classic, hosted by Boston University. The Terrier Classic should lack the caliber of competition that was present in Blacksburg, Va., last weekend. The meet at BU will feature smaller schools from New England, like Providence College and conference-rival Yale. Saturday's meet at BU will mark Penn's first appearance at the Terrier Classic in over three years. In recent history, the Terrier Classic was held on the same weekend as the annual Penn-Princeton dual meet, preventing the Quakers from attending. Princeton opted not to partake in a dual meet with Penn this season, enabling the team to compete in Boston. Last weekend, BU hosted the Terrier Cup, which was won by Rhode Island. Penn's toughest competition this weekend may come from the host school, a team featuring two top milers. In the Terrier Cup, Matthew Smith and Kevin Murphy, who both run for BU, finished first and second, respectively, in the mile. Both of their times were under 4:08, several seconds better than Penn's top times this winter. "I don't get intimidated by fast runners," sophomore Jason Greene, who will be running the mile Saturday, said. "Maybe I can hook along with them and get a fast time." In Beantown, coach Charlie Powell is looking to see how well the runners, particularly the sprinters, do. "[Boston University] isn't a great place for jumps, but it's a good place for sprints, so we'll be watching from the 400 meter dash on down," Powell said. "We also have two good guys running in the 800 and the mile, so we'll be watching that too." As the Red and Blue have been practicing this week in preparation for the meet, the focus of the team has continued to be trying to reach a Championship level. "Our goal is to have continued improvement over the next few weeks," Powell said. The Terrier Classic is just another opportunity for the Quakers to attain their goal. Penn will be competing in only individual meets until Heptagonals, which will be held at Princeton the last weekend in February. Now, the Quakers are looking for hard work and good performances, which will enhance their chances of glory down the road.

M. Track's Martin sets best 800 time

(01/26/98 10:00am)

Last Friday and Saturday the Penn men's indoor track team travelled to Blacksburg, Va. for the Virginia Tech Invitational. This weekend's individual competition was highlighted by the performance of junior Robin Martin, who won the 800 meter run after missing last weekend's action with a cold. Martin, with a time of 1:48.89, edged out South Carolina senior Marvin Watts by one one-hundredth of a second to finish first in the race. Martin was leading down the stretch, but Watts came on strong to make the race a photo-finish. With his time of 1:48.89 -- currently the best in the nation -- Martin qualified for the National Collegiate Athletic Association Championship. The race may be a preview of the national championships because four of the men who finished behind him were in the NCAAs last year. "I wanted to compete well and qualify for the NCAAs," Martin said. "I also wanted to prove myself by running against some good competition." Martin was not the only first place finisher for the Quakers. Dan Nord won the long jump on his last leap of the day. Going into his final jump, Nord was third on the leader board and he knew he needed a jump of at least 24 feet in order to win. Nord leaped 24 feet and 5.75 inches, putting himself in first place, a spot he didn't relinquish as he finished over 4 inches ahead of the second place athlete, Morgan State senior Ralph Jones. "I knew I could jump well because I had been jumping far, but I was fouling so they didn't count," Nord said. "This time I came up with a good jump." Nord also placed well in the triple jump where he jumped for a total of 48 feet and 8.25 inches. His jump was fifth best at the Invitational. Teammate Stan Anderson finished fourth in the triple jump with his leap of 49 feet and 4.25 inches. In addition to Penn's two first place finishes, the Quakers had many other impressive results. In the 400 meter run, senior Mike Stiffler finished seventh out of over 60 runners with a time of 48.76 seconds. Of the 54 runners in the mile run, senior Paolo Frescura finished sixth with a time of 4:16.91, only ten seconds behind the leader. The Red and Blue also had impressive results in both relay events, in which over twenty teams competed. The 4x400 meter relay team finished sixth overall with a time of 3:15.79. The distance medley team was fourth best at the competition with their time of 10:01.25. The Quakers also had a strong showing in the field events. In the high jump, Rich Carlson, who jumped 6 feet, 9.75 inches, and Anderson, who jumped 6 feet, 6 inches, finished fourth and ninth, respectively. In the pole vault, John Linhart vaulted 15 feet and 11 inches to place third overall. With the Quakers' excellent showing in Blacksburg, the team is beginning to show signs of taking the next step towards building a championship team, a goal coach Charlie Powell hopes to attain.

M. Track individuals to compete with elite

(01/22/98 10:00am)

Following last week's victory over Navy and Virginia Commonwealth, Penn coach Charlie Powell was convinced that the 1998 men's indoor track team has the tools for a championship season. "For a lot of these guys the question is: Can they raise it to the next level?" Powell said. This weekend's Virginia Tech Invitational should help the Quakers' coach at least partially answer his question, as the Quakers will be challenged by some of the nation's top collegiate teams and athletes. After competing in its first team meet of the season last weekend, Penn returns Friday and Saturday to individual competition in this Invitational. This is the inaugural year of the Quakers' involvement in this Blacksburg, Va. event. The athletes, going into competition, are unsure what to expect. Virginia Tech will not only be competing with a home track advantage, but will also benefit from the excitement surrounding a new indoor state-of-the-art track facility. "The better the track is, the faster the times are," sprinter Shawn Fernandes said. "Being brand new, the track has more spring." Some of the top schools that will be at Virginia Tech include South Carolina, East Carolina, North Carolina State, Penn State, Georgia, Miami and Kentucky. Miami boasts one of the nation's best 400 meter runners. Davian Clarke, who finished sixth outdoors last year and won the outdoor title in 1996, opened his season with a 47.89 second run. The Jamaican Olympian's career best time is just under 45 seconds, meaning Penn senior Mike Stiffler will have his work cut out for him. In his collegiate debut, South Carolina's Terrance Trammell ran 7.76 seconds in the 60 meter hurdles, which is good for best in the nation. He also sprinted for a mere 6.71 seconds in the 60 meter dash. Another Gamecock, Burt Sorin, set his personal record in the 35-lb. weight with a hurl of 65 feet and 7 inches. For Georgia, freshman Reese Hoffa's throw travelled 58 feet and 6 inches and Jarkko Haukijarvi, also a freshman, had a shot put of 59 feet and 10.25 inches. And these are just a few of the star athletes that will be in Blacksburg for the two-day meet. These athletes will give the Red and Blue, who have proven their excellence with several Intercollegiate Association of the Amateur Athletes of America (IC4A) qualifications, a chance to elevate their performance against hearty competition. "That's the point of these meets," Fernandes said. "Before we didn't peak until the [Heptagonals]. By competing with the best it elevates your performance. That's how you get better." The Quakers are confident that they can meet the challenge posed by the impressive array of athletes that will be at Virginia Tech this weekend. Good results by Penn will just add to their confidence and answer Powell's question with respect to "raising it to the next level."

Frosh help M. Track sink Navy

(01/19/98 10:00am)

In its first team meet of the season, the Penn men's indoor track team scored 85 points to sink Navy (72 points) and destroy Virginia Commonwealth (24 points). Saturday's competition at the U.S. Naval Academy was highlighted by several athletes qualifying for the Intercollegiate Association of Amateur Athletes of America (IC4A) championships and the emergence of freshmen, who added key contributions to the scoring. Penn senior Mike Stiffler and freshman Mike Aguillar finished first and second, respectively, in the 400 meter run, with times of 49.14 and 49.85 seconds. These times enabled both runners to qualify for the IC4As. Quakers senior Paolo Frescura also qualified for the IC4As with a 4:15.13 time in the mile. In the field events, the Red and Blue likewise had their share of IC4A qualifiers. Penn junior Rich Carlson, who finished second behind fellow Quaker Stan Anderson, high jumped 6 feet 11 inches -- good enough for an IC4A qualification. Senior Lucas Deines also qualified with a throw of 59 feet and 5.5 inches in the 35-pound weight. These performances were especially important, given that many of Penn's top athletes missed the meet. Mid-distance runners Robin Martin and Aaron McCommons sat out of the meet with a cold and a nagging achilles tendon injury, respectively. Many less-known Quakers proved their toughness by stepping up in the duo's absence. "Very rarely is a team 100 percent healthy," Penn coach Charlie Powell said. "The good teams rise above that." Crucial to Penn's success was the contribution of the freshman class. Before the meet, Powell was anxious to see how the rookies would react to a team competition. But freshmen Aguillar, Andrew Girardin, Aaron Prokopec, Mike Wise and Kyle Turley all stepped up to register points for the Quakers -- amassing 15 out of Penn's 85 total, which proved to be the difference in the Quakers' 13-point edging of the Midshipmen. "We've got the basis, but we're not a championship team yet," Powell said. "We might be able to be a better team than year." Last year's team won the Indoor Heptagonals for the first time since 1984. Nevertheless, the performance of the freshman class coupled with the leadership of Stiffler, Anderson and Dan Nord could enable this year's team to be more successful. "Over the next month we are going to work on being a championship team," Powell said. Next week, the Quakers head to Virginia Tech for an invitational where Powell expects to see good competition from some of the best athletes in the nation. This is a perfect opportunity for him to push the Red and Blue to the next level. Victories over Navy and Virginia Commonwealth give the Quakers a solid start to their season. The accomplishments of the IC4A qualifiers and the anticipated impact of the freshman class puts the indoor track team exactly where they want to be. Men's track has the tools to be champions. Now they just have to make it happen.

M. Track meets familiar foe in Navy

(01/16/98 10:00am)

The Penn men's indoor track team opens the 1998 portion of its season in Annapolis, Md. Saturday with a three-team meet against host Navy and Virginia Commonwealth. Penn and Navy certainly are not strangers. They compete perennially in the Heptagonals with the rest of the Ivy League. Moreover, Penn travelled to Annapolis for the Navy Invitational six weeks ago to open its season. This Saturday's three-team meet, however, will be significantly different than the Invitational because only individual competition results were kept last time. This weekend team scores will be kept as well. Although Penn performed very well in its first appearance at Navy, a few factors will be working against the Quakers tomorrow. Penn has not engaged in competition since their opening meet at Navy in early December, while the Midshipmen just competed last weekend. Also, the Quakers did not start practicing until last Sunday, when the athletes returned from winter break. Meanwhile, the Midshipmen have been back at school for almost two full weeks. "We haven't had a chance to do a lot of technical work this week, so some guys may be rusty," coach Charlie Powell said. As always, Saturday's meet will provide an opportunity for the Penn athletes to qualify for the IC4As. It will also provide the team with its first team competition of the season. "I'm interested to see how the freshmen react to a scoring meet and the pressure involved," Powell said. "We'll find out who's ready to step up to this level. Many of our athletes were ex-State Champions in high school, but now they are running against other ex-State Champions." This weekend will give Powell a good indication of what kind of contribution the freshmen can make to this team. Good freshmen performances, coupled with the experience of the upperclassmen who won the Indoor Heptagonals last year, would be a promising sign for this year's squad. "Last year we were very strong except in the distances," Powell said. "Navy is traditionally one of the better mid-distance/distance teams in the league." Running against the strong Navy distance team with a mere three teams at the meet will show if the Red and Blue has improved one of last year's few weaknesses. The results of Penn's first team meet of the season should give a good forecast of the future. Despite six weeks without competition and a three week vacation, Saturday's meet could potentially prove the strength of the freshman class and the strength of the distance team en route to a victory against a familiar foe.

Fernandes breaks record for M. Track

(12/08/97 10:00am)

The top-ranked competitors on the Penn men's indoor track team travelled to Annapolis Friday to compete in the Navy Invitational. Roughly thirty teams were represented at Navy in this individual competition, but team scores were not kept. "It was a good way to start the season," Coach Charlie Powell said. "We would have won if they kept score." Friday's meet produced excellent results -- several of Penn's school records were challenged one was even broken. Shawn Fernandes proved the irony in his nickname, Turtle, as he broke the 21-year-old Penn indoor track record with his 6.0 second 55 meter dash, a performance good enough for a first place finish at the meet. "I'm still in shock from his run," Powell said. "What he did was pretty unique." "I just started practicing because I was injured, so this is a huge confidence booster," Fernandes said. "Once I'm back in shape and into the swing of things, I hope I can break my record. Plus, I still have two more years after this one to break the record, so I'm confident that I can beat my time before I leave Penn." And Fernandes wasn't the only Quaker to perform well at the meet. Senior John Linhart's winning pole vault of 16 feet, 8.75 inches placed him third in Penn's all-time record book. The distance medley team -- composed of Aaron McCommons, Matt Bieber, Robin Martin and Paolo Frescura -- won the race with a time of 9:57.3. Frescura ran the mile-long anchor leg in 4:08. The team's time of 9:57.3 is second best in Penn's history. "We feel we should beat that mark later in the season," Powell said. Also finishing in first-place for the Quakers was junior Stanley Anderson. Anderson's triple jump of 49 feet,1 inch topped teammate Dan Nord's jump, which was the second best of the meet. "Anderson and Nord looked rusty, but jumped especially far for the first meet," Powell said. With their excellent season debut, many members of the indoor track team qualified for the IC4As -- Linhart in the pole vault, Anderson and Nord in the triple jump, Fernandes in the 55 meters and the distance medley team all clinched a spot at the Cornell meet on March 7-8. Anderson also qualified in the high jump with his leap of 6 feet 9 inches. Qualifying as well was Mike Stiffler, third among the 400 meter runners with a time of 49.7 seconds. Penn pole vaulter Bobby Reynolds was another qualifier with a 16 feet, 2.75 inch pole vault. The mile relay team rounded out the future IC4A competitors with a time of 3:21.5. The great individual accomplishments of the Red and Blue on Friday are a solid indicator of things to come. This resulted in an excellent start to what potentially could be a season filled with record breaking.

Outdoor practices won't hurt good indoor results

(12/03/97 10:00am)

Penn's men's track teams' high hopes of overcoming key personnel losses begin at the Navy Invitational. As the 1997-98 Penn men's indoor track team begins its season this weekend, their primary goal has been established: to repeat as Indoor Heptagonal Champions. Penn coach Charlie Powell feels the team should finish first or second in the Heps, something they have done six out of the last seven seasons. The Heptagonals, in which all eight Ivies and Navy compete, are similar to a conference championship. The team would also like to be one of the top 10 or 15 teams in the East, which could result in national ranking. Many of the key ingredients to last year's successful season return this year's team. Stan Anderson holds the Quakers' record in the high jump with his leap of 7 feet, 1/2 inch, which was a fraction of an inch shy of an NCAA record. Junior Dan Nord won the triple jump title at the Heptagonals last winter. Junior Robin Martin also entered the Quakers record books last season, with top times in the 500 meters and 800 meters, running them in 1:02.18 and 1:49.88, respectively. Martin's 500-meter time was best in the world last year. The junior also qualified for nationals in the half-mile. With Martin and senior men's cross country captain Paolo Frescura a part of the distance medley, the foursome has a chance to make Nationals according to Powell. Despite the multitude of returning talent, the team has a few obstacles to hurdle. The team lost Neil Riordan, who holds the second-best half-mile time in school history, Matt Wilkinson, holder of the third-best 5,000-meter time and Greg Davis, one of Penn's top outdoor sprinters. "Greg Davis is a great sprinter and a great leader, so he will be tough to replace," Powell said. A bizarre problem the indoor track team runs into every season is the lack of an indoor facility, which causes the Quakers to practice at Franklin Field year round. "Without having indoor facilities, it is surprising that we can win," Powell said. "Every team has obstacles to overcome, and this is just another one for us." Nevertheless, Penn's obstacles should be surmountable en route to another competitive season. "We are bringing back more players than some other teams," Nord said. "We need to have some freshmen step up because a lot of freshmen quit last year. The sprinters need to step up also, but otherwise we look really good." Even though last year's indoor track team won the Indoor Heptagonal Championships, Powell pointed out that this year's team may even be stronger. We will see if this is true this weekend, as the team is sending individuals to two invitationals. Roughly 30 teams are expected to participate in the Navy Invitational, so the Red and Blue will only be able to send one or two athletes per event. The rest of the team will head to Lafayette where a smaller meet is being held, therefore giving a lot of newcomers an opportunity to compete. "These two invitationals serve to get things started," Powell said. "For lack of a better word, they are like a preseason game." Regardless, this weekend's invitationals should give some indication of how competitive Penn can be at the national level. If the competitors do as well as anticipated, it will be a good indication of the future from a team with its heart set on back-to-back Indoor Heptagonal titles.

Lwt. Football closes season in Princeton

(11/06/97 10:00am)

The 1997 Penn lightweight football season concludes tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m. at Princeton. Last week's 9-3 loss to Navy eliminated the Quakers from the race for the Eastern Lightweight Conference League title, but the Quakers look to rebound against their archrival. Despite that, this is still a big game for the Quakers, as they look to sweep the season series against Princeton for the second straight season. With a win tomorrow, Penn (2-3, 1-2 ELFL) will finish the season at .500. That would give the Quakers a third-place finish in the ELFL, tops among the Ivy League schools. "We need to beat Princeton because they're looking for their first win in two years," coach Bill Wagner said. Princeton (0-5, 0-3) obviously has plenty of incentive entering its season finale. The last thing the Tigers want to do is finish winless for the second straight year. Princeton is coming off a bye and will surely use the extra week of practice to their advantage. In their first meeting of the season, which was played at Franklin Field on October 3, Penn dominated Princeton, as they won the game 15-0. Tailback Tim Ortman ran for 226 yards and the defense played nearly a perfect game en route to its shutout of the Tigers. Ortman has compiled 731 yards this season. Therefore, if he rushes for 195 yards tomorrow, he will break the Penn record for single-season rushing yards. The record is currently held by Mark Dianno, who rushed for 925 yards in 1989. So, the obvious question is: how many times will Ortman touch the ball against Princeton? "Ortman should get at least 25-30 carries on Friday," Wagner said. Princeton needs to make major adjustments in an attempt to shut Ortman down. "The Tigers will use a 4-4 defensive front to crowd the line of scrimmage," Wagner said. "This means we'll see a lot of one-on-one coverage." Although Penn will pound the ball up the middle, Wagner hopes to exploit Princeton's defensive game plan by utilizing the play-action pass. This could lead to a big day statistically for quarterback John Kernan and tight end Scott Moore. On defense, the Quakers are likely to miss linebacker David Klein due to a swollen ankle he suffered against Navy. This means that Michael Grossman should get the nod as starting linebacker. In addition, Kevin Manning will see get a lot of playing time at both linebacker and defensive end. Defensive back/punter Keith Lotman, who has a fractured thumb, is hoping to return to the lineup, but is still waiting to get clearance from his doctor. When both teams take the field, their goals will be clear. Penn is playing for a 3-3 season and Princeton is desperate for a win. But without title implications, this game ultimately revolves around tradition, as each team would love to spoil the end of their opponent's season.