PHILADELPHIA - Freshman Theresa Picciallo set the school record in the shot put, senior Morgan Wheeler posted the second-best throw in school history in the javelin and the 4x100-meter relay qualified for the ECAC final - all during the first day of competition at the 2013 Penn Relays for the University of Pennsylvania women's track and field team.
There were 23,310 in attendance on Thursday - the first day of the 119th edition of the world's largest and oldest relay carnival.
Picciallo capped the prelims of the shot put with her record-setting toss. She eclipsed her collegiate best by more than a foot and passed the school record by an inch when her third throw landed at 14.47 meters (47 feet, 5 3/4 inches). That topped Charity Payne's nine-year-old school standard of 14.44 meters (47-04.50 ft.) and placed Picciallo fifth overall among the 33 competitors.
Wheeler came close to setting a school record of her own. Among some of the top competitors in the nation, she posted the best throw for a Quaker in nearly a decade. Her toss of 46.26 meters (151-09 ft.) vaults her up another spot in the school record book. It was the top throw at Penn since Kai Ivory in 2004 - whom Wheeler passed for second-place all-time at Penn. With her fourth-place finish in the event, Wheeler now only trails Julie Siebert-Jonson's 2002 school standard in the Penn record book.
In Penn's first track event of the day, Gabrielle Piper, Rachel Hlatky, Nony Onyeador and Heather Bong combined to finish second in their heat in the 4x100-meter relay. Their time of 46.87 was 26th among 77 teams and qualified them for Friday's ECAC final which is set for 12:57 p.m.
Senior Charlotte Pope set another personal best in the hammer. She improved upon her sixth-place standing in the school record book with her first throw of the day. Her mark of 48.68 meters (160-08 ft.) placed her 14th overall at the meet and was four inches further than the collegiate best she set last weekend.
During the distance session under the lights, freshman Elyssa Gensib posted the fifth-best time in school history in the 3,000 meters. She finished in 9:39.28 to place 11th - the second-fastest time at Penn since 2004.
Friday and Saturday will contain several more relays for the Quakers, including some Championship of America races. For a complete schedule of the events in which the Quakers will be participating, see the link at the top of this release.
Penn at the Penn Relays
4x100 Relay: 26-Penn (46.87)
4x400 Relay: 4-Penn (3:52.83)
400-Meter Hurdles: 54-Green (1:08.30)
3,000 Meters: 11-Gensib (9:39.28); 20-Diacont (10:03.86)
Pole Vault: 11-Brown (3.65m)
Hammer: 14-Pope (48.98m); 18-Graf (47.34m)
Shot Put: 5-Picciallo (14.47m); 23-Pope (12.51m)
Javelin Championship: 4-Wheeler (46.26m)
Javelin College: 11-Jones (41.84m); 16-Hay (40.88m); 19-Graf (39.32m)