PHILADELPHIA - In addition to seven wins and several changes to the school record book, the University of Pennsylvania womens' track and field team had a representative in the top five of every event they entered at the Penn Invite Saturday at Franklin Field.
The day got off to a fast start -- literally. Penn posted a win in the 4x100-meter relay with the fifth-fastest mark in school history. Prior to 2010, the Quakers broke 47 seconds in the event just three times in their history. Since that time, the Quakers have consistently hit that mark, including Saturday's winning time of 46.59.
In the field, the day only seemed to get better. Junior Jillian Hart reached 3.75 meters (12 feet, 3 1/2 inches) in the pole vault. That had only been accomplished once before in the history of the program. Her current vaults coach, Sam Crook, holds the school mark at 4.00 meters. Not to be outdone, junior Davielle Brown matched a personal best with a second-place finish in the event of 3.65 meters (11-11.75 ft.).
In the javelin, junior Morgan Wheeler had the fourth-best day in the history of the event at Penn. She had a season-best effort of 43.91 meters on her first toss -- a mark that would have held to win the meet -- but she topped that with a career-best toss of 45.04 meters (147 feet, 9 inches) on her next throw. That improved upon her ECAC mark and fourth-place standing in the school record book and puts her in a good position to reach the NCAA Championships for the second straight year.
It was all Red and Blue in the 100 meters. Penn had the top four finishers in the event. Senior captain Leah Brown was runaway victor with a season-best time of 12.04. Senior Emily Townsend was the runner up at 12.17 and was followed by Nony Onyeador (12.27) and sophomore Gabrielle Piper (12.32).
Piper was also second in the 100-meter hurdles. She finished in second to Katie Salke of Towson, who ran her heat with a strong tailwind. Piper had no wind and finished eight-hundreths of a second behind at 14.70.
In the 200 meters, the Quakers owned four of the top five spots, led by senior captain Renee McDougall, who was also third in the 400 meters with a season-best effort of 57.59. McDougall posted the best time of the year for the Quakers at 24.87.
It was a close 800-meter race, but Penn's Veronica Salcido was able to break the tape with a time of 2:13.76. She was just a few steps in front of La Salle's Caitlin Storbeck, who finished in 2:14.49.
The Quakers were equally dominant in the remaining field events. Junior Charlotte Pope was the decisive winner in the hammer. All six of her throws were enough to win the meet, but it was her last that was the best. It landed at 45.88 meters (150-06 ft.).
Senior Kristen Judge won a tiebreaker over freshman teammate Annie Holland in the high jump. Both Quakers cleared the bar at 1.65 meters (5-05 ft.), but Judge had fewer misses to that point (none) than Holland. Wheeler was third in this event at a height of 1.60 meters (5-03 ft.).
Senior Corinne Rich was second in the discus with a season-best toss of 39.32 meters (129-00 ft.).
Penn also had a few distance runners compete Friday at the Sam Howell Invite. Sophomore Christine Cohick was the standout. She became just the sixth woman in school history to break 37 minutes in the 10,000 meters. She was eighth in the event with an ECAC qualifying mark and the fourth-fastest time in program history -- 36:37.77.
The Quakers return to Franklin Field next weekend when they host the Penn-Princeton dual meet on Saturday.