Departing on June 14 from JFK Airport in New York City, the University of Pennsylvania men's and women's track and field teams embarked on their quadrennial trip to the United Kingdom. Every four years, the Quakers team up with the Cornell track and field teams to compete at several different meets against teams from across the UK. The teams will spend a little more than two weeks abroad. Below is an update of the first few days the Quakers spent on the other side of the Atlantic, sent in by women's volunteer assistant coach Renata Clay.
From Bangor, Gwynedd, Wales:
June 21, 2010
The Penn and Cornell teams are off to a great start for their UK Tour 2010! The two teams have been living and working out together in the beautiful Welsh countryside to prepare for their matches again the British. After four days of training in Northern Wales, the first meet of the tour was held one Friday, June 18th at Bangor University.
Unfortunately, the Bangor University students were unable to attend the meet due to school holidays, but the Penn and Cornell athletes demonstrated their combined abilities in a competetive intrasquad meet of three mixed teams of Penn and Cornell atheltes: Team "Ninja", Team "Mustache", and Team "Shirtless Bandits."
Although all teams displayed a fierce desire to win, Team "Ninja" took the title for this competition with 52 points. The combined marks of the male and female point scorers determined the winner of each event. Team Ninja reigned supreme in both relays - the distance medley (1200-400-800-1600) and the sprint medley relay (100-100-200-200-400-400) - this team also racked up points by placing first in most of the sprint and field events. The Shirtless Bandits had a solid second-place finish with 44 points, while Team Mustache ranked third with 30 points.
Some performance highlights include an impressive 38.7 run in the 300-meter dash by senior women's co-captain Kali Strother (St. Louis, Mo.), a blazing 1:31.9 run by senior women's co-captain Jamie Massarelli (Paxton, Mass.), a fast 35.3 300-meter dash by senior men's co-captain Ben McKean (Shohola, Pa.) and a 1.67-meter leap (5 feet, 6 inches) in the high jump by sophomore Kristin Judge (Tewksbury, Mass.).
The next competition will be in Birmingham on Tuesday, June 22nd against the university's track team. This will be the first time during the tour that the Penn and Cornell teams will compete against their British rivals, but so far, these athletes appear ready to defend the undefeated status of the Penn/Cornell duo.
En route to Birmingham, Distance Coach Eric Bonnette sent in the picture where some of the members of the Red and Blue ran against a train in Wales. The group jumped out with the train about three miles away from the station and two of them beat it! Pictured is the group that ran with conductor post race.