NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A pair of Heps titles, a meet record, a trio of school records and the fastest woman in school history highlighted the first day of competition for the University of Pennsylvania track and field teams at the 2014 Outdoor Heptagonal Championships in New Haven on Saturday.
Sophomore Kelsey Hay started the day with a meet and school record toss in the women's javelin and sophomore Thomas Awad finished it with a win in the men's 10,000 meters.
Hay wasted no time before making history. She became the first woman in school history to surpass 50 meters in the javelin and broke a 12-year-old Heps record on her first toss of the day. Hay's throw landed at 50.02 meters (164 feet, 1 inch) and that remained her best toss to become the first Quaker to win a Heps title in the event since Julie Siebert-Johnson in 2003.
Awad remained undefeated in six outdoor races this season (at six different distances) and is the first Quaker to win the men's 10,000 meters since Dusty Lieb in 2004. He did so in exciting fashion. His finish of 29:26.13 narrowly edged the Harvard senior James Leakos (29:26.83). That time ranks second all-time at Penn and sits only behind Dave Merrick's 1976 school record.
There was a lot of action in between those wins for the Quakers, including a short weather delay. But most notably was junior Lydia Ali's school-record performance in the preliminaries of the women's 100 meters. Ali finished in 11.75 to take the crown as the fastest woman in school history and advance to Championship Sunday.
Sophomore Thomas Pitt scored for the Quakers in the men's long jump with a season-best effort and a fourth-place finish. Pitt fouled on his first two jumps, but reached the finals with a career-best leap of 7.42 meters. He topped that twice in the finals and his best jump measured 7.52 meters (24 feet, 8 1/4 inches).
In the women's long jump, freshman Amaris Kobolak was third in her first career outdoor heps meet. Her third jump of the day was 5.79 meters (19-00 ft.) and moved her into second until the final jump. Her career-best effort earned the Quakers three points.
Also scoring for the men was senior Karl Ingram in the javelin. In his final heps meet, Ingram saved his best toss for last. It landed at 62.63 meters (205-06 ft.) and placed him fourth overall for another four points for the Red and Blue.
Others qualifying for Sunday's finals include Ben Bowers in the men's 110-meter hurdles; Drew Magaha and Mato Bekelja in the men's 800 meters; Tom Timmins in the 400-meter hurdles; Gabrielle Piper in the 100-meter hurdles; Taylor Hennig in the 400 meters; Ashley Montgomery in the 1,500 meters; Chelsea Delaney in the 800 meters; and Ali in the 200 meters.
At Heps, the top eight advance past the preliminaries and the top-six finishers will score in the finals of each event on Sunday. Most event finals will take place on Sunday. After the first day of competition, the men are fifth with 18 points, while the women are sixth with 16 points.
Championship Sunday begins with the resumption of the dectathlon and heptathlon plus the finals for the triple jump, high jump, discus and shot put. The 2014 Heptagonal team championships will be announced around 4:15 p.m.
A full recap of the 2014 Outdoor Heptagonal Championships will be available at PennAthletics.com shortly after the completion of Sunday's events.