Awad Wins Heps Title on Day One for Track & Field

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BOSTON, Mass. - Junior Thomas Awad won his first career indoor Heps title and several Quakers jumped up in the school record books during Day One of the 2015 Indoor Heptagonal Championships on Saturday for the University of Pennsylvania track and field teams.

Championship Sunday starts with several field events at 11 a.m., and will be streamed live on the Ivy League Digital Network (click here) beginning at noon with the women's mile.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.

Awad used his patented final kick to glide from third to first on the back straightaway. He pulled away from there and won the Heps title with a time of 8:05.45. He is the first Penn man to win the title in the event since Nolan Tully in 2005. This was Awad's second Heps title overall as he won the 10,000 meters in 2014.

In some of the other finals on Saturday, a pair of Quakers scored for the women. Sophomore Amaris Kobolak garnered some team points in the long jump. Her best leap of the day measured 5.54 meters (18 feet, 2 1/4 inches) to earn fifth place and two points for the Quakers.Meanwhile, sophomore Cleo Whitingscored in the 3,000 meters and improved on her third-place standing in the school record book by shaving three seconds off personal-best time. Her finish of 9:28.09 placed sixth at the meet.

Junior Sam Mattis scored for the men in the weight throw. His best toss of the afternoon landed at 17.74 meters (58 feet, 2 1/2 inches) to place sixth overall.

Several women advanced to the finals on Championship Sunday with some of the best performances in school history. Two Quakers will compete on Day 2 in the 500 meters as freshman Candace Taylor (1:14.70) and Taylor Hennig (1:14.70) posted two of the top three times at the meet. Hennig's effort places her sixth in the school record book, while Taylor entered the meet third all-time at Penn in the event.

Freshman Abby Hong posted the fifth-best indoor mile in women's program history with her finish of 4:53.05. She will compete for the Heps title in the event at noon on Sunday.

On the men's side of the mile, two Quakers qualified for the finals, highlighted by sophomore Chris Hatler's finish of 4:08.04 -- which ranks ninth in school history. Junior Clark Shurtleff, who is 10th all-time at Penn in the event, finished the prelims with a time of 4:10.56.

Penn found similar success in the men's 500 meters. Two more Quakers reached Championship Sunday, led by the third-best time in program history. Freshman Jeff Wiseman posted the second-best time of the day with a finish of 1:03.27 -- the fastest for any Penn man since head men's coach Robin Martin donned the Red and Blue stripes in 1997. Senior Tom Timmins, who also ranks in among the top five in Penn's record book in the event, will run alongside his teammate for a shot at the Heps title after his finish of 1:04.26.

A trio of Quakers reached the finals of the men's 1,000 meters. Junior Keaton Naff(2:30.01), sophomore Jack Huemmler(2:30.22) and junior Kirk Webb(2:29.18) will comprise nearly half the field in Sunday's championship.

Also for the women, sophomore Ashley Montgomery was fourth among qualifiers in the 800 meters with a finish of 2:13.56, while sophomore Gabrielle Cuccia moved on with a seventh-place showing of 2:52.32in the preliminaries of the 1,000 meters, and freshman Taylor McCorkle advanced with a time of 7.61 in the 60 meters.

Freshman Tim Schanstra is seventh in the heptathlon with three events remaining on Sunday.

A full recap of the 2015 Indoor Heptagonal Championships will be available at shortly after the completion of Sunday's events.


ITF: @PennTrack Thomas Awad - Penn's first indoor 3K winner since 2005! #IvyHeps @pennathletics

— The Ivy League (@Ivy_Athletics) February 28, 2015

500m: Freshman Jeff Wiseman automatically advances to the finals by winning his heat in 1:03.27!!!

— Penn Track&Field/XC (@PennTrack) February 28, 2015