First Place Finish for Women's Track and Field at Navy Invitational


ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Victories from Leslie Kovach, Gabrielle Piper and the 4x400-meter relay team propelled the University of Pennsylvania women's indoor track and field team to victory Saturday night at the Navy Invitational inside Wesley Brown Field House.

In the team's first meet of 2011, Penn finished first among the eight schools with a team score of 129.50. The host Midshipmen placed second with 102 points while James Madison was third with 85.

En route to an ECAC qualifying time, Kovach won the 3,000 meters with a time of 9:51.27. The sophomore was followed by sophomore teammate Margaret Diacont, who also broke the 10-minute mark with an ECAC qualifying time of 9:58.85. Finishing third was junior Laura Steel at 10:08.19.

Piper moved up in the Penn record books once again with her first-place finish in the 60-meter hurdles. The freshman ran a career-best 9.01 to move into sixth-place in Red and Blue history in the event. Piper also moved up to fifth all-time in Penn history in the 60 meters. She finished second in the event with a new collegiate-best time of 7.80.

In the 4x400-meter relay, the Quakers junior foursome of Leah Brown, Victoria Strickland, Paige Madison and Renee McDougall raced to a first-place finish of 3:53.77 - eight seconds faster than their nearest competition.

In the 1,000 meters, junior Veronica Salcido earned another eight points for the Quakers as she placed second with a time of 2:57.49. Sophomore Kim Condino did the same in the mile with a time of 5:06.38, while sophomore Megan Powell was third at 5:11.03.

In the field events, sophomore Morgan Wheeler was second in the high jump with a leap of 1.65 meters (5 feet, 5 inches), while junior Kristen Judge was fourth at the same height. Wheeler won the tiebreaker as she did not miss on an attempt until the bar passed 1.65 meters.

In the pole vault, Davielle Brown tied for second with a height of 3.45 meters (11-03.75 ft.) and freshman Brooke Hamscher was fourth, passing the bar at 3.30 meters (10-10 ft.).

Junior Catherine Okoukoni was third in the triple jump as her third leap of the day measured 11.24 meters (36-10.50 ft.).

Next up for the Quakers is a trip to the historic Armory in New York, N.Y., for the Great Dane Classic on Friday.