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GREENSBORO, N.C. - Four members of the University of Pennsylvania women's track and field team wrapped up their season Thursday at the NCAA East Preliminary Round at North Carolina A&T's Aggie Stadium in Greensboro, N.C.
The season came to an end for sophomore Paige Madison and junior Kali Strother, while seniors Jamie Massarelli and Anna Aagenes finished their careers at Penn. Only senior Kathryn Gevitz has an event remaining at the NCAA meet.
In the first event of the day for the Quakers, Gevitz finished 35th in the long jump. Two of her three attempts measured exactly 5.82 meters (19 feet, 1 1/4 inches). She hit that mark on her first jump and it put her on the edge of the first cut. The top 17 competitors would advance to the day's final round of jumps, and after the field's first attempts, Gevitz was in 18th place. However, she was unable to best that mark on her next attempt, landing just a few inches shorter. That meant, heading into her final jump, Gevitz would need to surpass 6.05 meters (19-10.25 ft.) to extend her long jump career. Her personal best of 6.10 meters (20-00.25 ft.) is the all-time Penn standard, but the three-time All-Ivy honoree couldn't duplicate the feat and landed once again at 5.82 meters. However, Gevitz will have another chance to reach the NCAA finals on Saturday. As the final competitor to get into the field, she will be compete in the triple jump at 4 p.m. Saturday.
Just seven-tenths of a second seperated Madison from the NCAA Quarterfinals. The sophomore nearly broke the one-minute mark for the second time this season - and in the history of the program - in the 400-meter hurdles as she finished 31st with a time of 1:00.03. Twenty-four competitors qualify for the the quarterfinals and the final runner to make the cut registered a finish of 59.34. Madison finished fifth in her heat with the second-best time of her career, and also finished a very successful second season in the Red and Blue uniform. Not only did she set the school record as the only woman in Penn history to break 60 seconds in the 400-meter hurdles (58.89), she garnered three All-Ivy distinctions, two outdoor All-East honors and was an Academic All-Ivy selection.
Strother was even closer to the quarterfinal round, finishing just six-tenths of a second behind the 24th-place competitor in the 400 meters. Her time of 54.97 placed her fifth in her heat and 35th overall. The last time to make it into the next round was 54.38. Strother will enter her senior season as the school record holder in three events after earning two All-Ivy and two All-East honors and winning the outdoor 400-meter Heptagonal championship in 2010.
It was a bittersweet day for one of the best middle distance runners in Penn history. Running in her second NCAA meet, Aagenes wrapped up a stellar career with her effort in the 1,500 meters. Her time of 4:54.80 placed her 47th. Aagenes leaves the West Philadelphia campus as one of the most well-decorated Quakers in recent memory. She holds three school records and is in the top 10 all-time at Penn in six other events. The 2010 team co-captain is also a five-time All-Ivy recipient, five-time All-East honoree, two-time Academic All-Ivy selection and two-time NCAA qualifier.
Massarelli also finished her career as a Quaker. She was 31st in the 800 meters, finishing with the second-fastest time of her Penn career. Her effort of 2:09.62 is only bested by her performance earlier this season that moved her into seventh place all-time in school history. Massarelli, who finished fifth in her heat, finished her time in the Red and Blue second all-time in the 500 meters, third all-time in the indoor 400 meters, fifth all-time in the outdoor 400 meters and as a part of two top 5 relay teams. A 2010 team co-captain, she was the ECAC champion in the 500 meters, and an indoor All-Ivy and All-East honoree in her final season.
A full recap will be available at PennAthletics.com shortly after the conclusion of Gevitz's triple jump on Saturday.