PHILADELPHIA - In the season-opening meet for the University of Pennsylvania women's indoor track and field team, four Quakers emerged victorious Saturday at the Bison Opener in Lewisburg, Pa. Seniors Jamie Massarelli, Yelizaveta Lozovatskaya and Kathryn Gevitz, and freshman Veronica Salcido were all winners. Meanwhile, Penn's 4x400 relay team qualified for the ECAC Championships.
Gevitz may have had the best day for the Quakers as she was the winner in the long jump and the runner-up in the triple jump. Her winning leap in the long jump measured 5.55 meters (18 feet, 2.5 inches). Other than sophomore Catherine Okoukoni's second-place jump of 5.44 meters (17-10.25 ft.), Gevitz's mark was nearly a foot further than any other competitor. In her runner-up effort in the triple jump, she landed at 11.75 meters (38-06.75 ft.). Okoukoni was once again not too far behind, placing third with a triple jump of 11.17 meters (36-07.75 ft.).
Massarelli ran away with the 500 meters title. Her time of 1:16.50 bested the field of 15 without much doubt other than another Quaker. The only other runner to finish within four seconds of the Paxton, Mass., native was sophomore Victoria Strickland, who finished at 1:18.08.
Lozovatskaya, who qualified for the ECAC Championships in the opening meet, tied for first in the pole vault. She and two others were the only competitors to surpass the height of 3.60 meters (11-09.75 ft.). Finishing behind those three was freshman Davielle Brown at a height of 3.30 meters (10-10 ft.).
In her first collegiate meet, Salcido was tops in the 1,000 meters. She won by several steps ahead of two members from the host school running on their home track. Salcido's winning time was 3:05.89.
In their first race of the season, the Penn 4x400-relay team was second, qualifying for the ECAC Championships in the process. The team already clinched a berth in the postseason by just topping the time needed (3:52.54) with a finish of 3:52.39.
In the seldom-run 300-meter dash, the Quakers placed three in the top five. Junior Kali Strother was the runner-up, finishing a second behind the winner at 40.68. In the same heat, teammate Paige Madison was right behind Strother, placing third with a time of 41.06. Sophomore Renee McDougall was fifth at 41.50.
Sophomore Jordan Brown was second in the 400 meters, just cracking the one-minute barrier. Her time of 59.54 was less than a second from winning the event.
Sophomore Kristen Judge was second in the high jump. She cleared 1.60 meters (5-03 ft.). Freshman Megan Wheeler finished third in the event, topping out at the 1.55-meter bar (5-01 ft.)
The Quakers' season starts again in January when they head to State College, Pa., for the Penn State Open on the 16th.