Gevitz Sets School Record; Women's Track and Field in Fourth After Day One of Heps

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PRINCETON, N.J. - Senior Kathryn Gevitz set the school record in the long jump and freshman Leslie Kovach came close to another one as five different members of the University of Pennsylvania women's track and field team scored Saturday on Day One of the 2010 Outdoor Heptagonal Championships at Weaver Stadium in Princeton, N.J. There were also seven Quakers that qualified for Sunday's finals. Only two teams - Cornell with 16 and Columbia with 12 - qualified more athletes than Penn.

Senior Kathryn Gevitz broke Whitney Tagliavini's four-year-old school record in the long jump with Penn's best finish of the day. Gevitz moved atop the Penn record book on her second jump. She landed at 6.10 meters (20 feet, 1/4 inches) to become the first Quaker in school history to surpass 20 feet in the event. The Oak Park, Ill., native was just one centimeter away from the Heptagonal championship. Her effort garnered six points for the Red and Blue as she finished third, losing the tie-breaker to Columbia's Uju Ofoche, whose second-best leap was better than Gevitz's, and trailing Cornell's Melissa Hewitt's winning leap of 6.11 meters.

In the final event of the day, Kovach was agonizingly close to setting the school record in the 10,000 meters. She earned two points for the Quakers with a fifth-place finish of 36:13.01. That time was the second-best in school history and was less than a second away from breaking the 25-year-old school record of 36:12.44 set by Chris Bauer in 1985. It was the first time Kovach had ever run in the event and qualified her for the ECAC Championships.

Around the same time of Gevitz's record-setting performance, senior Yelizaveta Lozovatskaya was earning four more points for the Quakers. Seven competitors finished in a fourth-place tie after surpassing the bar at 3.55 meters (11-07.75 ft.), but won the tie-breaker over all of them as the only competitor to cleanly pass the bar at 3.40 meters and 3.55 meters without a miss.

Freshman Charlotte Pope had the best toss of her career in the hammer throw - five times. Of the six throws, five of them topped her previous collegiate best. The performance got Pope into the scoring as she finished sixth. Her best toss was her first in the finals as the hammer flew 48.10 meters (157-10 ft.).

In her inaugural outdoor heptagonal championship meet, freshman Morgan Wheeler participated in the heptathlon throughout the day and then scored in the javelin later in the afternoon. She earned two points with a fifth-place finish in the javelin. Wheeler was outside of the scoring until her second toss in the finals landed at 37.94 meters (124-06 ft.).

Wheeler is also currently second in the heptathlon. She was sixth after earning 668 points with a 100-meter hurdles time of 16.38, but had the best high jump of the group with 842 points from clearing the bar at 1.69 meters (5-06.50 ft.). Then in the third event, she had the second-best shot put at 11.27 meters (36-11.75 ft.) for 613 points. Wheeler ended the day with a time of 28.25 in the 200 meters to finish with 2,734 points. She trails Priscilla Trojano's 2,864 points heading into the final three events on Sunday.

In the 400 meters, junior Kali Strother blew away the competition with the best time of her career and the third-best time in school history. Strother already owned the fourth-best time at Penn, but moved up in the record books with the best qualifying time of the day at 54.02. Sophomore Victoria Strickland also qualified for the finals in the event, finishing eighth in qualifying with her time of 56.05.

Senior Anna Aagenes will compete in the finals of the 1,500 meters. She was fourth in the preliminaries, finishing second in her heat. Aagenes' time of 4:32.05 was just three-tenths of a second behind the top time.

Senior Leah Brown finished fifth in the qualifying round of the 100 meters. She'll compete on Championship Sunday in the event after finishing third in her heat with a time of 12.25. Brown also reached the finals in the 200 meters with the sixth-best qualifying time of 24.80.

In the hurdles events, sophomore Paige Madison advanced to the finals in both. She placed fifth in each of the preliminary events, coming in at 14.51 in the 110-meter hurdles and 1:01.57 in the 400-meter hurdles.

A complete recap of the second day of competition at the 2010 Outdoor Heptagonal Championships will be available on PennAthletics.com shortly after the conclusion of the day's events.

Final Women’s Standings from Day 1:
1. Princeton, 41 1/2
2. Brown, 39
3. Cornell, 35 1/2
4. Penn, 15
5. Harvard, 12
5. Columbia, 12