Philadelphia -Liberty University senior Danielle McNaney led from the first event on Tuesday and cruised to victory in the women’s heptathlon, becoming the first champion of the 2005 Penn Relay Carnival.
McNaney finished in first place in five of the seven events over the two days of competition, with a final total of 5,504 points, ninth best all-time for the heptathlon in Penn Relays history, and a commanding 358 points ahead of second-place Coraly Ortiz of Puerto Rico’s Universidad del Este.
“This is awesome,” said McNaney, who was competing in her first heptathlon at Penn. “The biggest battle for a heptathlete is having decent marks in a big meet. You just do enough to where it comes down to the 8oo (meters), and then gut it out.”
All McNaney had to do was stay close to the field in the 800 to clinch the win. But she sprinted to the front at the gun and ran off to score her personal best total for the event.
McNaney said he recorded personal bests in the high jump (5 feet, 7 inches) and in the shot put (37 feet, 9 1/2 inches), and finished first in three of the first day’s events, the 100-meter hurdles (14.29 seconds), high jump and 200 meters (25.81). On Wednesday, she led the field in the long jump (18 feet, 1/2 inch) and the 800, while throwing the javelin 139 feet.
“I had been training for the 8; I knew I was in shape to run it,” McNaney said. “If the field beat me, it beat me.”
But no one in the nine women field would do that this year.
McNaney’s 5504-point total was the highest score for a college heptahlon at the Penn Relays since 1997.
Written by Frank Bertucci