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PHILADELPHIA - The Penn women's track and field squad, a team with just five seniors and a slew of underclassmen, all performed like seasoned veterans this weekend at Franklin Field as they scored 102 total pointsat the 2006 Ivy League Heptagonal Championships to place second behind meet champion Cornell.
It was the best finish for a Quaker team in 18 years, when Penn won the meet in 1988 by scoring 112 points. This year's point total of 102 is the most for Penn since tallying 113 in 1997 (the team finished third behind Cornell and Princeton that season).
"We came to the partylike we always do, but today, it wasour party," said head coach Gwen Harris. "Everyone chipped in on this one - it wasn’t just one or two athletes.Everybody was supporting each other, making sure we were doing what we needed to do."
While the team had many contributors on the day, the top individual effort was sophomore Jesse Carlin in the 400 meter dash, as she broke the school recordwith a time of 53.62 to win the title. Carlin, whose time was also the sixth-fastest in outdoor Heps history,broke her ownschool markof 54.41 set last season as a freshman.
Carlin was outstanding once again as the anchor of the 4x400 relay squad that finished second to Cornell. She gained considerable ground to almost catch the Big Red's Morgan Uceny, but finished one-hundreth of a second short. Both teams finished well ahead of the previous meet record of 3:41.71, as Penn clocked in at 3:39.51 and Cornell at 3:39.50.
"Jesse is just really fast and really good," said Harris. "And the best part is, we haven’t seen anything yet."
Penn's Shaunee Morgan placed second in the 200 meter dash with a time of 24.05, while Shani Boston finished in third in the women's heptathlon with a score of 5,011.
Columbia’s Whitney Craytonedged out Penn'sDana McCurdy to win the 400 hurdles at 1:00.23. McCurdy, who entered the meet with the season’s fastest time, finished in 1:00.54.
Christina Morrison placed third with a 2:07.80 in the 800 meter run, while other top finishers included third place finishes by Stacy Kim in the 1,500 meter run (4:27.06) and Jeanette Curtis in the 100 meter hurdles (14.88).
Carlin in the 400m, Stacy Kim in the 1,500m and Morrison in the 800m all qualified for NCAA Regionals with their times (McCurdy had already qualified in the 400m hurdles).
Select Quakers will compete at the ECAC Championships on Friday, May 12, at Princeton, N.J.