BOSTON, Mass. - Senior Victoria Strickland and the 4x800-meter relay team scored and earned All-East honors for the University of Pennsylvania women's track and field team at the ECAC Indoor Championships inside the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center Sunday.
Behind those two performances, the Quakers finished the postseason meet with five team points. The Red and Blue were one of 50 teams to score at the meet and placed 39th overall. Cornell won the ECAC team title by a point over Maryland Eastern Shore, 55-54.
In the 800 meters, Strickland finished fifth with a time of 2:10.42. That performance garnered her the first indoor All-East honor of her career and her third overall.
But Strickland was even more impressive in the semifinals on Saturday. Her time in the preliminaries was the best indoor mark of her career and the third-best in the history of the program. She finished in 2:08.82. It was the fastest 800 meters at Penn since Anna Aagenes was two-hundreths of a second faster in 2009.
The 4x800-meter relay team added another point for the Quakers. The team reached the final day of competition with a time of 9:10.15 in the preliminaries on Day One. Then in the finals, the Red and Blue got into the scoring with a finish of 9:15.74.
The 4x400-meter relay posted the second-fastest time in school history on Saturday. Their time of 3:46.06 was the fastest for any Penn unit since 2006 and was just 16-hundreths of a second behind the school record set in 2005. Nine teams qualify for the finals. The Quakers finished in 10th. That was good enough for second in their heat, but it was just out of reach of the final day of competition.
Senior Leah Brown finished 11th in the 60 meters. She qualified for the semifinals with a time of 7.72 and then bested that effort with a finish of 7.68. But it fell just short of the time needed to compete in the final. Brown also cometed in the 200 meters and placed 25th with a time of 25.45.
The Quakers also added a few top-10 finishes in the field events. In the high jump, senior Kristen Judge placed 10th at the championship meet on Saturday. She cleared the bar at 1.68 meters (5 feet, 6 inches) to earn the top-10 finish. Her relatively unblemished day gave her the tiebreaker over seven other jumpers.
Junior Jillian Hart was 10th in the pole vault. She matched a personal record when she cleared the bar at 3.70 meters (12-01.50 ft.). Only five of the 30 competitors were able to clear the bar at a higher height and Hart placed in the top 10 after the tiebreakers.
Gabrielle Piper finished 14th in the 60-meter hurdles. She reached the semifinals with a time of 8.73 in the preliminaries and was a little bit better in the semis at 8.71. The sophomore, who set the school standard in the event en route to winning the Heps title last week, was about one-tenth of a second from reaching the finals.
Penn concludes its 2012 indoor season and will have one week to recuperate before the outdoor campaign begins in Winston Salem, N.C., with the Wake Forest Open, March 16-17.