PHILADELPHIA - A phenomenal stretch of four school records have been shattered in just eight days by the University of Pennsylvania women's track and field team. Junior Kali Strother was a part of both this weekend in the 200 meters and 4x100-meter relay as she helped lead the Quakers at the 2010 ECAC Outdoor Championships in Princeton, N.J.
A two-year-old record, two four-year old records and a five-year-old record have all been broken within an eight-day span. On Saturday, Strother set the Penn standard in the 200 meters and on Sunday she was a part of the fastest 4x100-meter relay in program history. At the Heptagonal Championships on May 7-8, sophomore Paige Madison obliterated the school record in the 400-meter hurdles and senior Kathryn Gevitz set the Penn record in the long jump.
Penn finished 23rd as a team with 13.5 points. Connecticut ran away with the meet, claiming the ECAC team title with 105 points. Columbia was the runner-up with 54 points.
Strother torched her previous career best as she became just the second Quaker in program history to break 24 seconds in the 200 meters. The St. Louis, Mo., native set the school record with her finish of 23.96 in the preliminaries on Saturday. The time broke Shaunee Morgan's 2008 Penn record of 23.99 and crushed her previous best of 24.65. On Sunday, Strother collected two points for Penn with the second-best time of her career. She finished seventh in the finals, crossing the finish line in 24.28.
Strother and sophomores Renee McDougall, Paige Madison and Leah Brown had established themselves as one of the best 4x100-meter relay teams in school history before the ECAC Championships. However, following the meet, there is no longer any doubt that the foursome is the greatest ever assembled at Penn. The team set the school record in the finals on Sunday, just one day after they had improved upon the second-best time in school history - a time they owned. In the finals, the team finished in a dead heat with Delaware, but officially finished sixth with a time of 46.03. It was well ahead of the school record of 46.30 which was set back in 2005. The day before, the same group was fourth in the preliminaries with a time of 46.34, which would have kept them in second in the record books.
Madison, McDougall and Brown then joined sophomore Victoria Strickland for another of Penn's best finishes of the meet. The Quakers 4x400-meter relay team finished sixth with the fourth-best time in program history. The group finished in 3:41.37 to earn three more points for the Red and Blue. Strother ran in place of Brown in the preliminaries on Saturday when the team finished with a near-identical time of 3:41.49 to place third in the trials.
Senior Yelizaveta Lozovatskayahad Penn's best individual finish of the meet in her final competition as a member of the Quakers. She finished fourth in the pole vault when she passed the first height of 3.65 meters (11 feet, 11 3/4 inches) on her first attempt. However, she was not one of the three vaulters to surpass the next height. Lozovatskaya finished her career ranked second all-time in the indoor and outdoor pole vault.
Senior Kathryn Gevitz also scored for the Red and Blue. She was eighth in the long jump with her final jump. It measured 5.80 meters (19-00.50 ft.) and moved her into the scoring. Gevitz also competed in the triple jump where she was 11th with a leap of 11.90 meters (39-00.50 ft.).
Several Quakers will be waiting for the announcement of the qualifiers for the NCAA Preliminary Round, formerly the NCAA Regionals. In each event in the East region, the top 48 times and marks qualify for the meet at North Carolina A&T's Aggie Stadium in Greensboro, N.C., May 27-29. For a complete list of the top East Region marks and times, click here.
Penn at the ECAC's
200 Meters: 7-Strother (23.96p, 24.28f), 22-Brown (24.85)
800 Meters: 17-Massarelli (2:10.11)
1,500 Meters: 19-Aagenes (4:33.19)
5,000 Meters: 17-Kovach (17:13.57)
10,000 Meters: 15-Baird (37:18.07)
Pole Vault: 4-Lozovatskaya (3.65m)
Long Jump: 8-Gevitz (5.80m)
Triple Jump: 11-Gevitz (11.90m)
4x100 Relay: 6-Penn (46.34p, 46.03f)
4x400 Relay: 6-Penn (3:41.49p, 3:41.37f)
4x800 Relay: 21-Penn (9:14.46)