PHILADELPHIA – Fresh off a highly successful cross country season, the University of Pennsylvania men’s and women’s track and field teams will make their debut this weekend at the Lehigh Invitational in Bethlehem, Pa. The meet, which will not have team scores, begins on Friday with the combined events and pole vault.
The men’s indoor team finished fourth (75 points) at last year’s Ivy League Heptagonal Championships, their best finish at the event in eight seasons. The Quakers placed seventh (38 points) on the women’s side, highlighted by a school-record performance by sophomore Taylor McCorkle in the 60 meters.
At last year’s Lehigh Invitational, McCorkle set the facility record in the 60 meters -- while sophomore Candace Taylor eclipsed the facility mark in the 500 meters. The women's 4x400-meter relay team also set a facility record with a winning time of 3:57.21.
On the men’s side, seniors Brandon Senior and Sam Mattis each won a pair of events at Lehigh. Senior recorded a time of 7.04 to win the 60 meters, and earned the victory in the 200 meters with a finish of 22.75. Mattis, who went on to win both the Ivy League and NCAA National Championships in the discus during the outdoor season, won both the shot-put and weight-throw events.
(Other) Notable Returners
Other notable returners for the women’s squad include Taylor and senior Taylor Hennig, who finished 2-3 in the 500 meters at last year’s Ivy Heps. In addition, senior Ashley Montgomery enters the indoor season following an impressive cross country season. Montgomery placed fifth at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional, and earned an individual berth into the NCAA Championships. She also placed fifth at the Ivy Heps to secure first-team All-Ivy honors.
Like Montgomery, senior Thomas Awad enters the winter after an outstanding cross country campaign on the men’s side. Awad, who was last year’s Most Outstanding Performer at both the indoor and outdoor Heps’ championships, won his second-consecutive Ivy League cross-country title and placed 14th (252 runners) at the 2015 NCAA Championships in Louisville. Awad joins Dave Merrick as the only two-time cross-country All-Americans in Penn history.
Awad led the way for a men’s cross country team that finished second at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional, and earned a berth into the program’s first NCAA Championship since 1975. Also a part of the team was junior Nick Tuck, who won the steeplechase at last year’s outdoor conference championships.
Sophomores Jeff Wiseman and Mike Monroe also return for the Quakers after winning indoor Heps’ crowns last season. Wiseman notched the title in the 500 meters, while Monroe won the men's high jump.