PHILADELPHIA – For the second-consecutive week, the University of Pennsylvania track and field teams will travel to the Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex in Staten Island. This time, the Quakers will compete in the highly competitive Fastrack National Invite on Friday.
The Fastrack Invite features an exceptionally strong 23-team field, including three squads from the Ivy League (Princeton, Columbia, and Cornell) and a pair from the Big 5 (Villanova, Saint Joseph’s). Penn State (No. 20) and Virginia (No. 18) will also be in attendance, each entering the weekend ranked nationally on the men’s side. The Villanova women are 24th in the latest USTFCCCA National Poll.
Last Time Out
The Quakers are coming off a strong showing at the Villanova Invitational last Saturday. En route to victories for both teams, the Red and Blue recorded numerous top-ten marks and personal-bests.
Chris Hatler was the Quakers’ top performer on the men’s squad, racing to one of the best mile times in the Penn history. The junior clocked a mark of 4:03.23, which was good enough to win the event and place third in the record books. He now sits behind only teammate Thomas Awad and the legendary Denis Elton Cochrane on Penn’s all-time list.
Another noteworthy effort came from one of Penn’s rookies, Calvary Rogers. The freshman sprinter clocked a time of 21.74 in the 200, a mark fast enough to place second in the meet and No. 3 in the Penn record books. Rogers had already claimed Penn’s ninth-fastest time a week prior at the Wesley Brown Invitational.
Classmate Elias Graca also put together a top-ten mark on Saturday. The rookie ran a time of 1:51.44 in the 800, grabbing the eighth-best time on Penn’s all-time list.
In addition to the rookie success, the Quakers picked up a pair of third-place efforts from senior Thomas Pitt. Pitt recorded a mark of 2.02 meters in the high jump, and a distance of 7.01 meters in the long jump.
The women’s squad was equally as impressive, snatching three event wins, as well as several top-five program marks.
Taylor McCorkle earned one of the Quakers’ triumphs in the 60 meters, narrowly missing out on a school record in the process. The sophomore, who already owns the program mark in the event, raced to a time of 7.55 – one hundredth shy of a personal best. McCorkle also recorded a sixth-place finish in the 200, clocking a mark of 24.84 – which ranks third in Penn history.
Another victory came from Ashley Montgomery, who raced to the 3,000 crown -- achieving a personal-best time of 9:30.57 (No. 4 in program history). Penn also tallied the next four finishers in the 3,000. Abby Hong (9:33.98), Cleo Whiting (9:34.47), Clarissa Whiting (9:36.10), and Amy Darlington (9:44.35) came in 2-5. Hong's (No. 5), Cleo's (No. 6) and Clarissa’s (No. 7) times were all quick enough to rank them in the top ten all-time.
Penn's final win came in the 4x400 relay, as the team of Noel Jancewicz, Imani Solan, Carey Celata, and Candace Taylor took the crown. The squad crossed the finish line in 3:47.33, which ranks fourth in the Penn record books.
In addition to the relay win, Celata clocked the second-fastest time in Penn history in the 800 meters. The junior’s 2:07.52 was a personal best, and ranks behind just Jesse Carlin on the Red and Blue's all-time list.
The Quakers will head to a familiar place, Princeton N.J., to compete in the Princeton Invitational next weekend.