PHILADELPHIA - This weekend's Fast Times Before Finals meet at Lehigh will mark the start of the 2013-14 campaign for the University of Pennsylvania men's and women's track and field teams. The Quakers will compete at Lehigh's Rauch Fieldhouse in Bethlehem, Pa., on Friday and Saturday.
The meet will begin on Friday at 5 p.m. with Lauren Brunsdale and Brooke Hamscher in the women's pole vault and Thomas Pitt in the heptathlon. Saturday's multi-events begin at 9 a.m., with the field events beginning at 10 a.m. The track events start at noon and the meet is set to conclude at 4:35 p.m. with the men's 4x800-meter relay.
Last season, the Penn men sent seven to the NCAA Outdoor Championships in June and all seven return for the 2013-14 season. That includes four-time All-American Maalik Reynolds as well as Thomas Awad, who earned All-America honors and won the USA Junior championship in the outdoor 5,000 meters last summer. The women also return three NCAA Outdoor qualifiers in sophomores Kelsey Hay and Kaci Jones as well as back-to-back qualifier, Gabrielle Piper, the school record-holder in the indoor 60-meter hurdles.
This will mark the third straight year the men open at Lehigh and the second in a row for the women. Last year, four men started the season with wins. Jake Brenza won the shot put with the fourth-best toss in program history, while Maalik Reynolds (high jump), Tom Timmins (500) and Drew Magaha (1,000) also won in addition to a pair of relays. On the women's side, six Quakers finished atop the podium in the opening meet, highlighted by the fourth-best shot put in school history from Theresa Picciallo in her collegiate debut. Annie Holland (high jump), Piper (60 hurdles) and Shakele Seaton (1,000) return to defend their event titles.
A full recap will be available at PennAthletics.com shortly after the conclusion of each day's events.