PALO ALTO, Calif./GAINSVILLE, Fla./PRINCETON, N.J. - School records fell on both coasts over the weekend forthe University of Pennsylvania outdoor track and field teams. Junior Thomas Awad broke his own school record in the 5,000 meters at the Stanford Invitational, and the women's sprint medley relay set the school standard at the Florida Relays, while several other Quakers altered the record books at the Sam Howell Invitational.
Awad finished sixth among 20 runners ina mixed field of professionals and collegians. He was the second collegian to cross the finish line in the second-fastest time in Ivy League history. His record-setting time of 13:33.29 topped the school record he set last year by 15 seconds.
In Florida, Taylor McCorkle, Taylor Hennig, Candace Taylor and Carey Celata set the new school standard in the women's sprint medley relay. McCorkle and Hennig combined to take the first 400 meters, while Taylor took the next 400. Celata went the final two laps and stopped the clock at 3:52.68. That broke a five-year-old school record by nearly two full seconds and placed the Quakers fifth overall and fourth among collegiate schools in a competitive field.
Also against some of the nation's best, junior Sam Mattis won the discus at the Florida Relays. He saved his best for last with a toss of 60.31 meters (197 feet, 10 inches) -- which ranked as the second-best throw in the nation entering the weekend.
The success continued for the men's throwers in Gainsville as senior Marcus LaRoche finished third in the shot put with the fifth-best toss in program history. Over the last 34 years at Penn, only Jake Brenza's toss in 2012 was better than LaRoche's final throw of the prelims. It landed at 16.90 meters (55-05.50 ft.). Noah Kennedy-White moved into fifth in Penn's record book with a third-place finish in the discus at 52.88 meters (173-06 ft.).
The first big performance of the weekend for the Quakers came from McCorkle,who made her outdoor collegiate debut at the Florida Relays. The rookie posted the third-fastest 100 meters in program history with a finish of 11.86. It was the fastest for a Penn woman since Lydia Ali set the school standard at 11.75 in 2014.
Hennig also etched her name in the school record book in the 400 meters with the sixth-fastest time in school history at 55.69.
Back at Stanford, sophomores Brendan Shearn and Cleo Whiting each set personal bests and improved upon their fourth-place standing in Penn's record book. Whiting finished in 16th place in the women's 5,000 meters with a time of 16:26.42, which was six seconds better than her previous-best, while Shearn topped his collegiate-best in the 10,000 meters by two seconds with a finish of 29:47.99.
Meanwhile, the school record books were also being adjusted at Princeton's Sam Howell Invitational. Junior Amy Darlington and freshman Abby Hong posted two of the top four times in school history in the women's steeplechase. Only three Quakers had ever broken 11 minutes in the event, but both did so on Friday night.Darlington finished fifth with the second-fastest time ever recorded at Penn. She stopped the clock at 10:38.06, which is only bested by the school record of 10:29.33 set 10 years ago by Claire Duncan. Not far behind was Hong, who was eighth at 10:55.88 -- the fourth-fastest finish in program history.
The Quakers reunite next week for a trip to Fairfax, Va. The Red and Blue will compete in the George Mason Invitational on April 11.