PRINCETON, N.J.- Three winners and seven new marks in the school record books highlighted the final meet before the Outdoor Heptagonal Championships for the University of Pennsylvania track and field teams on Friday and Saturday at the Princeton Open.
Both Taylor McCorkle and Candace Taylor raced their way into the record book in the 200 meters. The freshmen duo each broke 25 seconds led by McCorkle's fourth-place finish of 24.38. That ranks fifth all-time at Penn, while Taylor placed sixth at 24.77 -- the ninth-fastest finish in school history.
On Friday night, sophomore Nick Tuck won the steeplechase and improved his standing in the school's record book with a collegiate-best finish. Tuck finished the 3,000-meter course in 8:51.46 which is the fastest for any Penn athlete since Sean MacMillan set the school record in 2000. That time also beat his previous career best by more than a second.
Sam Mattisand Kelsey Hay added another pair of wins for the Quakers. Mattis' top throw in the men's discus was his first. It landed at 59.10 meters (193 feet, 11 inches) and was more than five feet further than any throw from the rest of the compeititon. Hay waited until her final throw to unleash her best of the day and won the women's javelin at 48.01 meters (157-06 ft.).
Also on the first day of competition, junior Gabby Cuccia became the fourth active Quaker to find a spot among the school's all-time top 10 in the outdoor 1,500 meters. Her third-place time of 4:24.63 was tops among collegians at the meet and is the fastest time for a Penn woman in five years, ranking fourth in school history.
Freshman Molly Minnig added another large personal record for the Quakers. She jumped into sixth-place all-time at Penn when she cleared 3.65 meters (11-11.75 ft.) in the pole vault. She did so on her first attempt and bested her previous collegiate-best by nearly six inches to finish third at the meet.
Meanwhile, senior Jenny Thompson also continues to climb up the record books. She finished fourth in the triple jump with a personal-best leap of 12.05 meters (39-06.50 ft.). It is the seventh-best jump in school history and the best for any Penn woman since 2010.
Continuing the record-book altering trend, freshman Taylor Hojnacki became just the eighth woman in program history to surpass 43 feet in the shot put. She launched her way to seventh-place in Penn's record book with a runner-up finish of 13.22 meters (43-04.50 ft.).
Also for the Quakers, senior Mato Bekelja and sophomore Clark Mangini finished fourth and fifth, respectivley, in the 800 meters. Bekelja stopped the clock at 1:51.85, while Mangini set a personal record with a finish of 1:51.96. Sophomore Chris Hatler was fourth in the 1,500 meters with a collegiate-best time of 3:47.98, while freshman C.J. Simpson was the runner-up in the triple jump at 14.37 meters (47-01.75 ft.). Senior Marcus LaRoche was fourth in the shot put at 16.44 meters (53-11.25 ft.), and sophomore Sam Kaplan was third in the javelin with a toss of 58.81 (192-11 ft.).
Next week's Outdoor Heptagonal Championships are Saturday and Sunday at Penn's historic Franklin Field. Tickets are available on the day of the event. It is $10 for a single day or $16 for both days for adults, and $5/$8 for children under 12.