PHILADELPHIA - Shortly following one of the program's best Outdoor Heptagonal Championships in recent years, the University of Pennsylvania track and field teams honored their seniors and yearly award winners on Sunday night.
On Sunday afternoon, the Quakers earned their best outdoor team finishes under third-year Director of Cross Country/Track & FieldSteve Dolan. The men earned their highest finish (third) and point total (89) since 2006, while the women posted their best finish (fifth) since 2012. The Quakers won five Heptagonal championships, which was one more than the four won at the indoor heptagonals. Junior Thomas Awad was named Most Outstanding Performer at both meets and also led the men to a third-place finish at the cross country heptagonal meet -- the team's best performance in eight years.
Awad earned the men's cross country and track & field MVP honors.Awadbecame the third man in school history to win cross country, indoor and outdoor Heps titles in the same year. Robert Childs did so in the same calendar year in 1972, while Dave Merrick also pulled off the trifecta in the same school year (1975-76). He was Penn's first cross country Heps champion since 1975, then won the indoor 3,000 meters and was part of Penn's first distance medley relay Heps champion in 36 years before claiming titles in the outdoor 1,500 and 5,000 meters on Sunday.
Junior Sam Mattis was named Field MVP for the men. The school record holder in the discusbecame the first in Heps history to surpass 200 feet in the event as he won the Heptagonal title with a meet record for the third consecutive year. He isthe first athlete to win the event three straight times since 1984-86 and the first Penn athlete to do so since Ken Dietz (1969-71).
Sophomore Cleo Whiting (cross country), freshman Candace Taylor (track) and junior Kelsey Hay (field) won MVP honors for the women. Whiting, who was second on the team at Heps, led Penn to a sixth-place finish as the first Quaker and 19th-place finisher at cross country regionals. Taylor was second-team indoor All-Ivy in the 500 meters and is already among Penn's all-time top 10 in eight different events, including the school record as a member of the sprint medley relay. Hay, the school record holder in the javelin,is the second Penn woman to win back-to-back Heps championships in the event and the first since Robyn Fortsch in 1986-87.
Freshmen Taylor McCorkle, Jeff Wiseman and Mike Monroe won Rookie of the Year accolades. McCorkle set school records in the women's 60 meters and as part of the sprint medley relay team, while Wiseman (500 meters) and Monroe (high jump) each won indoor heptagonal championships.
Most Improved honors went to Clark Shurtleff and Taylor Hennig. Shurtleff became one of the top ten runners in school history in the men's outdoor 1,500 meters, while Hennig found her way into the school record book in five different events in 2015.
As for two of the most coveted awards, the James P. Tuppeny Leadership Award went to senior captain Tom Timmins, while the Betty J. Costanza Leadership Award was won by junior captain Kelsey Hay.
In addition, the three women's seniors -- Pauline Dabrowski, Princess Lydia Ali and Jenny Thompson -- as well as the seven men's seniors -- Victor Allen, Mato Bekelja, Semi Ibikunle, Jordan Jett, Marcus LaRoche, Conner Paez, Nick Straughn, Tom Timmins, John Trueman and Kyle Webster -- were all recognized for their four years in the Red and Blue stripes.
The postseason continues for several Quakers at the ECAC/IC4A Championships and into the NCAA Championships.
2015 Team Award Winners
MVP XC:Tom Awad
MVP Track:Tom Awad
MVP Field:Sam Mattis
MVP Freshmen: Jeff Wiseman and Mike Monroe
Most Improved: Clark Shurtleff
James P Tuppeny Leadership Award: Tom Timmins
MVP XC:Cleo Whiting
MVP Track: Candace Taylor
MVP Field:Kelsey Hay
MVP Freshman: Taylor McCorkle
Most Improved: Taylor Hennig
Betty Costanza Leadership Award: Kelsey Hay