JACKSONVILLE – A strong first day of competition gave Penn a great start at the 2016 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field East Regional held at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, Fla.
Four Quakers were in action on Thursday, starting with the women’s javelin in the field events and the men’s 1,500 meters on the track. The Quakers concluded the day in the 10,000 meters for twilight racing at Hodges Stadium.
Senior Kelsey Hay and junior Lisa Sesink-Clee kicked off the meet for the Quakers beginning at Noon. Sesink-Clee saved her best throw for last when she launched the javelin 37.51 meters (123-0 ft.) to conclude the first of three flights of athletes competing for a top-12 finish. Sesink-Clee placed 45th in the event to finish a terrific outdoor season in the Red and Blue stripes.
Hay was up next in the second flight of the discipline and was the last of 16 athletes to throw in rotation. The senior threw her best on the first of three tries, stepping up to toss the javelin 44.43 meters (145-9 ft.) in her first attempt. That throw proved to be Hay’s best of the afternoon as she finished 21st out of 46 competitors to concluded her collegiate career as one of the best in Penn and Ivy League history in javelin.
Running events kicked off for Penn at 6 p.m. when junior Chris Hatler took to the track for the first round of the 1,500 meters. Hatler raced in the fourth and final heat and clocked in at 3:45.08 to place fourth in his flight and 10th overall. As one of the top-five finishers in his heat, Hatler automatically advances to the quarterfinals set to take place on Saturday at 6:45 p.m.
The Quakers return to action on Friday when defending NCAA national champion Sam Mattis and junior Noah Kennedy-Whitecompete in the discus at 4 p.m. Taylor McCorkle and Calvary Rogers take to the track at 8 p.m. and 8:25 p.m. in the 200 meter sprints, while women's school record holder Amy Darlington starts in the women’s steeplechase at 8:50 p.m. Action concludes when the 2014, 2015, and 2016 Heps champions in Nick Tuck and Brendan Smith begin the men’s steeplechase at 9:30 p.m.
The NCAA Championship meet extends over two weekends in a three-week span at three different sites. The first weekend - known as the NCAA Preliminary Round - is broken up into two different sites - East (Jacksonville, Fla.) and West (Lawrence, Kan.).
The top 48 in each event qualify for the NCAA Preliminary rounds where the top 12 finishers from the East Preliminary and the top 12 from the West will advance to compete in the finals of the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore., June 8-11.
A full recap of the opening rounds of the NCAA Championships will be available at PennAthletics.com shortly after the conclusion of each day's events.
Javelin: Kelsey Hay – 21st (44.43m); Lisa Sesink-Clee – 45th (37.51m)
1,500m: Chris Hatler – 10th (3:45.08)
10,000m: Brendan Shearn - DNF
Download: Penn Schedule at UNF.pdf