PHILADELPHIA - Friday will mark the first meet for the University of Pennsylvania men's and women's track and field teams under the guidance of Director of Track & Field/Cross Country, Steve Dolan. The 2012-13 campaign opens in Bethlehem, Pa., for the Lehigh Invitational.
All field events will begin at 5 p.m., while the track events start with the men's 60-meter hurdles at 5:30 p.m. The season-opening meet will conclude with the women's 4x400 relay at 10:20 p.m.
Last season, the Penn men sent four to the NCAA Outdoor Championships in June and two of those Quakers return for the 2012-13 season. Jacob Brenza, who owns the third-best outdoor shot put toss in school history, and Maalik Reynolds, a three-time All-American in the high jump, both enter their junior seasons in the Red and Blue. The women also return two NCAA Outdoor qualifiers in seniors Jillian Hart and Morgan Wheeler, as well as Gabrielle Piper, the school record-holder and defending Heps champion in the indoor 60-meter hurdles.
In last year's season opener at Bucknell, the women were led by then-senior Catherine Okoukoni, who won the triple jump and long jump, while a freshman made the school record books. Lydia Ali made the biggest splash in her collegiate debut with the third-fastest time in school history. She finished as the runner-up with a time of 7.66.
This will mark the second straight year the men open at Lehigh. Four Quakers posted wins to start the indoor season as Reynolds, Brenza, Thomas Tallerico (1,000 meters) and Tom Timmins (400 meters) won their respective events in addition to a victory from the 4x400 relay.
A full recap will be available at PennAthletics.com shortly after the conclusion of each day's events.