PRINCETON, N.J. - In the week leading up to the Penn Relays, the University of Pennsylvania track and field teams put on quite a show at the Larry Ellis Invitational this weekend. In all, 11 different Quakers moved into or up in the school record books.
The Quakers put up some impressive times in the 1,500 meters. Three of the top 10 fastest times in school history were run in the event on Friday night. Junior Thomas Awad finished as the runner-up with the second-fastest time in program history and the sixth-fastest finish in Ivy League history. The cross country and indoor 3,000-meter Heps champion came across the finish line in 3:40.68 - a time only bested at Penn by Denis Fikes in 1974 (3:37.14 converted from yards and hand timed).
Not to be outdone, sophomore Nick Tuck and junior Clark Shurtleff also entered Penn's all-time top 10 in the event. Tuck finished 17th with a time of 3:46.14, which ranks as the seventh-best finish in Penn history, while Shurtleff's 19th-place showing of 3:46.56 now stands as the ninth-fastest at Penn.
On the women's side in the event, sophomore Cleo Whiting stopped the clock at 4:26.89 which moved her from sixth to fifth in the Penn record book and placed her sixth overall at the meet. Meanwhile, sophomore Ashley Montgomery, who ranks fourth all-time at Penn, finished 10th in 4:27.7.
In the steeplechase on Friday night, junior Amy Darlington improved upon her second-best time in school history with a 12th-place finish of 10:35.54. Meanwhile, freshman Abby Hong moved up a spot to third place in Penn's record book with her personal-best time of 10:48.40 to place 18th. On the men's side, junior Brendan Smith won his heat and finished sixth in 8:59.43.
On Saturday, Tom Timmins raced to victory in the 400-meter hurdles with the seventh-best performance in school history. The senior captain became the seventh Penn man to break 52 seconds in the event with his winning time of 51.74 -- the fastest at Penn since Tim Carey in 2010.
In addition to Timmins, the Quakers had another trio of winners over the weekend. Junior Kelsey Hay won the women's javelin with a toss of 44.38 meters (145 feet, 7 inches) -- that was six feet further than anyone else in the field, freshman Mike Monroe won the men's high jump with a collegiate-best clearance of 2.09 meters (6-10.25 ft.), and junior Sam Mattis won the men's discus with a toss of 58.70 meters (192-07 ft.). In addition, freshman Taylor McCorkle was the top collegian in the 100 meters (11.92).
On the second day of competition, senior Jenny Thompson etched her name in the school record book with the eighth-best triple jump in Penn history. Her top leap was her last and measured 11.96 meters (39-03 ft.) to place fourth at the meet. It is the best for any Penn woman since Catherine Okoukoni hit that mark four years ago.
Freshman Molly Minnig also climbed into the school's all-time top 10. She did so with a collegiate-best effort in the pole vault. She became just the ninth Penn woman to clear 3.45 meters (11-03.75 ft.) in the event and finished ninth at the meet.
Freshman Candace Taylor continues to improve her times and make her way up Penn's all-time top 10 list. She moved up a spot in the record book with the fourth-fastest finish in the 400 meters in school history. Her time of 54.52 bested her previous best of 55.00 set just a week ago.
Next week,Penn will host the Penn Relays for the 121st consecutive year, April 23-25. Tickets are availablehere.