Women's Track and Field at Home for Heptagonals

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PHILADELPHIA – For 13 seniors on the University of Pennsylvania women’s track and field team, their final home meet at historic Franklin Field will be a memorable one as they serve as hosts to the 2009 Outdoor Heptagonal Championships this weekend. The two-day Ivy League championship meet begins Saturday and concludes Sunday afternoon.

The Heptagonals will begin Saturday at 10 a.m. with the hammer throw. Track events are scheduled to begin with heats of the 400 meters at 12:30 p.m. The conclusion of day one comes at the end of the 10,000-meter run which begins at 7:15 p.m. The final day of competition starts at 9 a.m. with the discus and ends with the 1,600-meter relay at 5 p.m. The 2009 Outdoor Heptagonal champions will be crowned at the awards ceremony at 5:20 p.m.

“This is an unbelievable opportunity,” head coach Gwen Harris said of her team hosting the championship meet. “We love having this at home. The buzz that surrounds this meet is tremendous and we take it as a real honor to host it.”

Coming off a strong showing at the Penn Relays, women’s track is in high contention for this weekend’s Heptagonals. Penn currently has three individual runners in the top five, and another four individuals ranked in field events. Aagenes, Brogan, and Paige Madison are currently in top five positions in track events along with Whitney Tagliavini, Kathryn Gevitz, Camille Richard and Deanna Morelli for their respective field events. Paige Madison is top five for both the 100 meter and 400-meter hurdle races.

With a finish of 18:11.87 at the Penn Relays, Anna Aagenes, Kinjal Parikh, Leah Brogan, and Laura Steel set a new school record in the 4x1500-meter relay. Aagenes was also part of her second school-record run in the sprint medley relay. Her 800-anchor leg put the Quakers at a time of 3:54.50 and bested the old 2005 record by less than a second. Along with those new records, Aagenes and Brogan have also qualified for the NCAA Regional meet on May 29-30.

“We are just going to go out there and compete the best we can,” Harris said of the Heptagonals. “This meet generates a lot of pride in our athletes and they really get into it. We want to compete really, really well and we are going to have some fun doing it.”

Entering the weekend, Penn currently has 10 individuals and three relay teams that have already reached the ECAC qualifying mark. Those championships will be held at Princeton beginning on May 15-17.

For complete coverage of Heps weekend from Philadelphia, visit the meet homepage at the link above. For complete recaps of the performances from the Quakers’ women’s track and field team, log on to www.PennAthletics.com.

Download: Heps09-SatStartLists.pdf