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Day One Recap
PHILADELPHIA After two rigorous days of competition, the University of Pennsylvania women's track and field team finished with several more ECAC qualifiers and numerous personal bests to place seventh in the 2009 Outdoor Heptagonal Championships Sunday at Franklin Field. Penn finished with 57 team points, behind Brown (69) and Dartmouth (64), and ahead of Yale (30).
Senior Camille Richard finished third in the triple jump in what was her final heptagonal meet. The West Vancouver, British Columbia, native had a season-best and near career-best jump of 12.23 meters (40 feet, 1 1/2 inches) on her final leap. The mark was just one centimeter shy of matching her effort in 2007 that stands as third-best in Penn history.
"It's certainly bittersweet," Richard said of her final meet at historic Franklin Field. "It was a nice way to end my career here, but I'll miss Franklin Field a lot; it's incredible. I've never seen anything like it before, there is a special spirit to it. I'm going to miss being around all these incredible women." Richard, who will compete next week at the ECAC Championships, was also honored by the Ivy League in the award ceremony presentations for her dedicated service as the head of the Ivy League Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.
Junior teammate Kathryn Gevitz also scored in the triple jump for the Quakers, finishing just behind Richard. Ond day after finishing fourth in the long jump, Gevitz was fourth in Sunday's event. Her second jump of the day measured 12.12 meters (39-09.50 ft.), matching a career-best which is currently fifth-best all-time in school history. The product of Oak Park, Ill., had two other attempts that measured over 12 meters, including her final jump that equaled her 12.12 meter output. With her efforts, she will be eligible to join Richard at the ECAC Championships next weekend.
On the track, senior Leah Brogan scored early on in the day in the 5,000 meters. Brogan was sixth with her time of 17:07.59. In the next event, Penn's 400-meter relay team was less than a second off qualifying for the NCAA Regional Championships. Instead, the team's second-place finish of 46.51 earned the foursome a trip to the ECAC's as the best time of the season.
Sophomore Kali Strother ran a career-best 24.78 in the prelims of the 200 meters on Saturday, only to best that time against a headwind on Sunday. Strother finished fifth with a time of 24.65. The mark is the third-best all-time at Penn in the event.
Junior Anna Aagenes was the Heptagonal runner-up in the 800 meters. Aagenes nearly overcame Yale's Kate Grace, making an effort to pass the sophomore on the back straightaway. But the indoor Heptagonal champion held off Aagenes by 17-hundreths of a second. Aagenes' time of 2:09.18 was Regional-qualifying worthy, but it was about a second behind her season-best.
In the 100-meter hurdles, freshman Paige Madison also reached the ECAC mark. In her first outdoor Heptagonals, Madison finished the event in 14.34, good for a fourth-place finish and four points for the Quakers. Madison also earned points in the 400-meter hurdles. She was fifth with a time of 1:02.18.
The season-best performances continued for Penn in the 400 meters. Junior Jamie Massarelli, already an ECAC qualifier, had her top time of 2009 at 55.69. The effort placed her fifth and accounted for two more Penn points.
Freshman Leah Brown was a part of four of the 23 points garnered by Penn's underclassmen. Brown was fourth in the 100 meters, finishing in 12.30. The time nearly surpassed the career-best she posted on Saturday.
Penn finished the day with a third-place showing in the 1,600-meter relay. The team of Massarelli, freshman Victoria Strickland, Strother and sophomore Laura McDaniel finished in 3:45.26, which was less than a second off the winning time.
The Quakers have more than ten individuals and three relay teams who have qualified for next weekend’s ECAC Championships in Princeton, N.J. The three-day meet begins on Friday, May 15 and runs through Sunday, May 17. Complete coverage of the Quakers can be found throughout the meet at www.PennAthletics.com.