Women's Track and Field Opens 2011 at Navy Invite

PHILADELPHIA - Back into full gear with their first scheduled meet of 2011, the University of Pennsylvania women's indoor track and field team heads to Annapolis, Md., for the Navy Invitational on Saturday afternoon.

The Navy Invitational begins at 3:15 p.m. with the pole vault, weight throw and long jump, while the first track event - the 5,000 meters - begins at the same time. The meet is set to conclude with the distance medley relay at 6:15 p.m.

Joining the Quakers and the host Midshipmen at Penn's first indoor meet of the New Year are UNC-Wilmington, James Madison, Maryland-Eastern Shore and Mount St. Mary's.

In Penn's first meet of the 2010-11 season on Dec. 4 at Bucknell, junior Laura Steel won the mile, while freshman Gabrielle Piper placed her name in the Penn record books - twice. Steel won her event with a time of 5:14.84 as she edged Bucknell's Beth Braunegg on her home track by a little more than two seconds. In the 60-meter hurdles, Piper finished the preliminaries in 9.03. That time stands as seventh-best in Penn history as she eventually finished third in the finals at 9.04. Then, in the 60 meters, she sprinted to another third-place finish with her time of 7.83 - the sixth-best time in school history.

Last year in Penn's first January meet, Veronica Salcido was tops in the 1,000 meters in her first collegiate meet. Salcido's winning time was 3:05.89, while senior Jamie Massarelli ran away with the 500 meters title. Her time of 1:16.50 bested the field of 15 without much doubt other than another Quaker. The only other runner to finish within four seconds of the Paxton, Mass., native was sophomore Victoria Strickland, who finished at 1:18.08. In their first race of the season, the Penn 4x400-relay team was second, qualifying for the ECAC Championships in the process.

In Navy’s past two meets - the Navy Lidlifter and the Delaware Invitational - the Midshipmen took first place. They had strong performances in their distance and throwing events in the Navy Lidlifter and in the Delaware Invitational they took six individual events.

Complete results from the Penn Invite will be available on PennAthletics.com shortly after the conclusion of Saturday’s events.

Shuttle Info for those attending:
The Navy track and field shuttle will leave from the west side of Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, beginning at 10:30 am. The shuttle is free, but parking costs $5 at the stadium. The shuttle will drop fans off right at the Wesley A. Brown Field House entrance and will make trips back to NMCMS until 10:00 pm. Only cars with Department of Defense stickers are permitted to drive onto the Yard.