HANOVER, N.H. - Freshman Leslie Kovach and seniors Kathryn Gevitz and Yelizaveta Lozovatskaya each scored for the University of Pennsylvania women's track and field on day one of competition at the 2010 Indoor Heptagonal Championships Saturday. The Quakers are currently in sixth place as five other members of the Red and Blue qualified for Sunday's finals at Dartmouth's Leverone Field House.
Lozovatskaya tied for third in the pole vault with the second-best performance in school history and she made it look easy. The St. Ignatius product cleared each of the first three heights on the first attempt - the last of which tied her career best at second-place on Penn's all-time list. Then, at 3.70 meters (12 feet, 1 1/2 inches), she cleared the bar on her first attempt, becoming just the second Quaker in school history to cleanly pass the 12-foot mark.
Kovach broke her own freshman record in the 5,000 meters on Saturday. She became the first Quaker in school history to break the 17-minute barrier as a freshman and is just the fifth Quaker all-time to ever accomplish the feat. The Irwin, Pa., native earned two of Penn's 11 points with her fifth-place finish as her time of 16:54.32 was just five seconds off the NCAA provisional qualifying time.
Gevitz tallied two more points for Penn in the long jump. On her final jump in the first round, she landed at 5.65 meters (18-06.50 ft.) to move into fifth place entering the finals. That leap would remain as her best throughout the finals and she would remain in fifth.
Freshman Morgan Wheeler currently sits in second place in the pentathlon with 2,175 points. Monique Roberts from Columbia leads after three events with 2,375 points. Wheeler has been consistent, earning 775 points with a 9.67 finish in the 60-meter hurdles and earned 759 points in the high jump, tying for third with a height of 1.62 meters (5-03.75 ft.). Her toss of 11.70 meters (38-04.75 ft.) in the shot put garnered her 641 more points. The final two events - the long jump and 800 meters - will take place on Sunday.
Two Quakers reached the finals in the 60 meters. Sophomores Leah Brown and Renee McDougall make up a quarter of the field competing in the final at 1:15 p.m. on Sunday. Brown was fourth in the prelims with her time of 7.67, while McDougall was eighth at 7.79.
Sophomore Paige Madison qualified for the finals in the 60-meter hurdles with the sixth-fastest time in school history. Her finish of 9.04 puts her in seventh place entering Sunday's 12:35 p.m. final.
Senior Kellee Hand was one of 10 to reach the mile finals. She finished in 5:01.11, just edging Dartmouth's Laura Tabor for the final spot in Sunday's 12:10 p.m. final.
Junior Kali Strother will compete in the finals of the 200 meters at 1:45 p.m. Sunday after running the fifth-fastest time in the preliminaries at 25.12.
A complete recap of the second day of competition at the 2010 Indoor Heptagonal Championships will be available on PennAthletics.com shortly after the conclusion of the day's events.