PHILADELPHIA - Three members of the University of Pennsylvania women's track and field team scored and 14 more advanced to Championship Sunday during the first day of competition at the 2012 Outdoor Heptagonal Championships at Franklin Field on Saturday.
Championship Sunday begins with the triple jump at 11 a.m., and the track events start with the 4x100-meter relay at noon. The 2012 Heptagonal team champion will be announced around 5 p.m. For live updates and results throughout the meet, see the link atop this release.
At Heps, the top eight advance past the preliminaries and the top-six finishers will score in the finals of each event on Sunday.
The Quakers dominated the sprinting events. Much like the 2012 indoor Heps, the Red and Blue will represent half of the field in the 100 meters. Junior Nony Onyeador (12.15), sophomore Gabrielle Piper (12.21) and seniors Leah Brown (12.24) and Emily Townsend (12.22) all qualfied for Sunday's final at 2:10 p.m. The other seven Ivy schools combined to make up the other four representatives. Onyeador moved up to seventh in the school record book with her effort. That means all four of the Quakers competed in the 100-meter final Sunday are ranked within the top seven all-time at Penn.
The finals for the 200 meters and the 100-meter hurdles will also be saturated with Quakers. Senior Paige Madison (14.59), senior Amber Scott (14.70) and Piper (14.67) hold three of the eight spots in Sunday's final at 1:40 p.m. Nearly half of Sunday's 200-meter final (3:10 p.m.) will be Quakers as well. Senior Renee McDougall and freshman Heather Bong will join Brown among Penn's red jersey's in the race for the Heps title. Brown was tops in her heat at 24.65, McDougall was second in the same heat at 25.24 and Bong was the runner-up in her heat at 25.15.
McDougall was the one to get it all started for the Quakers. She set the tone for the rest of the trials when she posted the fifth-best 400 meters time in program history during the first women's preliminary race of the day. Her time of 55.76 qualified her for Sunday's 2:55 p.m. finals and the ECAC Championships.
Madison joined Brown, McDougall and Piper as double qualifiers. Madison also reached the finals of the 400-meter hurdles after she won her heat with a time of 1:01.06.
Seniors Victoria Strickland and Veronica Salcido will each run for the Heps title in the 800 meters at 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Running in the same heat, Strickland finished first and qualified for the final with a time of 2:08.63. Salcido used a personal-best effort to stay alongside her teammate and finished with the eighth-best time in the history of the program at 2:09.57. Only nine Quakers have ever finished two laps in under 2:10.00 and both Strickland and Salcido are among that group.
Junior Morgan Wheeler earned four points in the javelin for the Quakers. Her final throw was her best as she finished fourth with a toss of 42.51 meters (139 feet, 6 inches).
Senior Catherine Okoukoni also scored for the Red and Blue on the first day of competition. In her final Heptagonal meet, Okoukoni secured a spot in the scoring on her fifth jump and then improved to 5.64 meters (18-06 ft.) on her final attempt to finish sixth.
Junior Davielle Brown got in the scoring for Penn in the pole vault. She reached a collegiate-best 3.70 meters (12-01.50 ft.) which moved her into a tie for third all-time at Penn. Only two other competitors topped that mark. Brown, who cleared the first bar (3.55m) on her second attempt and the second bar (3.70m) on her first try, finished sixth after the tiebreakers.
In the hammer, junior Charlotte Pope posted a collegiate best with her toss of 48.63 meters (159-06 ft.). It place her eighth at the meet and imporved upon her fourth-place standing in the school record book.
The Quakers are in sixth place in the team standings following the first day of competition with six points. Cornell is in the lead after Day One with 39 points followed by Brown's 38.
A full recap of the 2012 Outdoor Heptagonal Championships will be available at PennAthletics.com shortly after the completion of Sunday's events.