LEWISBURG, Pa. - Senior Catherine Okoukoni and the University of Pennsylvania underclassmen stole the spotlight at the Bison Opener Saturday. Okoukoni won the triple jump and the long jump, while a freshman made the school record books.
Okoukoni was responsible for both Penn victories at Bucknell's Gerhard Fieldhouse. She finished in a tie for first in the long jump with UMBC's Ebonique Jones. Both women landed at the 5.51 meter-mark (18 feet, 1 inch). But there was no problem distancing herself from the field in the triple jump. Okoukoni was nearly a full two feet better than the nearest competitor as she won with an impressive season-opening leap of 11.70 meters (38-04.75 ft.)
In the 60 meters, five different Quakers were under the eight-second mark and six qualified for the finals. Freshman Lydia Ali made the biggest splash in her collegiate debut with the third-fastest time in school history. She finished as the runner-up with a time of 7.66. Sophomore Gabrielle Piper, a three-time second-team All-Ivy recipient as a freshman, was sixth at 7.82. Freshman Heather Bong was seventh at 7.86.
Ali posted another second-place finish in the 200 meters. She ran to a finish of 25.80, which was just seven-hundreths of a second behind Georgetown's Tenille Stoudenmire. They were the only two competitiors under the 26-second mark. Bong was fourth at 26.33.
Piper was the only member of the Red and Blue to reach the finals of the 60-meter hurdles. She holds the school record (8.64) in the event, but was also a runner-up Saturday with her time of 8.92.
In the seldom-run 300 meters, senior Renee McDougall was also second to a member of the Hoyas. London Finley topped the entire field by two seconds as she and McDougall (41.74) were the only ones to break 42 seconds in the event.
Paige Madison garnered another top-3 finish for the Quakers during the 400 meters. The senior finished her season debut in the event with a third-place time of 58.44. Fellow senior Victoria Strickland was third in the 500 meters with her time of 1:16.15.
Behind Shakele Seaton, McDougall, Madison and Strickland, Penn won the 4x400-meter relay with a time of 3:53.07. That foursome topped two different Georgetown teams by a little more than a second.
Senior Kristen Judge opened her final indoor season at Penn with a second-place finish in the high jump. She passed the bar at 1.65 meters (5-05 ft.) and was followed by freshman Annie Holland and sophomore Morgan Wheeler, who each finished third at 1.60 meters (5-03 ft.).
In the first weight throw of the 2011-12 campaign, junior Charlotte Pope was second with a toss of 15.56 meters (51-00.75 ft.).
Juniors Jillian Hart and Davielle Brown were each able to clear 3.45 meters (11-03.75 ft.) in the pole vault to finish in a tie for third.
Freshman Pauline Dabrowski was fourth in the 1,000 meters with a time of 3:05.93, while freshman Mia Spinelli was fifth in the mile at 5:30.45.
It is the only indoor meet in the 2011 calendar year for the Quakers. The team is next in action when they make their first trip of the year to The Armory in New York, N.Y., on Jan. 15.