Nia Akins Takes Second in Women’s 800 Meters
Anna Peyton Malizia Places Third in the High Jump
In the final day of competition in the NCAA Track & Field Championships the University of Pennsylvania scored with a second and third place finish to earn 14 team points tying for 17th place in the meet. Nia Akins was the national runner-up in the 800 meters, and senior Anna Peyton Malizia set a program record finishing third in the high jump.
Villanova had two competitors as Sanaa Barnes competed in the high jump and Caroline Alcorta was in the final of the 5000 meters.
Penn junior Nia Akins made a charge down the stretch but could not get past Texas A&M runner Jazmine Fray and placed second in the event. Akins recorded a personal best time of 2:01.67 in hot conditions at the track. Fray recorded a season-best 2:01.31 in winning the championship.
Starting in Lane 5 Akins was in fourth place after the first 400 meters. She picked it up in the back stretch and got to second chasing Fray who took the lead. Around the last turn Akins was outside the right shoulder of Fray stretching for the lead. Fray did not let her get past and pulled away in the last few meters to secure the win, her last NCAA race.
Peyton Malizia set a school record in the high jump as she cleared 1.84 meters, good for third place and 6 points for the Red and Blue.
It was the only event that saw a Quaker and a Wildcat was the high jump. Sanaa Barnes of Villanova, a freshman that is also a member of the volleyball team, was tied for 6th place making the attempt at 1.81 meters. Barnes posted 2.5 points on the scoreboard for Nova who had 6.5 points overall.
Zarriea Willis of Texas Tech won the high jump title going over the bar at 1.87 meters by fewer misses over North Carolina’s Nicole Greene.
In the 5000 meters Nova senior Caroline Alcorta finished in 11th place covering the distance in 16:18.66. Dani Jones of Colorado was the top finisher with a time of 15:50.65. Alcorta was in the top-six with 11 laps to go. With 5 laps remaining Alcorta faded into the chase pack. She maintained her position to finish three places outside a scoring position. Alcorta earned 4 points for the team in the 10.000 meters on Thursday.
Ashley Anumba was in the Discus Throw for Penn. Her best throw was 49.60 meters getting 21st place.
Arkansas won the women’s team title over Southern California by a 64 – 57 margin. In the women’s 100 meter dash Sha’ Carri Richardson of LSU set a collegiate record crossing the finish line with a time of 10.75.
The night before Texas Tech won the men’s team championship 60 – 50 over Florida. In the 110 meter Hurdles Grant Holloway of Florida set a collegiate record of 12.98 breaking the record of Renaldo Nehemiah who ran the distance in 13 seconds in 1979.
Local athletes Akins, Peyton Malizia, Alcorta, and Barnes earned First Team All-America status. Anumba was Honorable Mention All-America. Casey Comber was first-team All-American on the men’s competition.
Written By: Glenn Papazian