Three Athletes and a Relay Team Qualify Participate in the National Championship Meet
May 28, 2023
The East Regional outdoor track and field meet in Jacksonville, FL wrapped up on Saturday with their final rounds in the women’s competition. Two runners from Villanova earned a starting spot in Austin, and a high jumper moves on as well. Penn will send a relay team to Texas.
3000 Meters Steeplechase
The best event on the day for Philly collège runners in terms of who will run in the national championship is the 300m Steeplechase. The top-twelve runners move on to Texas. The fastest local qualifier is Olivia Morganti from Penn who ran a personal best time of 9:59.41. She finished in fifth place. Crossing the finish line just behind Morganti is Villanova’s Lydia Olivere covering the distance in 9:50.60. They will race again. Anna Helwigh of Villanova placed 27th running a 10:32.55. She did not qualify for the next round.
4 x 400 Relay
The University of Pennsylvania team of Isabella Whittaker, Jocelyn Niemiec, Moforehan Abinusawa, and Christiana Nwachuku advances on time running a 3:34.93, ninth best overall. There were 3 heats. The top-three from each heat and the next three fastest times moved on.
Roschell Clayton from Villanova cleared the bar at 1.82m, her personal best. Clayton tied for fourth overall. She got the needed height on her first and only jump of the day.
Three local runners participated in the 800 Meters run, but none will move on the the NCAA Championship meet. There were three heats and the top-three in each heat and the next three fastest times were the ultimate goal. Madison Martinez of Villanova had the best local time of 2:05.97, fourteenth overall. Penn’s Browyn Patterson got 18th place running a 2:07.46. Wildcats runner Micah Trusty turned in a 2:07.65 time and placed 20th.
In the 1500 Meters Run Laura Nicholson of Temple trailed the pack and hit the finish line in 4:23.68.
Isabella Whittaker represented Penn in the 400m. She was 13th overall, but her time of 53.40 did not qualify her to advance. Three heats were run with the top three finishers in each race plus the next three fastest times qualified for Austin. Whittaker finished fifth in her heat.
Elizabeth Mancini of La Salle qualified for the next round in the 10,000m. She will not advance in the 5000m as she finished 33rd in 16:28.55.
In the field Penn’s Tamara Grahovac had a distance of 12.86m in the triple jump. She placed 23rd overall to conclude her season.
The championship meet will take place from June 7 – 10 in Austin, TX.
Written By: Glenn Papazian