Philly Colleges at the NCAA Women’s Outdoor Track & Field Championships Day One

Whittaker Advances to the 400m Final – Parker Valby of Florida Sets a Meet Record in the 10000 M

June 6, 2024 –

It was day one for women’s athletes to compete on Hayward Field trying for a spot or for a national title. From Philadelphia schools there were four runners and two relay teams taking to the track; Isabella Whittaker, Olivia Morganti, Lily Murphy all from Penn and Villanova distance runner Sadie Sigfstead. The Quakers 4 x 100 and 4 x 400 Relay teams competed.

Murphy and Sigfstead competed in the 10000m final, a meet record setting event. Whittaker moves on the the final in the 400m. Wildcats high jumper Roschell Clayton jumps on Saturday as does Murphy.

Let’s take a look at the details from the meet.

Women’s 400m

Isabella Whittaker of Penn will run in the national championship final. She is an automatic qualifier finishing second in her heat running a 51.05 time. Whittaker is the eighth fastest qualifier. Amber Anning of Arkansas won the heat in 50.67. The top three qualifiers are Arkansas Razorback runners; Kaylyn Brown (49.82), Nickisha Pryce (49.87), and Rosey Effiong (50.42).

Isabella’s sister Juliette running for Stanford moved on to the final in the 800m race.

Women’s 10000m

In the only final on the track Philly had two runners compete as Penn’s Lily Murphy and Villanova’s Sadie Sigfstead took to the starting line. Both athletes set their personal best this season. Murphy ran a 32:45.56. Sigfstead covered the distance in 32:40.92.

The result – a meet record breaking performance by Parker Valby.

The race started slow as the runners bunched early. Eventually the lead pack pulled away with collegiate record holder Valby being part of that group along with Parker Roe and Hilda Olemomoi with 13 laps remaining. Just before the 6000m mark Sigfstead was in 15th place, Murphy in 16th.

Valby separated herself from the other runners with 3 laps remaining. She won it in meet record time of 31.46.09. Olemomoi finished second covering the distance in 31:51.89 a personal best. The next four runners also ran a personal best: Roe (Oklahoma State 32:17.45), Molly Born (Oklahoma State 32:27.18), Chloe Scrimgeour (Georgetown 32:29.44), and Jenna Hutchins (BYU 32:44.05). Paityn Noe (Arkansas), Dani Barrett (UC Davis), and Gabby Hentemann (Oklahoma State) also set their collegiate-best times.

Sigfstead turned in a time of 33:18.63 to place 12th. Her best split was in the third lap running a 1:16.95. The Wildcat ran well at the end of the race.

Murphy did not finish the race, stopping after the 6800m mark. She will compete in the 5000m final on Saturday.

Women’s 4 x 100 Relay

The University of Pennsylvania ran in Heat 1. The top two finishers in each heat plus the next three fastest times move to the championship round. Penn finished 4th in the heat running a time of 43.88. Ole Miss won the heat with a season best time of 42.22, the fastest qualifying time. The Quakers placed 17th overall and will pass the baton in the sprint race no longer this season. A very successful season for the Red and Blue.

Women’s 4 x 400 Relay

Penn competed in heat 3, lane 8, the final of the heats. The two top finishers and the next three fastest times would go to the final. The defending champion in this event and the collegiate record holder Arkansas ran in this heat.

The Quakers finished in fourth place in this race running a time of 3:30.56 behind top qualifier Arkansas (3:25.51), Texas (3:27.79) and UCLA. However the Quakers were disqualified for passing the baton over the line during the second pass.

In this race the Whittaker sisters competed, not running a leg against each other. USC was in contention, but dropped the baton in the third leg to finish 8th. Fellow Ivy League school Harvard was scheduled to run in Heat 1, but scratched prior to the race.

The season concludes for the relay team, a season with much accomplished.

Women’s 3000m Steeplechase

Olivia Morganti of Penn took to the starting line. The top 5 finishers in each heat plus the next two fastest times qualified the athlete to run in the NCAA Championship race. Morganti was in Heat 1. She ran the distance in 10:19.94 placing 11th in her heat and 22nd overall. Doris Lemngole of Alabama won the heat and is the fastest qualifier turning in a performance of 9:38.69, 10 seconds faster than the second top time of 9:48.48 run by Laura Taborda of Arkansas.

Morganti was in fifth place at the second water jump. The Quaker distance runner would fade to the back of the back over the last two laps. Morganti had a split of 1:17.88 in lap 3, the fastest for that lap. Her last split was 1:29.60. Lemngole had the best split times over from lap 4 to the end of the race.

The men’s final events are up next with the women’s title races and events take place on Saturday.

Written By: Glenn Papazian


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