Philly College Athletes at the US Olympic Track & Field Trials – Day 3

June 23, 2024 –

Day Three featured a final in the Women’s 400m where Isabella Whittaker ran for a chance to be on the Olympic team. She was the only current Philly college athlete to compete in Day Three. Let’s view the results of those from our area did in the trials.

Women’s 400m Final

Isabella Whittaker of the University of Pennsylvania made the final. She started in lane 9. Whittaker was in 8th place after the first 300m. She used her finishing kick to move up to sixth place with a time of 50.68. The three runners who will represent the United States in the event all ran a personal best in earning their trip to Paris. Kendall Ellis won the race running a time of 49.46 followed by Aaliyah Butler of Georgia (:47.71), and Alexis Holmes (:49.78). Whittaker has a personal best of :50.17 in the 400m run this season.

Note: Isabella Whittaker was later named to the team as part of the 4×400 Relay pool. She will join sister Juliette in Paris.

Graduate Level and Local Flavor

Women’s 800m

Five athletes with local ties competed in this event. There were three semifinal heats. The top two finishers in each heat and the next two fastest times would advance to the final. In the first heat Athing Mu, the reigning Olympic Champion in the 800m, ran her season best time of 1:58.84 in winning the heat. She came from behind down the stretch to cross the finish line first. The last 100m split for Mu was :14.61. She ran :58.55 in the first 400m and 1:00.29 in the last. Mu is the fastest qualifier going into the finals.

Heat Two had Ajee’ Wilson from Temple (2017) and McKenna Keegan from Villanova (2022) finished third and fourth. Their times are not fast enough to advance on times, and their trials are over. Wilson finished .14 seconds out of an automatic qualifier spot turning in a time of 2:01.25. Her splits were 1:00.29 and 1:01.96 in placing 12th overall. Keegan ran between fourth and sixth place in the race and covered the distance in 2:01.30. The former Wildcats had splits of 1:00.27 and 1:01.04 to rank 13th, one place below Wilson.

In Heat Three Nia Akins of Penn (Class of 2020) held on to second place running a time of 2:00.87 and advances. The only runner in front of her was Allie Wilson, a graduate of Strath Haven High School, who took the lead at the 400m mark and won with a time of 2:00.29. Akins’ margin of finishing second was .14 seconds. Had she not held that spot, Akins would not have advanced to the finals. Wilson is the 5th fastest runner to move on while Akins is 7th. Wilson’s splits were :59.88 and 1:00.18.

Three of the Philly five will run for a spot on the US Olympic team.

Men’s Javelin

Marc Minichello (Wharton Class of 2022) is a two-time NCAA Champion in this event. He won for Penn in 2022 and for Georgia in 2024. Minichello advanced to the finals with a throw of 70.64m in the first round. In the final his best distance was 73.07m on his final throw to finish in 8th place. Curtis Thompson threw the javelin 83.04m in his initial attempt to win the event.

Women’s Heptathlon

Erin Marsh competing unattached is the sister of Phillies outfielder Brandon Marsh is in 9th place after the first four events. She has put 3,645 points on the board. Marsh had her best point production in the 110m Hurdles scoring 1.069 points. Anna Hall is in first place after the first day of competition with 3,884 points.

Written By: Glenn Papazian


Isabella Whittaker – Photo Courtesy of Penn Athletics / Justin Tseng

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.