PHILADELPHIA – The Haverford College men's and women's track & field programs competed in this weekend's biggest track event as both teams traveled to the The Penn Relays. Featuring some of the best runners spanning high school through the professional ranks, this year marked the historic 125th anniversary of the oldest and largest track & field competition in the United States.
Under the lights of Franklin Field, distance night is always a highlight of The Penn Relays as two of Haverford's All-Americans were competing on Thursday night on the men's side. Indoor track & field national champion Greg Morgan closed Haverford's day in the 5,000 meters as he crossed the line in a time of 14:20.29 which stands as the third fastest time in all of Division III so far this season. That time also ranks sixth in program history. It tops his previous personal best by nearly 10 seconds and is over four seconds quicker than his closest Centennial Conference peer this season. He placed 16th overall in his Penn Relays heat.
Graham Peet got distance night started for the Fords as he competed in a steeplechase field that was filled with Division I athletes. Nevertheless, Peet finished 15th in his heat with a time of 9:16.57. Although not a personal best for the returning third-place finisher at last year's NCAA Division III Championships, Peet's most recent time was still solidly ahead of any other runner in the Centennial Conference outside of teammate Ryan Herlihy as that pairing is ranked eighth and ninth nationally coming into the final weeks of the season.
Haverford's women's track & field team got the day started with a pair of relays. Competing first in the 4x100 meter heats, the relay of Marisa Antinori, Jessica Lopez, Naomi Fukuda, and Jasmine Reed overcame a tough exchange to keep the baton alive with an eventual time of 55.58 seconds. Despite not having its best time of the season on Thursday, the Fords' 4x100 team is still looking forward to a successful postseason as it ranks fourth in the Centennial Conference and is less than half a second away from the top spot in the conference.
Later in the afternoon, the Fords' 4x400 relay took to the track for the Centennial/MAC Race. Lopez also competed in this relay as she was joined in the evening by Ruanna Small, Kerry Quigley, and Julia Coletti. Haverford's 4x400 meter relay finished with a time of 4:13.29 to place seventh overall. Small turned in the best 400 meter split of that group at 1:02.08. Thursday's time was just off of the team's best mark which was set at the Bill Butler Invitational and currently stands as the fifth quickest time in the conference this season.
Competing only on Thursday during the three-day track & field festival, Haverford's men will have the rest of the weekend away from competition as they set their sights on the Centennial Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championships which run from Friday, May 3 through Sunday, May 5 at Muhlenberg. The women's team will have select individuals compete at the TCNJ Invitational this Saturday before turning its full attention to the conference championship.