Women’s sprint medley team takes first, breaks school record at Penn Relays

By Morgan Miller
April 30, 2009

Megan Pellegrino

The Cavalier track team participated in the 115th running of the Penn Relays at the University of Pennsylvania.

The Penn Relays began on Tuesday, April 21, and lasted four days at Franklin Field.

This is one of track and field’s biggest competitions with 22,000 entrants from more than 60 countries worldwide.

The Penn Relays run an average of one race every five minutes over 33 hours of competition.

“Since it is late in our season we all have our minor aches and pains but this competition was so important to all of us we weren’t going to let that stop us,” sophomore Dana Nardello said.

The women’s 4x400m relay dominated on Thursday, finishing first in the Collegiate Track Conference heat.

The team consisted of junior Christiana Taylor, freshman Shakeya Singleton-Ladson, senior Leslie Williams and freshman Quiana Volney.

The group clocked 4:01:10, resulting in the top time.

Junior Nailah Smith, freshman Alexander Van Tuyl, Singleton-Ladson and Williams earned eighth place in the number five heat for the 4x100m relay.

The relay team completed the race in 49.60 seconds.

Sophomore Eddie Penetar completed the 5000m run in 14:52:79, qualifying him for the ECAC Championship.

“The fact that there were around 50 kids in my heat both helped and hurt me,” Penetar said. “It helped me because I had people to chase but it hurt me because I had to spend a lot of energy passing people.”

On Friday, the determined team concluded their participation in the Penn Relays.

Williams, Taylor, Singleton-Ladson and Nardello earned a school-record time in the Sprint Medley Championship of America.

“The sprint medley relay was later at night so it was cold,” Nardello said. “We had already run earlier so we were a little tired but we still managed to break the school record.”

The sprint medley Championship of America mainly consists of Division I teams.

The group finished 29th overall, ahead of Division I teams such as James Madison and Fordham.

The Cavalier women topped the school record time by 10 seconds, clocking in at 4:10:40.

“We knew what we needed to do against these big schools and we did it, we beat some records and worked really hard to come out successful at the end of the day,” Nardello said.

Taylor, Williams, Singleton-Ladson and Tuyl finished the 4x200m relay in 1:40:92, .05 seconds short of a school record.

“The weather was perfect for the 4×200, [which] helped us run well,” Nardello said. “Everyone was ready to run, and we ran well as a team.”

Cabrini finished 44th overall after competing against Division I schools such as Colgate and Princeton.

“The track and field team at Cabrini is a talented group,” Alicia L. R. Blanding, sophomore biology and pre-med major, said.

“[The team] will be reaching higher heights with the help of the unwavering coaching staff and the highly gifted student-athletes. We may lose some, we may gain some but this is a team that is here to stay,” Blanding said.

Thursday resulted in Cabrini finishing first in the Collegiate Track Conference heat of the 4x400m relay, earning its first plaque all-time.

“Its a long season with a lot of time and hard work put into it by the coaches and all of my teammates. We work hard day in and day out and going into these big meets we knew what we needed to do to get the job done,” Nardello said.

Williams advices all aspiring athletes, “Just work hard and remain positive.”

The track team will try to continue their successful season on Friday, May 1, and Saturday, May 2, at Princetion Universtiy.

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Morgan Miller

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