PHILADELPHIA - The Saint Joseph's women's track and field team kicked off its first day of the 2014 Penn Relays on Thursday afternoon.The Hawks were represented in two relays and the long jump.
Junior Kati Polaski recorded a season-best mark of 5.43m in the long jump to place 16th in a field of 27 competitors.
"The Penn Relays is the closest thing we have to a home meet," said Polaski following her event on Thursday afternoon. "We don’t have to travel to it or anything, so you’re legs are really good going into it and the crowd is all around, so it’s really good. I felt a little shaky going into it, but after I got into it, it was good. It feels good to have it going into the conference meet."
The Penn Relays will serve as Saint Joseph's final opportunity to compete before the 2014 Atlantic 10 Outdoor Track and Field Championships next weekend at UMass.
Saint Joseph's also posted relay finishes in the 4x4 and DMR.
Making their collegiate debuts at the Penn Relays, rookies Ashley Gerald, Katie Koss, and anchor leg Courtney Foster joined senior captain Mercedes Yanora in the 4x4. The group boasted Saint Joseph's second-fastest performance of the season in 3:51.73 to place 41st out of 72 teams.
"It was really great competition," said Yanora "I liked having those two girls to push me and carry me through. It was exhilarating and I did like it."
"It was a great experience," added Gerald after returning to the Penn Relays for the first time as a collegiate athlete. "It's a great facility, and to do it with my teammates, I couldn't ask for anything better."
The DMR of sophomore Lauren Hehir, senior Jaclyn Kogut, sophomore Sara Radzwilka, and senior Lizzy Barrett took 15th out of 19 in 12:01.63. Hehir ran the 1200m split in 3:41.69, followed by Kogut's 400m split of 1:02.76 and Radzwilka's 800m split of 2:20.69. Barrett anchored the 1600m leg in 4:36.50 en route to the 15th-place finish.