Temple’s two most accomplished performances happened to occur on the first day of the three-day marathon event that is the Penn Relays.
Senior Travis Mahoney finished with a silver medal in the men’s 3,000-meter steeplechase championship, placing with a time of 8 minutes and 48.18 seconds. Mahoney was runner up to Indiana’s Andrew Poore, currently the top-ranked steeple runner at the American collegiate level.
Freshman thrower Margo Britton shined in her Penn Relays debut, throwing for a distance of 51 feet 6.5 inches in the women’s shot-put and placing second. To add to that, she broke her own school record of 49-4.
The performance continued a stellar freshman season, one that yielded an Atlantic Ten Conference Rookie of the Week Award for the week of April 2. Britton would cap off her day with a 15th place finish in the women’s discus throw with a distance of 140-5.
The women’s field events continued to impress as senior thrower Alanna Owens placed second in the shot-put eastern with a throw of 47-3. Freshman jumper Kiersten LaRoche also made an impressive Penn Relays debut with Temple, placing eighth in the long jump eastern with a jump of 18-7.
Some of the Temple men competing in their respective field events proved their worth as well.
Sophomore jumper Darryl McDuffle and senior jumper Tim Malloy tied for fourth and seventh respectively in the high jump eastern. McDuffle posted a jump of 6 feet 9.75 inches while Malloy jumped for a height of 6-6.75.
Senior thrower Brian Littlepage competed in the men’s discus throw Friday, April 27 and placed 28th with a throw of 148-4. He then participated in the men’s hammer throw Saturday, April 28 and finished 17th with a distance of 162-6.
Mahoney was the only representative on the men’s side to perform on Thursday, April 26, and even though it wasn’t one of his best outings, he still achieved an important goal.
“We were hoping to get him a qualifying time for regionals going in,” distance coach Matt Jelley said. “That was the main goal going in and we accomplished that.”
Despite the fulfillment of the regionals goal, the post-race reaction of the race wasn’t all positive.
“I think I had just been too ambitious and excited,” Mahoney said. “[Poore] is the best in the nation right now in that event, and I think I put too much pressure on myself to try to beat him. I just went out way too fast and it cost me.”
“After reflecting a little and seeing what I have to improve on, I’m not completely disappointed, but it wasn’t at all what I wanted to run,” Mahoney added.
In other events, the men’s distance medley relay, consisting of redshirt senior Louis Parisi, senior Alan Harding, sophomore Will Kellar and Mahoney, finished second in the ‘B’ heat of the College Men’s Distance Medley Relay Championship of America on Friday, April 27. Harding moved up from fifth to second in the 400-meter leg in a furious last 200 meters, and the final two legs in Kellar and Mahoney held the spot.
Sophomore Dylan Pensyl and junior Josh McFrazier teamed up with sophomores Tyreece Clayton and Carlton Stafford to finish 33rd overall in Friday’s 4×200m relay race with a mark of 1:29.46. The relay was listed as an alternate in Saturday’s Intercollegiate Association of Amateur Athletes of America final race and ultimately did not run.
Temple’s 4x100m relay was a different story.
Consisting of McFrazier, Pensyl, sophomore Alex McGee and junior Damian Myers, the Owls placed 35th overall with a time of 41.98 seconds in Friday’s College Men’s 4x100m relay.
The finish was good enough for qualification in the IC4A final race. After becoming the first team to win the event last year, Temple’s 2012 version of the 4x100m relay did not fare as well. Despite featuring two runners from last year’s squad in Pensyl and McGee, they were the last to cross with a time of 42.5 seconds.
The men’s 4×400m relay finished as the runners-up in the Wetzler, Pa., heat Friday. McGee, Harding, Myers and sophomore Lionel Wilson combined for a time of 3:17.16 and finished ahead of rival St. Joseph’s, which finished third.
Overall, the Owls’ performance was enough to impress Jelley and, according to the assistant coach, the city of Philadelphia.
“The way I see it, the Penn Relays is Philadelphia,” Jelly said. “To represent ourselves in our own city means a lot. To come here and see Temple really show up at the Penn Relays is a good thing.”
“Running in our own city really motivates our runners,” Jelley added. “This is our town and we know that there are going to be a lot of Temple people and alumni here and to show them how good we’re getting is important for our program.”
Drew Parent can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.