Temple runners had an ‘awesome weekend’ at Penn State

Temple broke a program record in the distance medley team during the Penn State National on Friday.

Senior Katie Pinson (right), sophomore Millie Howard (middle right), freshman Lucy Jones (middle left), and freshman Helene Gottlieb (left) sprint across the track during practice on Oct. 20 at the Temple Sports Complex. | MIKE NGUYEN / FILE PHOTO

Temple broke a program record to start off the Penn State National on Friday.

The distance medley team comprised of sophomore distance runner Millie Howard and freshmen Mallorie Smith, Helene Gottlieb and Lucy Jones finished with a time of 11 minutes, 42.9 seconds. The time beat Temple’s previous indoor record of 11:43.63, which was set in 2013.

Howard also won the 3,000-meter race on Saturday.

“We had an awesome weekend,” coach Elvis Forde said. “I think the kids are really starting to find their groove as the season has gone on. Two good days of some really good, solid performances from our team. So it was a good feeling on the bus, and we are excited about how the weekend went.”

Junior multis competitor Crystal Jones set a personal best at the Penn State National. She placed third in the pentathlon on Friday, scoring 3,544 for the series. Her scored placed her in the top spot for the pentathlon in the American Athletic Conference.

Temple’s underclassmen also set career marks at the Penn State National.

In addition to Howard’s first-place finish in the 3,000, freshman distance runner Michelle Joyce surpassed her personal best time by finishing in 10:10.81.

Freshman jumper Aisha Brown finished third in the high jump with a 1.65-meter leap. Erika Kinsey’s 1.88-meter jump won the event, and Penn State senior jumper Megan McCloskey placed second.

Another top finish from the weekend occurred on Friday. Junior distance runner Katie Leisher placed second in the invite-only 5,000 with a time of 17:27.29. At the Owls’ previous meet, the Great Dane Classic on Jan. 13, Leisher helped the Owls place second in the 4-x-800 relay.

“She is very, very disciplined in regard to getting herself ready and really wanting to get better,” Forde said. “That is key about our sport is you really want to get better. If you put in the time and the effort to do all the little things that you see done, it rewards you, and she is being rewarded because of her dedication”.

The Owls’ will return to action on Feb. 3 at the Villanova Invitational.

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