Track & Field kicks off 121st Penn Relays

The women’s track & field team began action at the Penn Relays as Temple’s lone track team for the first time in program history.

For the first time in program history, the women’s track & field team traveled to Franklin Field as the only team representing Temple University.

Aside from cross country runners Matt Kacyon and Alex Izewski, who were competing as part of their offseason eligibility, the women’s team was in the spotlight to represent Temple at one of the largest track & field competitions in the world.

The first day of competition for the 121st Penn Relays began on Thursday as teams from all over the globe braved the cold, wind and rain for a chance to carve their names into the history books.

Kicking off the day for the Owls were the 400-meter hurdles, where freshman Attallah Goodman claimed sixth in the first heat of the competition. Her time of 1 minute, 4.57 seconds placed her at 46th overall for the event.

“Attallah improved upon her performance last year [in high school],” first-year head coach Elvis Forde said. “There is a trick to the Penn Relays [on] how the track is set up and it makes it a little challenging sometimes.”

Three heats later, senior Kaitlyn McSurdy claimed ninth in 1:05.34, placing her 52nd overall in the event.

In the high jump, junior Jamila Janneh faulted on all three of her attempts and thus did not move on to the next stage of competition in the event.

The 4×100-meter relay team of sophomores Jimmia McCluskey and Bionca St. Fleur, and juniors Courtney Mitchell and Demeshia Davis placed third in the ninth heat with a mark of 47.91 seconds. The team placed 36th overall out of almost 100 relays in the event.

In the long jump, sophomore Jimmia McCluskey placed eighth overall with her mark of 5.62 meters.

In the same event, St. Fleur placed 35th overall with her mark of 5.30 meters, while senior Kiersten LaRoche placed 48th with her mark of 5.07 meters.

The 4×400-meter relay team of senior Hollis Coleman, Davis, sophomore Kenya Gaston, and senior Michelle Davis-Timothy placed 34th overall with their time of 3:53.88.

As part of his offseason meet eligibility, redshirt-junior Matt Kacyon placed 12th overall in the college men’s 3000-meter steeplechase championship with his time of 9:10.11.

In the women’s 10,000-meter run, senior Jenna Dubrow placed eighth with her time of 35:21.46.

Also using one of his five allotted meets was junior Alex Izewski, who placed fifth overall in the men’s 10,000-meter run with his time of 29:58.15. This event concluded the first day of competition for Temple.

“I think that [the team] ran well based on the conditions that we had today,” Forde said. “[It was] very cold [and] windy, but you know, that’s track & field and you just have to learn how to handle it.”

The Owls will kick off the second day of competition on Friday with Janneh and sophomore Sydnee Jacques in the triple jump at 9:30 a.m.

Tyler DeVice can be reached at or on Twitter @tyler_device.

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