April 28, 2011
STORRS, Conn. - The world famous Penn Relays take place this weekend at Franklin Field in Philadelphia, Pa. and the UConn women's track and field team is set to run in front of thousands of track enthusiasts. Senior All-American Trisha-Ann Hawthorne will compete in the 4x100m relay and the 100m dash.
Fans can watch live events through a pay service located on the Penn Relays official website by CLICKING HERE.
Hawthorne enters the meet as the most decorated sprinter in BIG EAST history with 15 BIG EAST titles to her name. Earlier this season, she became the first sprinter in BIG EAST history, men or women, to win the 60m and 200m indoor titles in three consecutive seasons.
"The 4x800 championship of america event will place our relay entrants against the best teams in the country. It should be stellar as Leah Andrianos, Megan Cunningham, Brigitte Mania and Heather Wilson represent the finest group of middle distance runners to ever run for our team. There is great anticipation as this will be the final 'race-ready' test prior to championship season."
Head Coach William Morgan
"Trisha is running against all the top sprinters in the country. It will be good for her to run against the best because she puts up good times on her own, but she'll perform that much better against this group. This is basically a preview of the NCAA Championship," said Associate Head Coach Clive Terrelonge.
Hawthorne currently ranks 21st in the NCAA in the 100m with a top time of 11.31. She faces a stacked field in the 100m with 12 of the top-30 sprinters in the nation competing, including the number two, four, six and seventh ranked 100m specialists.
Last season, Hawthorne was part of the record-setting 4x100m relay team that set a new ECAC Championship record at the Penn Relays, running 44.94.
The 4x100m relay team will look to continue its success at the Penn Relays this year with a pair of freshman, one sophomore and anchored by Hawthorne.
UConn will lead with sophomore Kristen Brown who has ran a top 100m time of 12.02. She will be followed by freshmen Celina Emerson and Madalayne Smith. Both Emerson and Smith competed with the UConn 4x100m relay at the Larry Ellis Invitational (46.36) and the UConn All-Region Invitational (47.14). Hawthorne will anchor.
The 4x400m relay will feature a quartert of underclassmen, leading off with freshman Tiffany Daley. She's followed by Emerson and classmate Imani Sudlow. Daley owns a top time of 57.44 while Emerson has the top 400m time of the season at 55.87. Sudlow ran a top time during the outdoor season with 56.62.
Sophomore Ana Groff will anchor the 4x400m relay. She comes into the Penn Relays having been a part of the 4x400 relay team that ran 3:45.09 at the Larry Ellis Invitational.
"We expect great things from the relays this weekend. Although they are young, we've always done well here and our relay teams have a history of performing at the top level. Trisha will lead the charge with the other young ladies following her lead. We expect nothing less than the best, because we are competing against some of the best athletes in the country and the world," added Terrelonge.
Connecticut will also compete in the 4x800m relay. UConn will enter a crop of some of the finest and most decorated mid-distance runners in UConn history.
Last season, the Penn Relays drew over 117,000 fans over the three-day event, including over 54,000 on the final day.
"We're really excited about the Penn Relays. It's always exciting and we get geared up for a meet at this level. We are hoping to make a run at winning the 4x800 but there are a group of excellent teams in the field. It's a great kickoff for the upcoming Championship season as well," said Distance Coach Andrea Grove-McDonough.
Connecticut will enter the current foursome that holds the UConn outdoor 4x800 relay record at 8:41.78. Three of the four runners earned All-America honors at the NCAA Indoor Championships as part of UConn's distance medley relay team which placed 12th. All four members of the relay team boast top-20 800m times in the BIG EAST Conference.
Senior All-American Leah Andrianos will open for UConn. She ran a top time of 2:08.57 at the Larry Ellis Invitational. Andrianos will hand off to sophomore All-American Brigitte Mania. Mania owns the fourth-best time in the BIG EAST this season at 2:07.15. Senior Meghan Cunningham currently sports the 18th-ranked time in the Conference, running 2:10.66. She will hand to the anchor and the fourth-place finisher at the NCAA Indoor Championship, Heather Wilson. Wilson ran 2:05.18 at the NCAA Championships.
The rest of the UConn student-athletes will compete at the Brown Springtime Open on Sunday, May 1.