Quartet of Quakers advance to NCAA track and field championships

Four members of the women’s track and field team will compete in the NCAA Championships in June, a program record.

Penn track and field
Anna Peyton Malizia

Competing at the NCAA East Region Prelims in Tampa, Fla., from May 24-26, four members of the women’s track and field team advanced to the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships, which will run June 6-9 in Eugene, Ore.

With a throw of 61.34m, rising senior Rachel Lee Wilson finished 11th in the hammer throw to punch her ticket to the Beaver State. (The top 12 finishers in the East Prelims advance to the NCAAs.) A First-Team All-Ivy selection in the hammer throw, Wilson, a Flossmoor, Ill. native, is the first hammer thrower in women’s track and field history to advance to the NCAA Championships.

Rachel Lee Wilson
Rachel Lee Wilson

Nia Akins, a rising junior from San Diego, Calif., raced to third in the 800m to survive and advance. Her time of 2:04.97 set a new Penn record. Akins, a First-Team All-Ivy honoree in the 800m, has bested her personal 800m record four times during the current season.

A rising sophomore from Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., Ashley Anumba placed fifth in the discus with a throw of 54.11m. Anumba, a First-Team All-Ivy selection, is also second all-time at Penn in the indoor shot put.

Nia Akins
Nia Akins

Tampa native Anna Peyton Malizia soared to a height of 1.80m in the high jump, which tied for eighth. The rising senior and First-Team All-Ivy awardee broke her own Penn record on her way to Oregon. Malizia was also the 2018 Ivy League Indoor Heps Champion in the high jump, which made her the first indoor high jump champion in Penn history.

The four qualifiers for the NCAA Championships are a program record. They will compete at the University of Oregon’s Hayward Field.