PHILADELPHIA (April 27, 2017) – Freshman Catherine Purves (Dalkeith, Scotland) moved into the top 10 in the country in the 400-meter hurdles on Thursday, as her performance led the way for the Franklin Pierce University track & field team on the first full day of the prestigious Penn Relays The Ravens women also fielded two relay teams on the day, while senior B.J. Smith (Concord, N.H.) represented the men's squad in the 5000 meters at historic Franklin Field.
Purves was the story of the day for the Ravens, as she scorched around the track in a time of 59.96 seconds to finish 11th in the 400-meter hurdles. The time moves Purves into a tie for sixth in the country and lowers the East Region's lowest time, which she already possessed. The mark is just 1.01 seconds off the NCAA Championships automatic qualifying mark. Purves is the first runner in Franklin Pierce history to break the one-minute mark in the event.
Purves also ran the lead leg on Franklin Pierce's 4x400-meter relay team, where she was followed by junior Danielle Crawford (Lowell, Mass.), junior Alexa Cassara (Bay Shore, N.Y.) and senior Nicole Galewski (Whitman, Mass.). The quartet finished 59th, with a time of 4:04.45, which is currently good enough to rank fifth in the Northeast-10 Conference and sixth in the East Region.
The Ravens also fielded a team in the women's 4x100-meter relay, where they finished 63rd, with a time of 49.67 seconds. The lineup consisted of senior Breigh Souliere (Cumberland, R.I.), freshman Kaitlyn Paquin (Dexter, Maine), senior Samantha Toscano (Northwood, N.H.) and freshman Ariana Alvarado (Naugatuck, Conn.).
Meanwhile, for the men, Smith put together a time of 15:16.47 to finish 78th in the 5000 meters. The time currently ranks seventh in the NE10 and eighth in the East Region.
Franklin Pierce will continue its trip to The Athens of America on Friday, with a pair of entries on the penultimate day of the Penn Relays. On the men's side of things, the Ravens will field a spring medley relay team in the Championship of America Invitational. On the women's front, Lilian Baah will partake in the triple jump.
For more information on Franklin Pierce Athletics, please visit the official website of Franklin Pierce Athletics (http://athletics.franklinpierce.edu). Also be sure to follow the Ravens through the Department of Athletics' official Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/FranklinPierceRavens), its YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/franklinpiercesports) and its Twitter feed (http://twitter.com/FPUathletics). Fans wishing to purchase Franklin Pierce track and field apparel can do so at the Department of Athletics' brand new online store (http://athletics.franklinpierce.edu/store).