McNaney Wins At Penn Relays In Dominating Fashion

Philadelphia, Pa. -- Liberty University senior Danielle McNaney led from the first event on Tuesday and cruised to victory in the women's heptathlon, becoming the first champion of the 2005 Penn Relay Carnival.

McNaney (Sr., Gardner, Kansas) finished in first place in five of the seven events over the two days of competition, with a final total of 5,504 points, ninth best all-time for the heptathlon in Penn Relays history, and a commanding 458 points ahead of second-place Coraly Ortiz of Puerto Rico's Universidad del Este.

The 5504 points was not only an automatic NCAA qualifying mark and a USA Track and Field qualifying mark, but it set a Liberty and Big South Conference record, erasing the old mark by 150 points.

"This is awesome," said McNaney, who was competing in her first heptathlon at Penn. "The biggest battle for a heptathlete is having decent marks in a big meet. You just do enough to where it comes down to the 800 (meters), and then gut it out."

All McNaney had to do was stay close to the field in the 800 to clinch the win. But she sprinted to the front at the gun and ran off to score her personal best total for the event.

McNaney recorded personal bests in the high jump (5 feet, 7 inches) and in the shot put (37 feet, 9 1/2 inches), and finished first in three of the first day's events, the 100-meter hurdles (14.29 seconds), high jump and 200 meters (25.81). On Wednesday, she led the field in the long jump (18 feet, 1/2 inch) and the 800, while throwing the javelin 139 feet.

"I had been training for the 800; I knew I was in shape to run it," McNaney said. "If the field beat me, it beat me."

But no one in the nine women field would do that this year.

McNaney's 5504-point total was the highest score for a college heptathlon at the Penn Relays since 1997.

With her performance, McNaney currently ranks second in the nation in the heptathlon.

Fellow Lady Flames' teammate, Arlene Zelinskas, finished seventh in the two day competition, compiling 4374 points. Zelinskas finished second in the 100m hurdles with a time of 14.98, third in the 200m dash, running 26.19 and fourth in the high jump with a height of 5'1".

After day one of the two day meet, Brandon Hoskins held a comfortable lead, leading second place by over 200 points; however, Hoskins bruised his heal in the 100m hurdles.

Hoskins was able to participate in the discus throw, as he finished third, but had to withdrawal from competition after that event.

The Penn Relays will resume tomorrow morning as the College Women 400m Hurdles "Championship" is slated to begin at 10 a.m.