Nine entered and now only one remains.
The Quakers went into last week’s NCAA Track & Field Championship meet in Jacksonville, Fla., with a majority of the athletes needing career performances to advance. Of the four men and five women who competed, only sophomore high jumper Maalik Reynolds advanced to the next round of competition.
The two-time All-American Reynolds — heavily favored to advance as the sixth overall seed — qualified for the semifinals by clearing the bar at 2.19 meters. He and 11 other jumpers will compete again in Des Moines, Iowa, in June.
Seniors Ryan Cunningham and Brian Fulton, however, did not fare as well as their underclassman teammate and were unable to improve on their seed times to advance past the round of 48. Fulton, who ran the 800-meters, placed 41st overall, and Cunningham finished last in the 1,500-meters.
In the shot put, sophomore Jake Brenza capped a historic season with a disappointing performance at the championship meet, fouling on all three of his attempts and thus failing to register a score.
On the women’s side, only senior Victoria Strickland reached the quarterfinals, grabbing the last qualifying spot in the 800-meter race, but fell just short of qualifying for the semifinals. She finished her career as a Quaker as one of the most decorated athletes in Penn history.
Fellow seniors and school record holders in their respective events, Kristen Judge (high jump) and Paige Madison (400H), missed their career marks and did not qualify for the quarterfinals. Judge nearly broke her own school record, but ultimately could not clear the bar set at 1.77 meters. She finished 23rd overall at 1.72 meters.
Juniors Morgan Wheeler (javelin) and Jillian Hart (pole vault) were both far behind their seed marks and did not advance. Hart could not clear the opening bar, which was set at a height of 3.65 meters, much higher than at a typical regular season meet.
The juniors, however, both have another season to improve on their already impressive careers as Quakers and will likely return to the championship meet next year.
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