While the weather might still be cold in Philadelphia, the spring season is heating up quickly for the Penn track and field program.
Over spring break, the Quakers had a full schedule of training and events to get them prepared for the long outdoor season to come.
On Friday, Penn senior Maalik Reynolds competed in the high jump in the NCAA National Championship Meet. The Red and Blue’s three-time All-American finished ninth in the sixteen-man field.
After two jumps, Reynolds was tied for second with twelve jumpers remaining in the competition, but the senior failed to clear the 2.20-meter mark in the third round.
“I thought Maalik competed very well,” Director of Track and Field Steve Dolan said. “With the high jumps, clearing one additional height changes your position in the standings so quickly, and I know that Maalik certainly has the capability to go even higher.”
Reynolds will now look to round out his illustrious career with one final outdoor track stretch where he has already qualified for multiple NCAA Championships.
The rest of the Penn track and field program returned to action recently, as the team traveled down to Florida for its annual week of spring break training.
“I think the team had a great time over our week of training,” Dolan said. “It’s a great opportunity for them to train as a program without having to worry about their academic responsibilities and really allows them to foster a sense of team unity. “
At the end of the week of training, the team competed in the University of South Florida Open. In their first meet of the young spring season, the Quakers compiled an impressive resume of early season results.
Personal bests and top-10 all-time finishes dominated the score sheets for the Quakers.
In the 400-meter race junior Lydia Ali ran a personal best of 55.44 seconds , which was good enough for fifth all-time for Penn, and sophomore Rachel Hlatky placed herself in tenth all-time with a personal best time of 56.24 seconds.
Freshman Noel Jancewicz also reached a personal record in her first collegiate outdoor event by running the 200 spring in a time of 25.69 seconds .
The freshman tandem of Ashley Montgomery and Cleo Whiting both ran their best mile times of the year, with Montgomery clocking in at 4:38.10 and Whiting at 4:38.37.
The Quakers also put forward some impressive performances in the meet’s field events.
Freshman Nailah Hill threw herself into tenth on Penn’s all-time discus list with a throw of 42.17 meters , and in the men’s shot, sophomore Sam Mattis broke his way into Penn’s top ten with a personal best throw of 16.19 meters.
Junior Marcus LaRoche also had an excellent performance in the men’s shot, as his throw of 16.51 meters landed him in seventh all-time for Penn.
“It’s been our philosophy that the indoor season builds toward our outdoor season, and I think we saw the results of that this weekend,” Dolan said. “It was a great opportunity for our athletes to get geared up for the outdoor competitions, and I think we looked really sharp in all of our events.”
Upon their return to campus, the Quakers will host the Philadelphia College Classic next Saturday at Franklin Field, where the team will look to continue the impressive start to the spring season.