Maalik Reynolds earns All-American, finishes 7th at NCAAs
Freshman high jumper bows out at 2.17m
June 11, 2011, 1:20 am · Updated June 10, 2011, 12:00 am·
Competing at NCAA Championships in the high jump, freshman Maalik Reynolds bowed out a little earlier than expected but still managed to earn All-American status Friday evening in Des Moines, Iowa.
Reynolds raised his personal and school best to 2.28m at Heptagonal championships in early May, but failed to clear 2.17 (7' 1.5") at NCAAs. After passing on the first height of 2.05, the freshman cleared 2.10 and 2.14 on his first attempt. At 2.17, he missed on all three attempts. Only six contestants in the 24-man field moved on to the next height of 2.20. He finished in a three-way tie for seventh place. The winner, Erik Kynard of Kansas State, cleared 2.29 to take home the title.
Despite the somewhat disappointing finish, NCAA's caps off a stellar first year for Reynolds, who shattered Penn records on his way winning the Championship of America at Penn Relays and then hitting 2.28 to win Heps. He was the first Penn athlete to take home a gold watch at the Relays since 2004, and the first All-American for Penn since 2005.
Though his first collegiate season is behind him, the competition doesn't end for Reynolds, who told The Daily Pennsylvanian in May that he plans on competing at the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. The automatic qualifying height for that meet, held June 23-26 in Eugene, Ore., is 2.26, which Reynolds cleared by 2cm at Heps.
On the women's side, Penn's Leslie Kovach competed in the 5,000m event, finishing 18th with a time of 16:16.10. That time also earns Kovach an All-American honor, and she becomes just the second Penn woman to earn the honor. The first was Chris Lundy in the 3000m in 1992. Kovach, a sophomore, owns the Penn record in the 5,000 and 10,000.