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The Penn men's track and field team participated in two very different meets this past weekend. While several top athletes traveled to the University of Texas for the Texas Relays, the remainder of the Quakers, including many freshmen and sophomores, remained on campus for the Penn Invitational. The Texas Relays, which ran from Thursday through Saturday, offered competition on a level few other meets offer. The Quakers showed they can definitely compete on this level by turning in several top-10 finishes. Eric Hyde finished sixth in the decathlon, while hammer throwers Lucas Deines and Matt Pagliasotti finished eighth and ninth, respectively, with throws of 186'7" and 182' 5". The most impressive Penn performance, however, was by the 1600 meter sprint medley relay team of Mike Wise, Kael Coleman, Mike Stiffler and Robin Martin. The foursome finished at 3:21.16, second only to Texas Christian's 3:18.87. "We're content with second place," Stiffler said. "Although our goal was to finish first, we ran well and we're happy with that. "The competition was superb. There were a lot of great teams who usually finish high at nationals." Although Stiffler believes he went out too fast in the beginning of his 400 meter leg and did not run as well in the finals as in the preliminaries, the second place finish is still impressive considering the level of competition at this meet. "The fact that we had top-10 finishers in the hammer and the decathlon and that we took second in the sprint medley says a lot," Penn coach Charlie Powell said. "All the great sprint teams go down there." While these Quakers were competing with the best in the nation, their teammates remained at Franklin Field to face several lower-profile teams. The Penn Invitational, like the Quaker Invitational two weeks earlier, featured local teams like La Salle, Temple and West Chester. In addition to these teams, Ivy rival Cornell made its first appearance in Philadelphia this season. The meet did not get off to a great start Saturday as the rainy and cold weather caused problems. The Penn 4x100 meter relay was disqualified for dropping the baton, and performances in several early events were not at the normal levels. In fact, the winning height in the high jump by Cornell's Pete Ippel was only 6'3" as jumpers struggled on the slippery runway. As the meet progressed, however, many Penn athletes turned in good performances. Javelin thrower Charlie O'Connell and hammer thrower Kyle Turley both reached IC4A qualifying marks, and John Church finished first in the pole vault. Even while competing without several top athletes, the younger Quakers performed well against the top athletes from other schools. Although the meet was not officially scored, the Quakers had high finishers in almost every event. "I think the younger [Penn] team can hold its own against any other team in the Ivies," Andy Girardin, who ran the in the 800 meter run and 4x800 meter relay, said.

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