After a sixth-place finish at Heptagonals, the Quakers' best will try to excel at Harvard in IC4As. The reason why the Penn men's track team was not all that upset with its sixth-place finish at the Heptagonal Championships last week is the same reason it is optimistic for IC4As this weekend. The individual talent is there. Though the Quakers only placed in the middle of the pack at last week's Heps at Dartmouth, a number of Penn athletes turned in brilliant performances. And IC4As, this year being held at Harvard, provides just the right spotlight for these stars. All participants in IC4As must surpass a designated standard for their particular event in order to qualify. Though still a team meet, this is where each school has the opportunity to showcase its top talent. Penn will send fewer athletes than usual to this year's competition, but it is excited about those who will be present. One such individual is sophomore phenom Tuan Wreh, who qualified for both the triple and long jump events very early in the season. And he made quite an impression in Hanover, N.H., last week. Wreh shattered a 22-year-old Heps record when he triple jumped 52'2", establishing a new personal best by some 20 inches in the process. The Rockville, Md., native's teammates enjoy watching him compete and know that he will continue to improve on what are already outstanding accomplishments. "Tuan hasn't hit his best mark yet," said senior pole vaulter Bob Reynolds, who added that since Wreh is likely to participate in nationals the following week, "this is another stepping stone [for him]." Reynolds has much to be proud of in his own right, as does the entire vaulting corps. Four Penn pole vaulters will make the journey to Harvard, making this the best represented of the Quakers' field event squads. "I feel like I can jump 16 [feet] on any given day," said Reynolds, who qualified for IC4As in the season opener at Princeton with a clearance of 16'1". He says that 16'6" is his target this weekend at Cambridge, Mass. Reynolds is not the only athlete who knows he needs to have a career day in order to make some noise. Sophomore distance runner Matt Gioffre, who will run in the 3,000-meter race, realizes that he probably needs to set a personal record in Saturday's qualifying round just to survive until the finals on Sunday. While Penn was optimistic about competing for a Heps title, it understands that the 104-team field at IC4As brings a greater challenge. "Winning in IC4As is a much more difficult task," Gioffre said. Teams from all over the East Coast will be at Harvard, including traditional powerhouses Georgetown and Navy, the latter a long-time league nemesis for the Quakers. For Wreh and senior thrower Matt Pagliasotti, who could easily win his event, the competition at IC4As may just be a lead-in to nationals. But for the others, IC4As will serve as a measuring stick heading into the outdoor season, which begins on March 25 with the Quaker Invitational at Franklin Field.Comments powered by Disqus
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