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Photo slideshow of this weekend's home sports action. More coverage: Sports page

In their second home meet, the Red and Blue combined for 14 victories at the Penn Invitational.

Though the outdoor season is still young, the early portion provides time to build confidence with strong performances. The Quakers executed, as the women tallied eight victories and the men six.

“If you can’t run well at the beginning of the season, you’re not going to be able to [race well] come championship time,” junior distance runner Austin Santillo said.

Junior Mike Vido echoed these sentiments. Lacking confidence in his fitness and dogged by lingering knee pain, Vido surprised himself by working his way up throughout the 5k to a second-place finish. Brian Lang, a 2008 College graduate who was competing unattached, waited until the last lap to steal the lead from Vido.

Not only was Vido’s 15:02 finish three seconds faster than his personal best, but it also extended his season. Now he expects to compete in the 10k at Penn Relays.

On the women’s side, freshman Christy Cohick ran away with a 14-second 5k victory, and 10k school record-holder Leslie Kovach dropped down in distance and cruised to a third-place finish in the women’s 1,500-meter run. Like Vido, her run was the best of any collegiate runner in the field.

The women continued their successful day with a sweep of the relays.

They also bested the fields — which included La Salle, Towson and Delaware — in the javelin throw, long jump, triple jump and high jump.

Individually, Adriane McCray placed second in the 800 and Leah Brown captured two second-place finishes in both the 100 and 200 dash.

On the men’s side, both the 4x100 and 4x800 relay teams won.

Seck Barry and Tim Carey won the 100 and 400 high-hurdles, respectively, while Brian Rosenthal added a 400 win to the Red and Blue’s score.

Freshman standout Maalik Reynolds — who broke Penn’s high-jump record in his first collegiate performance — quickly eliminated his competition with a series of increasingly difficult jumps and competed against himself until he faltered. He was just three centimeters shy of improving upon his own mark, which he raised yet again two weekends ago. Reynolds, who is used to competing against himself, leaped 2.19 meters.

“I would like to have more competition,” Reynolds admitted. “That gets me in a more competitive mood.”

However, Reynolds acknowledges “what the other people do doesn’t really matter” because, ultimately, he has to rely upon himself for improvement. He hopes to jump at least two centimeters higher than his current best, but would like to tack on eight centimeters by season’s end.

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