JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Sophomore Sam Mattis set a school record during the third day of the NCAA East Preliminary Round and advanced to the NCAA final along with senior Maalik Reynolds on Saturday at Hodges Stadium in Jacksonville, Fla.
In each field event, the top 12 finishers advance to compete in the finals of the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore. Mattis broke his own school record in the discus on his first toss and advanced to the final weekend of the NCAA meet. The only Penn athlete in history to surpass 60 meters in the event, Mattis did so for the sixth time this year with a throw of 62.13 meters (203 feet, 10 inches) to surpass his previous school record by nearly a foot. It remained his best toss throughout the competition and placed him fourth overall to clinch his spot in the NCAA final.
A five-time All-American, Reynolds finished third in the high jump to join Mattis in Oregon. The senior was one of four to clear 2.17 meters (7-01.50 ft.). He only missed once en route to that height and cleared it on his first attempt to solidify his spot in the NCAA final. Meanwhile, sophomore Tom Pitt finished 23rd overall in the event as he cleared 2.10 meters (6-10.75 ft.).
Sophomore Thomas Awad, who was an All-American in the 5,000 meters during his freshman year, was unable to compete in the event due to illness on Saturday. He competed in the quarterfinals of the 1,500 meters after advancing past the first round on Thursday and finished 24th overall with a time of 3:58.65. Prior to this meet, Awad had won six straight events which included breaking a 36-year-old record in the 5,000 meters and the second sub-four minute mile in school history.
Next up for Mattis, Reynolds and Hay are the finals of the NCAA Championships at Oregon's Hayward Field, June 11-14.