STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - Senior All-American Maalik Reynolds broke his own record in the indoor high jump to highlight a record-breaking weekend for the University of Pennsylvania track and field teams. Twelve Quakers climbed the school record books at Penn State's annual Sykes & Sabock Challenge Cup.
Reynolds recorded the third-highest jump in the nation this year when he surpassed 2.24 meters (7 feet, 4 1/4 inches) to win the high jump. He won the event when he cleared 2.14 meters on his first attempt. He then cleared 2.18 meters on his second jump and passed the bar cleanly at 2.21 meters on his final attempt at that height. The bar fell on his first two attempts at the school record - which he previously held at 2.23 meters - but he had a clean jump on his third try to raise his own school standard.
Also in the high jump, freshman Noel Jancewicz accomplished something no Penn woman has done in 19 years. She became the first Quaker since Tiffany Archer in 1995 to clear the bar at 1.72 meters (5-07.75 ft.). That placed her as the runner-up and moved her into sixth-place all-time at Penn in the indoor high jump.
In the weight throw, sophomore Sam Mattis became just the ninth man in school history to surpass 17 meters in the event, while classmate Serena Graf moved into sixth-place in the Penn women's record book. Mattis advanced past the first round with a toss of 16.37 meters and then his first throw in the finals measured 17.01 meters (55-09.75 ft.) for seventh overall. Graf had not exceeded 15 meters on any of her first five throws, but she launched her final toss 15.97 meters (52-04.75 ft.) to finish fifth.
On the track, Penn's milers led the way. Sophomores Tom Awad and Clark Shurtleff were 1-2 for the men, while sophomore Elyssa Gensib and freshman Ashley Montgomery nearly crossed the finish line simultaneously and scored for the women. Awad won the event with a collegiate-best time of 4:04.54 - the fourth-fastest mile in program history and the best time for a Quaker since 2006. Just a few seconds behind, Shurtleff finished in 4:08. 21 - the ninth-fastest time mile in program history. A short while later, Gensib finished in 4:54.16 - just one-hundreth of a second before her teammate. Those times now rank fifth and sixth, respectively, in Penn's record book.
Other women to make a move in the record books included Cleo Whiting, who was second in the women's 3,000 meters with the school's sixth-fastest finish of all-time at 9:47.32, and junior Heather Bong, who improved upon her third-place standing in the school record book with a fifth-place finish of 24.93 in the 200 meters.
For the men, sophomore Ben Bowers was third in the men's 60-meter hurdles with the third-fastest finish in program history. He crossed the finish in 8.12 which matched Max Westman's time from 2009. Senior Mato Bekelja moved up to fifth all-time at Penn in the 800 meters with a fourth-place finish of 1:50.48.
Three men scored in the shot put as Jake Brenza (16.18m), Mattis (16.05m) and Marcus LaRoche (16.05m) finished sixth, seventh and eighth, respectively. A pair of Quakers scored in the 3,000 meters as William Meadows was fourth (8:30.37) and Brendan Shearn was seventh (8:34.93). Tom Timmins was sixth in the 400 meters (49.40). Penn also scored in the distance medley relay (10:04.42) and the 4x400 (3:20.06).
Also on the women's side, sophomore Gillian Berger scored in the long jump with a fifth-place finish of 5.41 meters (17-09 ft.). Senior Kersie Jhabvala was fourth in the 5,000 meters with a career-best finish of 17:18.68. Senior Chelsea Delaney was sixth in the 800 meters (2:13.89). Lydia Ali was fourth in the 60 meters (7.70) and sixth in the 200 meters (25.16). Penn also scored in the 4x400 relay (3:50.57).
Of the eight schools competing at Horace Ashenfelter III Track, the Penn men finished fourth with 71 points. The Penn women were fifth with 65 points.
Next week the Quakers return to the historic Armory in New York City. Penn will compete in the Rider/Lafayette Invitational on Friday and will some send Quakers to the prestigious Millrose Games on Saturday.