PRINCETON, N.J. - Sophomore Sam Mattis broke his school record in the discus for the third time this year, and several more Quakers moved among the nation's best and etched their names in the school record books for the University of Pennsylvania track and field teams at Princeton's Larry Ellis Invitational this weekend.
Mattis broke his school record in the discus with a career-best toss of 61.87 meters (203 feet). That ranks fourth in the nation and topped the school record he set on April 5 by nearly five feet. In addition, freshman Noah Kennedy-White climbed the record book with the ninth-best throw in school history -- 52.07 meters (170-10 ft.) -- to finish second at the meet behind Mattis.
During Friday night's men's steeplechase, sophomore Brendan Smith and freshman Nick Tuck altered the Penn record book. Smith jumped up four spots among Penn's all-time rankings with a career-best time of 8:53.42. That placed him 11th overall at the meet, among the top 15 in the nation and fifth in the school record book. Tuck joined that list with a 14th-place finish of 9:00.53 to move into eighth all-time at Penn.
Also on Friday night, freshman Ashley Montgomery moved into sixth-place in the Penn record book in the women's 1,500 meters. She finished 10th overall in 4:29.62 -- the fastest time for a Quaker in the last four years. Meanwhile, in the women's 5,000 meters, freshman Cleo Whiting and sophomore Elyssa Gensib also found a spot among the school's all-time best. Whiting was 10th and is now fourth at Penn with her time of 16:32.30 -- the fastest time for a Quaker since 2008. Gensib was 19th at 16:48.65 which now ranks her ninth all-time among the Red and Blue.
The men's 4x100-meter relay was tops among collegiate teams with a season-best time of 41.43. Overall, the Quakers -- behind Ben Bowers, Chad Payne, Harrison Scharf and Brandon Senior, finished third behind a pair of professional club teams and topped the rest of the field of 16. Bowers was also third in the 110-meter hurdles, but much like the 4x100 relay, he was tops among collegians. He finished in 14.67. Meanwhile, Senior broke 11 seconds in the 100 meters for the first time in his career with a fifth-place finish of 10.89.
Ali then broke the 12-second barrier in the 100 meters for the second straight week -- just the fourth woman at Penn to break that barrier -- and finished third overall at 11.97.
Piper posted a career-best time of 13.97 in the 100-meter hurdles. It marked the second time in her career that she broke 14 seconds in the event. It also placed her fifth at the meet and improved upon her third-place standing in the school record book.
It was another strong showing for the Quakers in the women's javelin. School-record holder Kelsey Hay was second, but tops among collegians with a toss of 46.34 meters (152-00 ft.). Classmate Serena Graf was fourth at 43.13 meters (141-06 ft.) which was another career-best mark for the Quakers on Saturday. It also improved her mark on eighth-place in the record book.
Senior Conner Paez won the men's 1,500 meters in a four-man dash to the finish. The top four runners all finished within eight-tenths of a second, but it was Paez who won his first race since a devastating leg injury prior to his sophomore season. The Solon, Ohio native outraced the group to the finish and broke four minutes in the event for the first time since that injury. He won at 3:56.07 and sophomore teammate Will Meadows finished fourth at 3:56.81.
In the high jump, senior Maalik Reynolds, who also ranks among the top 15 in the nation, won the men's event with a leap of 2.16 meters (7-01 ft.). Freshman Noel Jancewicz finished third when she cleared a season-best 1.70 meters (5-07 ft.) -- just the fifth Penn woman to accomplish that feat.
Also for the men, senior Jimmy Tully once again went over 60 meters in the javelin with a third-place toss of 60.21 meters (197-06 ft.). Junior Jordan Jett was third in the triple jump at 14.13 meters (46-04.25 ft.).
Other highlights for the women include the steeplechase where Amy Darlington posted the fifth-fastest time in school history at 11:05.07. Senior Kersie Jhabvala was second in the 3,000 meters at 10:04.47.
Next week marks the 120th edition of the Penn Relays, April 24-26, at Franklin Field. Last year, there were 48,871 in attendance at historic Franklin Field on Saturday for a three-day total of111,284 - eclipsing 110,000 fans for the sixth consecutive year. It was the 10th straight year and the 13th time in the last 14 years with more than 100,000 spectators at the world's oldest and largest relay carnival.
Get your tickets for the 2014 Penn Relays here.