PHILADELPHIA - On his first toss as a collegian, freshman Sam Mattis broke the school record in the discus. His performance highlighted plenty of other wins for the University of Pennsylvania men's track and field team against their city rivals on Saturday in the outdoor season opener.
On a sunny afternoon where Penn hosted the Philadelphia College Classic at Franklin Field, the Quakers competed against their Big 5 counterparts and several other local colleges.
In his debut in the discus, Mattis needed just one toss to unseat a 19-year-old school record. His first throw measured 57.57 meters (189 feet, 2 inches) - the sixth-best toss in the nation this year. That was six feet better than the previous school standard set by Chuck Hinton in 1994. He was 40 feet better than the rest of the field.
That peformance sparked plenty of wins on the track. Sophomore Kyle Webster bettered a pair of teammates to win the 100-meter hurdles. Webster stopped the clock at 15.41 which topped Seck Barry (15.52) and Michael Brown (15.63) as the Quakers claimed the top three spots. Also, senior Allante Keels was first in the 400 meters - just in front of teammate Tim Hamlett. On a breezy day, Keels won the event with a time of 49.35. The freshman was just shy of that mark at 14.51.
In the 100 meters, junior Mason Smith and freshman Chad Payne owned the top two spots. Smith finished in 11.09 and in the next heat, Payne was tops with a mark of 11.12. Smith also topped Payne in the 200 meters with an even closer finish. Smith won at 22.28, which was two-tenths faster than freshman Harrison Scharf in the first heat. Payne once again won the second heat, but also stopped the clock at 22.30.
Freshman Drew Magaha opened the season with the 21st-best time in the U.S. in the 800 meters. His finish of 1:51.58 placed him first in the event over several teammates. Meanwhile, fellow freshman Thomas Awad was the only competitor to break four minutes in the 1,500 meters. He won with a time of 3:54.92.
In addition to Mattis' debut in the field events, junior Jake Brenza was tops in the shot put. His best throw was his last at 15.51 meters (50-10.75 ft.).
Next week, the Quakers will split between the Widener Invitational and N.C. State's Raleigh Relays. The following week, Penn is in Gainsville, for the Florida Relays.