FAIRFAX, Va. - At one of the largest meets in the country this weekend, the University of Pennsylvania men's track and field team put forth some impressive performances on Saturday, including a victory from sophomore Tom Timmins in the 400-meter hurdles. The Quakers went up against some of the nation's best at George Mason's Patriot Invitational in Fairfax, Va.
Timmins not only topped the field, he did so with a personal best effort and the 10th-fastest time in program history. He won his heat by more than a second and stopped the clock at 52.23. That finished as the meet's best tiem by three-hundreths of a second. Timmins is now just one of three Quakers since 1992 to crack Penn's all-time top 10 in the event - joined by teammate Tim Carey (51.35) and Brian Abram (52.14) in 2003.
Sophomore Mato Bekelja also ran into the Penn record books in the 800 meters. He was 10th overall, but sixth among collegians with a time of 1:49.62. That stands as 10th-best all-time at Penn, supplanting Bryan Scotland's effort in 2006 by 14-hundreths of a second. It also knocks George Katerman out of the school's all-time Top 10 for the first time since he set the school standard in 1959 with a hand time of 1:49.76.
Of the 40 competitors in the high jump, freshman Thomas Pitt was one of just seven to pass the bar at 2.04 meters (6 feet, 8 1/4 inches). He missed just once in his progression and won the tiebreaker for fourth place over two others.
Senior Mason Smith was 14th in the 100 meters. He had an impressive third-place finish in his heat, but was just outside qualifying for the finals of the 46-man field with his finish of 11.03. Smith was also a part of the 4x100-meter relay team that finished third overall. In combination with Seck Barry, Chad Payne and Kyle Webster, the Quakers finished with a season-best mark of 42.05.
Of the 39 competitors in the 110-meter hurdles, Barry was 15th with a time of 15.09, while among the 48 runners in the 400 meters, Tim Hamlett was 20th with a season-best mark of 49.50.
Freshman Thomas Awad ran in the 1,500 meters this week and finished ninth with a time of 3:48.14.
Next weekend, the Quakers stick closer to home. Penn heads to Princeton for the Larry Ellis Invitational on Saturday.
The following week marks the 119th edition of the Penn Relays on April 25-27 at Franklin Field. Last year, the three-day attendance totaled 117,346. Get your tickets for the 2013 Penn Relays here.