FAIRFAX, Va. - Senior Luke Grau posted the fastest 5,000 meters since 2005 for the University of Pennsylvania men's track and field team on Saturday and freshman Maalik Reynolds earned another victory in the high jump Saturday at the George Mason Spring Invitational in Fairfax, Va.
Grau ran into the Penn record books Saturday when he finished fourth in the 5,000 with a career-best time of 14:18.62. That mark places him ninth all-time at Penn in the event and qualifies him for the IC4A Championships. It was the fastest 5,000 for a Quaker since Nolan Tully in 2005.
Grau wasn't the only athlete wearing the Red and Blue stripes to qualify for the IC4A's in the 5,000 meters. Freshman Conner Paez was just a few steps behind his rookie teammate with a career-best performance of his own. Grau placed seventh with a time of 14:26.27 to cut two seconds off his previous collegiate best effort set in 2010.
In the 1,500 meters, junior James Finucane hit the IC4A qualifier, while junior Michael Cunningham fell nine-tenths short of that mark. Finucane placed seventh in the 50-man event with a career-best effort of 3:47.49, while Cunningham won his section at 3:51.09, but was just a stride short of qualifying for the postseason meet.
Reynolds won the high jump for the third straight week and for the seventh time in his career. He has never finished below second place. He missed on his first two attempts of the day, but passed the bar on three of his next four to earn split the win. He was the only collegiate jumper to surpass 2.14 meters (7 feet, 1/4 inches). It was the third straight week in which he surpassed seven feet.
Sophomore Seck Barry clocked yet another IC4A time for the Quakers when he placed fourth in the 110-meter hurdles. Barry followed his preliminary time of 14.87 with a personal-best of 14.63 in the finals.
Senior Darryll Oliver ran to a sixth-place finish in the 800 meters. He captured the best time of the season for Penn in the event at 1:51.93. It was just shy of the IC4A qualifying mark - missing by 13-tenths of a second.
Freshman Mason Smith placed fourth in the 100 meters as he broke the 11-second barrier for the second time this season. He qualified for the finals with a time of 11.04 and then turned in one of the four sub-11 second performances with a time of 10.95 in the finals.
Sophomore Mike Kiley was seventh for the Quakers in the steeplechase. He set a personal best with a finish of 9:28.34. Freshman Jake Brenza was third in the shot put with a toss of 14.75 meters (48-04.75 ft.), fourth in the discus at 43.42 meters (142-05 ft.), and seventh in the hammer with a career-best toss of 43.18 meters (141-08 ft.).
Next weekend, the Quakers have their first week off of the 2011 outdoor season. They will resume competition on April 23 at Princeton's Larry Ellis Invitational. Penn has just one home meet remaining, the 117th running of the Penn Relays, the world's oldest and largest relay carnival, April 28-30. Some tickets are still available here.