PHILADELPHIA - With the regular season behind them, the University of Pennsylvania men's track and field team will begin the postseason this weekend when they head to Princeton, N.J., for the 2011 Outdoor ECAC Championships at Weaver Stadium.
Events start on Friday with the decathlon in the
afternoon and the distance events shortly before sunset. Saturday begins
with the 4x100-meter relay at 10:30 a.m., and continues through the
4x400-meter relay at 1:45 p.m. The final day of competition starts on the
track at 12:10 p.m., with the 4x100-meter relay and concludes with the
4x400-meter relay at 3:05 p.m.
Last year at this meet, the 4x800-meter relay team matched a school record, while then-junior James Foreman placed third in the pole vault as Penn finished 24th with 14 points. The Quakers finished as the IC4A runner-up in the 4x800-meter relay. Just one second seperated the Red and Blue from the title, but they matched and nearly broke a four-decade-old school record. Freshman Matt Chylak led off for the Quakers and handed to Kevin Kiley - the only senior in the relay for Penn. Kiley had the Red and Blue striped uniforms in the running when he handed to sophomore Brian Fulton. Then, in the anchor leg, junior Darryll Oliver held off George Mason, but finished just steps behind Connecticut. Oliver stopped the clock at 7:24.64. More impressively, the 4x800 relay time was just off the all-time school record of 7:24.4 set in 1976. However, that 1976 effort was hand-timed and since the automated timing conversion is 0.24 seconds, that effort tied the school record. To put the feat in perspective, for one of the most historic track and field programs in the country, this was the first relay team since 1996 to tie or set a school record, and the first school record of any kind for the Quakers since 2005.
Last week, Penn finished seventh as a team and five earned first-team All-Ivy honors at the 2011 Outdoor Heptagonal Championships. With the second-best jump in Heps history, freshman Maalik Reynolds claimed the high jump title, while the 4x800-meter relay team also earned the title. Reynolds was the Co-Most Outstanding Performer of the Meet with the second-best jump in the nation this year - 2.28 meters (7 feet, 5 3/4 inches). He became the first Penn athlete since David Arundel in 2000 to win the Outdoor Heps title in the event and the first since Henry Hipps in 1994 to win both the indoor and outdoor Heps high jump titles in the same year. The 4x800-meter relay team posted one of the fastest times in school history in earning their way to the top of the Heps podium. The 2011 championship team was led off by freshman Robby Harwood, who handed to sophomore Matt Chylak. Junior Brian Fulton passed the baton to junior James Finucane for the anchor leg where the winning time was clocked at 7:25.36. They outraced the Lions to the finish line to earn the title.
A full recap of the 2011 Outdoor ECAC Championships will be available at PennAthletics.com shortly after the completion of the meet.