JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Sophomore Maalik Reynolds advanced to the finals of the NCAA Championships and will represent the University of Pennsylvania men's track and field team in the high jump. Also at the NCAA East Preliminary Round on Saturday, sophomore Jake Brenza capped a historic season in the shot put at Hodges Stadium.
Reynolds, a two-time All-American, moves on to compete for the national title in Des Moines, Iowa on June 8. He was one of the 12 national qualifiers with a jump of 2.19 meters (7 feet, 2 1/4 inches). He cleared each of the first three heights on his first attempt. Then with the bar at 2.16 meters, it fell on his first try, but Reynolds cleared it on his second attempt and was one of 18 remaining when the bar was raised again. He then sealed his spot in the NCAA Championships by clearing the final height on his final attempt.
Brenza made his NCAA Championships debut. He fouled on his three throws in the shot put, but his second year in the Red and Blue was one of the best in program history in the event. During the Penn Relays, the Camp Hill, Pa., native became just the second Quaker to reach the school's all-time top 10 list in the event in the last 28 years and the first since 2000 (Brent Stiles). A week later, he cemented his spot at the NCAA Championships with the third-best toss in program history and the best since 1981. His career-best throw was marked at 17.25 meters (56 feet, 7 1/4 inches) and scored at the Heptagonal Championships.
Brenza and Reynolds were among four Quakers that qualified for the NCAA East Preliminary Round. On Thursday, seniors Brian Fulton and Ryan Cunningham finished a pair of memorable careers in the Red and Blue.
Reynolds will compete for his second outdoor All-America honor and third overall. The Atlanta, Ga., native finished eighth at the NCAA Indoor Championships in March and seventh at the outdoor title meet as a freshman.The 2012 NCAA Outdoor Championships are set for June 6-9 on the campus of Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.