JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Senior Gabrielle Piper wrapped up a stellar career while freshman Nick Tuck highlighted the start of his during the second day of the NCAA East Preliminary Round on Friday at Hodges Stadium in Jacksonville, Fla.
Tuck and sophomore Brendan Smith each represented the Quakers in the steeplechase. Tuck was in the opening heat and posted a career-best time of 8:52.72 to place 21st. That finish ranks as the fifth-fastest time in school history and surpassed Smith's spot in the record book. Smith, who now ranks sixth all-time in the event at Penn, was in the second heat and finished in 9:01.68 which eventually placed him 30th overall.
In the NCAA First Round of the 110-meter hurdles, sophomore Ben Bowers finished 43rd overall with a time of 14.42. He finished his season ranked sixth all-time at Penn in the event with a career-best time of 14.13 earlier this year.
On the women's side, Piper was 46th in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 14.41. The Marietta, Ga., native, who was also part of the school record-setting outdoor 4x100-meter relay team this year, is a two-time All-Ivy first-team honoree and earned five second-team All-Ivy awards. She also finishes her illustrious career in the Red and Blue as the school record holder in the 60-meter hurdles (8.49) and as part of the indoor sprint medley relay. She graduates among the school's all-time top 10 in the 60 meters (3rd), 100 meters (7th), 100-meter hurdles (3rd) and as part of several relays.
On the first day of competition, sophomores Thomas Awad and Kelsey Hay each advanced. Awad will compete in the NCAA quarterfinals of the men's 1,500 meters on Saturday at 6:30 p.m., while Hay moved all the way to NCAA final in Oregon (June 11-14) in the women's javelin.
Other Penn athletes competing on the final day in Jacksonville will be sophomore Sam Mattis in the men's discus (noon), Pitt and senior All-American Maalik Reynolds in the men's high jump (5 p.m.), and Awad in the 1,500 meters (6:30 p.m.) and 5,000 meters (8:05 p.m.).
A full recap of the East Preliminary rounds of the NCAA Championships will be available at PennAthletics.com shortly after the conclusion of each day's events.