PHILADELPHIA - A program-record 14 members of the University of Pennsylvania track and field teams qualified for the NCAA Championships when the fields were announced on Thursday afternoon. That record-setting group -- made up of three women and 11 men -- will compete in a total of 13 events at the NCAA East Preliminary Round, May 29-31 in Jacksonville, Fla.
The top 48 marks in each event qualify for each of the two NCAA Preliminary Rounds. Representing the Quakers on the women's side will be freshman Ashley Montgomery (1,500 meters), senior Gabrielle Piper (100-meter hurdles) and sophomore Kelsey Hay (javelin).
On the men's side, sophomore's Thomas Awad and Thomas Pitt each qualified for the NCAA Championships in two events. Awad can compete in the 1,500 and 5,000 meters, while Pitt qualified for the high jump and long jump. Five-time All-American Maalik Reynolds will join Pitt in the high jump.
The Penn men will also have a pair of Red and Blue striped jerseys in the 800 meters and steeplechase. Sophomore Drew Magaha and junior Mato Bekelja will compete in the 800, while sophomore Brendan Smith and freshman Nick Tuck each reached the NCAA meet in the steeplechase.
Penn will be represented in both men's hurdles events as well with sophomore Ben Bowers (110H) and junior Tom Timmins (400H). Freshman Brendan Shearn (10,000 meters) and Sam Mattis (discus) round out the record number of Quakers.
Penn's previous modern-day record of NCAA qualifiers was 11 -- set last year in Steve Dolan's first season at the helm of the Quakers. The 11 men's qualifers this year are also a men's program record since the current NCAA format began in 2010.
The NCAA Championship meet extends over two weekends in a three-week span at three different sites. The first weekend - known as the NCAA Preliminary Round - is broken up into two different sites - East (Jacksonville, Fla.) and West (Fayetteville, Ark.), which host the NCAA first round and quarterfinal round in each event as well as some of the NCAA semifinals.
In each event, the top 12 finishers from the East Preliminary and the top 12 from the West will advance to compete in the finals of the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore., June 11-14.
The start lists for the NCAA East Preliminary Round will be released by the NCAA on Tuesday. The meet begins Thursday at North Florida's Hodges Stadium.