RALEIGH, N.C. - Sophomore Thomas Awad broke a 36-year-old school record and won the 5,000 meters to highlight the Raleigh Relays for the University of Pennsylvania track and field teams this weekend.
On Friday night, Awad became just the second Quaker in school history to break the 14-minute mark in the 5,000 meters. Prior to that effort, Steve Sholtes was the only Penn athlete to do so with a time of 13:51.2 in 1978. For the better part of four decades, that record had never really been threatend until Awad surpassed it with a winning finish of 13:48.90.
Freshman Cleo Whiting also won her section of the 5,000 meters. She posted the seventh-best time in Penn history at 16:45.22. It is the best time for a Quaker since Leslie Kovach set the school record in 2011. In addition, Elyssa Gensib finished third in the event and her time of 16:51.99 was just outside the school's all-time top 10 list.
Also on Friday night, senior Kersie Jhabvala became the second woman in school history to break the 36-minute mark in the 10,000 meters. Her time of 35:34.24 placed her 12th among the 36 runners in the event, and more importantly, placed her second all-time at Penn behind Kovach's school standard of 34:51.93 set in 2011.
On Saturday, sophomore Serena Graf improved upon her second-place standing in the school record book with a career-best toss of 52.00 meters in the hammer. That placed her fifth overall at the meet and the only Quaker with a better mark was Catrina Chisholm's toss of 55.44 meters in 2004 .
Senior All-American and school record-holder Maalik Reynolds won the men's high jump with a leap of 2.18 meters, and sophomore Sam Mattis was second in the men's discus. Last week, Mattis set the school record and was the runner-up in North Carolina with another impressive toss of 57.81 meters.
Junior Nick Straughn won the college long jump with a leap of 13.85 meters, while sophomore Thomas Pitt won the college long jump at 7.01 meters and was third in the college high jump at 2.05 meters. Sophomore Ben Bowers was ninth in the men's 110-meter hurdles at 14.55.
Penn also placed two in the top five in the women's javelin. Kelsey Hay was fourth at 42.62 meters and Graf was fifth at 42.60 meters.
Next weekend, the Quakers are at Princeton's Sam Howell Invitational.