GREENSBORO, N.C. - Junior Jake Brenza and freshman Brendan Smith each finished their impressive 2013 campaigns for the University of Pennsylvania men's track and field team at the NCAA East Preliminary Round on Friday night in Greensboro, N.C.
Brenza finished another outstanding season in the Red and Blue. He reached the NCAA Championships for the second straight year and was seeded 47th entering the meet. He placed 40th overall. The first throw of the afternoon for the Camp Hill, Pa., native measured 15.22 meters (49 feet, 11 1/4 inches). That placed him sixth in his flight through the first round of throws. It remained his best toss after two fouls and garnered a seventh-place finish in his flight.
Smith wrapped up an impressive rookie campaign. He reached the NCAA meet in the steeplechase and finished 35th overall on North Carolina A&T's Irwin Belk Track. Of the 16 runners in his heat, Smith finished ninth against some of the best competition in the nation. His time of 9:08.52 was just shy of his season-best mark of 9:00.58 - which ranks eighth-best all-time at Penn.
The Penn men still have two more competing at the NCAA meet. On Saturday, Thomas Awad (5,000m, 8:45 p.m.) and Maalik Reynolds (high jump, 6 p.m.) will represent the Red and Blue.
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 (Greensboro, N.C.) and West (Austin, Texas), which host the NCAA first round and quarterfinal round in each event as well as some of the NCAA semifinals.
The top 24 finishers in the first round advance to the quarterfinals where the top 12 will advance to compete in the semifinals and finals of the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore., June 5-8.
A full recap of each day's events can be found at PennAthletics.com.