BETHLEHEM, Pa. - In the first indoor track and field meet of the season, the University of Pennsylvania men's track and field team got off to a fast start. Five members of the Red and Blue posted wins at the Lehigh Season Opener, including the second-best indoor jump of Maalik Reynolds' collegiate career.
Reynolds began his sophomore campaign in the same way he spent much of his freshman season - in first place. The All-American nearly hit the NCAA automatic qualifying mark in the December meet with a winning jump of 2.19 meters. That jump was only bettered by his school-record mark of 2.21 meters set in January at The Armory.
Sophomore Jake Brenza was equally impressive in his victory with an ECAC qualifying victory of 15.80 meters in the shot put. It was easily a career-best toss and by far the best toss of the day. Only one other competitor was within two meters of that throw.
Freshman Tom Timmins started his career with a win in the 400 meters. He took home the title win the 14-man field when he inched out Moravian's Yacine Zerdoum by five-hundreths of a second. Timmins posted a time of 51.52 in his first collegiate victory.
Freshman Thomas Tallerico also won in his collegiate debut. In the 1,000 meters, he outraced Lehigh's Gregory Caldwell, who was running on his home track. Tallerico was one second faster to the finish line with a winning time of 2:36.68.
The Quakers also posted the fastest 4x400-meter relay. Penn and Lehigh were ahead of the field and the Red and Blue beat the hosts to the finish with a time of 3:31.03. The Mountain Hawks were second at 3:31.93.
Freshman Mato Bekelja was third in the 800 meters with a time of 2:00.60 and freshman Nick Straughn was second in the long jump with a leap of 6.75 meters.
It is the only indoor meet in the 2011 calendar year for the Quakers. The team is next in action when they make their first trip of the year to The Armory in New York, N.Y., on Jan. 15.