PHILADELPHIA - In the biennial meet with Oxford and Cambridge, the University of Pennsylvania men's track and field team paired with Cornell to defeat the British Universities, 16-3 Saturday at Franklin Field.
Following traditional British scoring, each event winner earned one point for their team. Cornell and Penn combined to win 16 of the 19 events. Highlighting the day for the Quakers were victories from the 400-meter relay team (42.39) and Anthony Abitante in the pole vault - where he became the second Quaker to reach the Regional Championships - as well as the IC4A qualifying performance from senior Joey Brown's win in the 100 meters, career-best wins from sophomore Darryll Oliver and junior John Carelli, and a victory from Russ Koch in the javelin.
When Abitante surpassed the bar at 5.16 meters (16 feet, 11 inches), he jumped into a tie for third place in Penn's all-time record book. No Quaker had reached that height since Neal Wojdowski did so in 2004. Shortly after Abitante reached the IC4A height of 5.05 meters, he was the lone vaulter remaining.
Carelli will be joining Abitante at the Regional Championships. The Allentown, Pa., product improved upon his qualifying mark in his win Saturday afternoon, jumping 15.33 meters (50-03.50 ft.). The measurement marked a new career best for Carelli as he continues to move up in the all-time rankings at Penn - he is now sixth.
Oliver nearly missed the Regional qualifying time as he won the 800 meters. Already a qualifier for the IC4A Championships, he was less than one-tenth of a second from reaching the Regionals with his time of 1:50.49. The native of Brooklyn, N.Y., had run in the same event Friday night at Princeton's Larry Ellis Invitational - posting an IC4A worthy mark. He has now won both of the 800-meter races he has competed in at Franklin Field this season. Also in the 800 meters, freshman Brian Fulton reached the IC4A qualifier with a time of 1:51.67.
Brown had come close on several occasions to the IC4A time in the 100 meters this season. He hit the mark dead on Saturday, scoring for the Quakers with a time of 10.85. It was a season-best effort, the third time this year that he has broken the 11-second mark and the third time this year that he has won the event.
Koch won the point in the javelin with a season-best toss of 53.80 meters (176-06 ft.). Neither of the other competitors came close to topping Koch.
Penn and Cornell meet Oxford and Cambridge in the transatlantic dual every two years, alternating as the hosts on each occassion. In 2011, the Quakers will head across the Atlantic for the next meeting.
The Quakers will continue with another tradition next week when they participate in the Penn Relays beginning on Thursday and concluding Saturday night. For more information on the Penn Relays, log on to www.ThePennRelays.com.