PHILADELPHIA - Matching a 34-year-old school record, the 4x800-meter relay for the University of Pennsylvania men's track and field team highlighted the weekend along with junior James Foreman who placed third in the pole vault for the Quakers at the 2010 Outdoor IC4A Championships this weekend in Princeton, N.J.
Of the 55 teams that recorded points, Penn finished 24th with 14 points. Connecticut claimed the 2010 IC4A team title with 64 points and Liberty finished as the runner-up with 55 points. It was the Quakers' best team finish since placing third in 2006. Penn was fifth among Ivy teams, placing ahead of Yale (38th), Harvard (51st) and Dartmouth (52nd).
The Quakers finished as the IC4A runner-up in the 4x800-meter relay. Just one second seperated the Red and Blue from the title, but they matched and nearly broke a four-decade-old school record. Freshman Matt Chylak led off for the Quakers and handed to Kevin Kiley - the only senior in the relay for Penn. Kiley had the Red and Blue striped uniforms in the running when he handed to sophomore Brian Fulton. Then, in the anchor leg, junior Darryll Oliver held off George Mason, but finished just steps behind Connecticut. Oliver stopped the clock at 7:24.64, which was a second behind UConn's 7:23.49 and just ahead of George Mason's 7:24.69.
More impressively, the 4x800 relay time was just off the all-time school record of 7:24.4 set in 1976. However, that 1976 effort was hand-timed and since the automated timing conversion is 0.24 seconds, Sunday's effort tied the school record. To put the feat in perspective, for one of the most historic track and field programs in the country, this is the first relay team since 1996 to tie or set a school record, and the first school record of any kind for the Quakers since 2005.
On Saturday, in the preliminaries, Chylak, Kiley, Michael Cunningham and Fulton won their 4x800-meter relay heat to reach the finals with the fourth-best time in the trials with a finish of 7:31.44.
In the pole vault, Foreman had been battling through injuries throughout much of the outdoor season. Shortly after becoming just the third Quaker in program history to surpass 17 feet in the event at the Penn Invite on April 3, Foreman was unable to compete for more than a month. However, if there were any lingering effects on Saturday, they sure didn't show. The Community High School product earned six points for the Quakers with a third-place finish. Foreman was in contention for the IC4A title as one of just two competitors to surpass each of the first four bars without a miss. Even more impressive was the fact that 13 of the 23 vaulters failed to even pass the first height. The fourth bar was set at 5.06 meters (16 feet, 7 1/4 inches), which Foreman cleared on his first jump. Then, with just five vaulters remaining at the next height, only two successfully cleared it and Foreman won the tie-breaker over the other two due to his perfect performance through the first four bars.
Also for the Quakers, senior Ben McKean completed his career in the Red and Blue. The Shohola, Pa., native individually qualified for the indoor and outdoor IC4A's in his final season, and also qualified as a part of multiple relays throughout his career. His final individual race was the 400 meters on Saturday where he placed 36th with a time of 49.56. Later that day, McKean ran for the final time as the anchor leg in the 4x400-meter relay. As the only senior in the foursome, he helped the Quakers finish in 3:14.25 to place 17th out of the 32 competing teams.
Seniors David Lint, John Carelli and Kiley also finished their respective careers at Penn. Kiley, a three-time All-Ivy recipient and two-time Heptagonal indoor champion (all in the 4x800 relay) finished with the heroics of the 4x800 relay team. Lint ran as a part of the 4x100 relay team as he took the anchor leg for the Quakers, guiding them to a finish of 42.28, placing 24th. Carelli, a two-time All-Ivy honoree and the 2009 Heptagonal indoor triple jump champion, wrapped up a stellar career with another appearance at the IC4A championships, placing 15th in the triple jump.
Several Quakers will be waiting for the announcement of the qualifiers for the NCAA Preliminary Round, formerly the NCAA Regionals. In each event in the East region, the top 48 times and marks qualify for the meet at North Carolina A&T's Aggie Stadium in Greensboro, N.C., May 27-29. For a complete list of the top East Region marks and times, click here.
Penn at the IC4A's
400 Meters: 36-McKean (49.56)
400-Meter Hurdles: 20-Sinclair (53.83)
1,500 Meters: 22-Weinstein (3:52.16)
Steeplechase: 22-Cawkwell (9:27.86)
5,000 Meters: 37-Grau (15:09.73)
Pole Vault: 3-Foreman (5.06m)
Triple Jump: 15-Carelli (14.60m)
4x100 Relay: 24-Penn (42.28)
4x400 Relay: 17-Penn (3:14.25)
4x800 Relay: 2-Penn (7:31.44p, 7:24.64f)