PRINCETON, N.J. - It was a weekend filled with marked improvement for the University of Pennsylvania men's track and field team at Princeton's Larry Ellis Invitational on Friday and Saturday.
In a thrilling 4x100-meter relay to start the day on Saturday, the Quakers edged Ivy rival Princeton in a photo finish. Chad Payne was ruled to hit the tape first and the Quakers officially won by one-hundreth of a second at 42.00. Payne was set up by Seck Barry, Mason Smith and Kyle Webster.
Smith also recorded a personal best in the 100 meters. For the second time in his career he broke the 11-second barrier. Smith shaved an impressive six-tenths of a second of his previous career best to finish third in his heat and sixth overall at 10.91.
On Friday night, freshman Sam Mattis was victorious in the discus. He had three tosses that were good enough to win the meet. His top throw landed at 54.02 meters (177 feet, 3 inches). It was two feet better than the runner-up and more than 10 feet further than the rest of the competition.
Senior Tim Carey posted a season-best effort in the 400-meter hurdles. He was third overall in a field of 29 with a finish of 52.69. Carey ranks fifth all-time at Penn with a career-best mark of 51.35 in the event.
Freshman Brendan Smith just missed sliding into the school record book. He ran a collegiate-best 9:07.00 in the steeplechase. That was six seconds faster than his previous best in a Red and Blue uniform and just a half second shy of reaching Penn's all-time top 10. He finished eighth overall.
It was a busy weekend for freshman Thomas Pitt, who also competed in several throwing events at Widener on Friday. He was third in the high jump at Princeton when he matched a collegiate-best at 2.04 meters (6-08.25 ft.).
In the triple jump, sophomore Jordan Jett eclipsed 46 feet for the first time in his career. He landed at 14.04 meters (146-00.75 ft.) on his third attempt of the day. That placed him third overall at the meet.
Continuing the theme, junior Jake Brenza also posted a season best on the day. And he did so three times. Each of his tosses landed near or above the 16-meter mark - his best measured 16.23 meters (53-03 ft.) to place him fourth overall.
Next week marks the 119th edition of the Penn Relays, April 25-27, at Franklin Field. Last year, the three-day attendance totaled 117,346. Get your tickets for the 2013 Penn Relays here.