WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Junior Darryll Oliver highlighted the University of Pennsylvania men's track and field team's first outdoor meet of the season with a victory in the 800 meters this weekend at the Wake Forest Open inside Kentner Stadium in Winston-Salem, N.C. Sophomore Michael Cunningham also posted a first-place finish, winning the 3,000 meters.
After missing much of the indoor season due to injury, Oliver won his first outdoor race on Friday. The defending Heptagonal champion in the event, Oliver won with a time of 1:51.77 and qualified for the IC4A Championships. Two other Quakers also finished in the top 10 in the 123-man field. Freshmen Aki Bajulaiye (1:53.70) and Matt Chylak (1:53.75) finished eighth and ninth, respectively.
Cunningham earned his first collegiate win with a time of 8:26.74. He edged out High Point's Josh Morgan and teammate Jeff Weinstein, who placed third at 8:28.33. The 3,000 meters isn't run at the IC4A Championships, but Cunningham was able to take off nearly 30 seconds from his time in this event at the same meet last year.
In the steeplechase on Saturday, junior Philip Cawkwell finished fourth, while freshman Michael Kiley was seventh. Cawkwell came across the finish line in 9:36.08 and Kiley wasn't far behind at 9:44.55.
Also on Saturday, junior James Foreman reached the IC4A qualifying height in the pole vault, finishing as the runner-up. The Winfield, Ill., native completed the meet at a height of 4.85 meters (15 feet, 11 inches).
Freshman Tim Carey qualified for the IC4A's in the 110-meter hurdles. He was 10th in the preliminaries at 15.00, but finished fifth with a time of 14.52 in the finals. Senior Jeremy Sinclair was seventh in the event with a finals time of 14.91. Sinclair was eighth in the 400-meter hurdles, finishing in 55.20.
In the final event of the night on Friday, juniors Christopher Baird and Luke Grau each reached the postseason mark in the 10,000 meters. Baird's time of 30:43.91 placed him third in the event and easily qualified him for the IC4A Championships. Grau also broke the 31-minute mark, finishing fifth at 30:57.54. Senior Kevin Sullivan just missed the qualifying mark as he placed seventh at 31:10.34. Senior Brian Cullin was also in the top 10 as his time of 31:19.14 placed him 10th.
The only relay running for the Quakers this weekend - the 4x100-meter relay - was successful in reaching the IC4A time. The team finished sixth, finishing in 42.27.
Carey nearly missed the IC4A Championships in the 200 meters. His 16th-place time of 21.89 was less than a tenth of a second off the qualifying mark. Senior Ben McKean suffered the same fate in the 400 meters, placing 12th with a finish of 48.62.
Freshman Anthony Stroffolino was 10th in the discus with a toss of 44.83 metes (147-01 ft.).
Penn returns to the track next week when they head to Swarthmore, Pa., for the Widener Invite on March 27.