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PHILADELPHIA - Freshman high jumper Maalik Reynolds will represent the University of Pennsylvania men's track and field team at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, June 8-11, inside Drake University's Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa. Reynolds competes Friday starting at 5:20 p.m. (CST).
Reynolds, who is the only Ivy Leaguer to reach the 2011 NCAA Outdoor Finals in the high jump, claimed one of the 12 spots in the meet with a first-place finish at the NCAA East Preliminary Round in Bloomington, Ind., on May 26. He was one of nine competitors to clear 2.17 meters (7 feet, 1 1/2 inches). Following that height, there was no need to move the bar any higher as the remaining competitors had all clinched a trip to Des Moines. Reynolds cleared 2.06 meters on the first attempt and then passed 2.11 meters on his second try. It took just one jump apiece to clear the last two heights.
Reynolds is the first Penn men's athlete to reach the finals of the NCAA Outdoor Championships since decathletes Mike Hall (2007) and Max Westman (2008) did so in back-to-back years. The last Penn men's outdoor All-American was Courtney Jaworski in the 800 meters in 2005. The last Penn athlete to win a national championship was in 2003 when Sam Burley claimed the national title in the 800 meters and Brian Chaput did so with an Ivy League record in the javelin.
Reynolds has put together a superb freshman year thus far. He qualified for the Indoor NCAA Championships in March, but was unable to compete due to illness. He already holds the school record in the indoor and outdoor high jump. He was named First-Team All-Ivy during the indoor and outdoor track seasons, finishing first in the high jump at both the Indoor and Outdoor Heptagonal Championships. He was also named the Co-Most Outstanding Performer at the Outdoor Heptagonals in addition to claiming the indoor IC4A title and Penn Relays title.
A full recap will be available at PennAthletics.com shortly after the conclusion of the event.