NEW YORK, N.Y. - Several Quakers moved their way up the school record book, while Maalik Reynolds and Timothy Hamlett posted victories for the University of Pennsylvania track and field teams at the Lions Invitational inside the historic Armory on Saturday night.
The tone was set early with Lydia Ali's performance in the 60 meters. The junior was third in qualifying and then raced to a runner-up finish of 7.71. Later that night, Ali posted a personal best - and the sixth-best time in school history - in the 200 meters. Her finish of 25.07 moved her up one spot in the all-time rankings at Penn and placed her fourth overall.
Not to be outdone, shortly after Ali's effort, sophomore Elyssa Gensib also moved into the school record book. She was the runner-up in the 3,000 meters with a time of 9:48.74. That's the fastest time for a Quaker in the event since 2010and ninth-best all-time. Freshman Ashley Montgomery also nearly broke 10-minutes in the event with a time of 10:02.14.
The Quakers were also second in the 3,000 meters on the men's side. Sophomore Thomas Awad was the top collegian with his time of 8:11.95 - just one second off his personal best.
Meanwhile, senior Maalik Reynolds won the high jump for the second time this year. The All-American matched his height from his previous win at Lehigh on Jan. 18 with a winning leap of 2.15 meters. Teammate Nate Harriger was the runner-up with a career-best height of 2.02 meters. On the women's side, Noel Jancewicz was also second in the event with a clearance of 1.68 meters.
Penn's other victory on Saturday came in the 500 meters. The Quakers placed three among the top six with Timothy Hamlett earning the top spot on the podium. The sophomore sprinted to a finish of 1:04.17 to best his Columbia opponent by three-tenths of a second. Mato Bekelja was just two-hundreths behind that mark with a third-place time of 1:04.46. Tom Timmins was just about a stride slower at 1:04.90.
The men had another great day in the throws with a pair of sixth-place performances. Marcus LaRoche propelled up the record book in the shot put with a personal-best toss of 16.40 meters that ranks seventh all-time at Penn. Meanwhile, senior Jake Brenza also posted a collegiate-best with a toss of 16.73 meters in the weight throw. That places him 10th all-time at Penn in the event.
Other highlights for the women included senior Gabrielle Piper, who was fourth in the 60-meter hurdles with a finish of 8.88. Gillian Berger was fifth in the long jump (11.02m) and Jenny Thompson was fifth in the triple jump (11.21m).
For the men, sophomore Ben Bowers set a career-best with his third-place finish of 8.20 in the 60-meter hurdles. Sophomore Drew Magaha has continued to excel since returning from injury last season. He posted a third-place finish in the 1,000 meters with a time of 2:28.64. Penn was also fourth in the 4x400-meter relay at 3:18.09.
Next up for the Quakers is a trip to Penn State to compete in the Sykes Sabock Cup.