Six Philly College athletes will be competing in the NCAA National Championships in Track and Field at Drake University on the weekend of June 10, 2011. At the men’s meet Villanova Senior Matthew Gibney, Penn Freshman Maalik Reynolds, and Temple Junior Travis Mahoney advanced to the finals. Villanova Senior Sheila Reid, Villanova Jumior Bogdana Mimic, and Penn Sophomore Leslie Kovach will have an opportunity to complete for a national championship in the women’s events.
Gibney ran his best time of the season in the 1,500 meters and qualified for the national championship race by placing fourth in his semifinal heat. With 800 meters left to run Gibney was in the eighth position. In the final lap he moved into fourth place with 200 meters to run finishing with a time of 3:43.06. The final will take place on Saturday, June 11.
Sheila Reid moved into the finals of the 1500 meters as the Senior placed fourth in the semifinal race. Reid ran a time of 4:16.69 to qualify for the championship race. She was never out of contention for the top five spots which qualified for the finals to be held on Saturday, June 11. Reid also will be running in the final in the 5000 meter championship on Friday, June 10. Reid and Jordan Hasay of Oregon are the only finals qualifiers in both the 1,500 and 5,000.
In the 5,000 finals Reid will compete against fellow Wildcat Junior Bogdana Mimic, and Leslie Kovach of Penn who automatically qualified for the championship with her top five finish at the NCAA East preliminary round in Bloomington, Indiana on May 28. Kovach ran the distance in a time of 16:16.16, the second best time of her career, 5 seconds behind her record time set at the Penn Relays in April.
Travis Mahoney of Temple will run in the 3,000 meter steeplechase final on Friday, June 10. Mahoney posted a time of 8:47.31 in the semifinal race. Mahoney will be one of fourteen runners in the event final. The Temple Junior ran a personal best at the Eastern Regional to qualify for the NCAA Championships.
Maalik Reynolds of Penn reached the finals of the high jump. The Freshman qualified with a first place finish at the Eastern Regional on May 26. Reynolds cleared 2.11 meters. The high jump final will be held on Friday, June 10.
Two other local athletes competed in the meet, but did not advance to the finals.
Temple Senior Bob Keogh had a lifetime-best throw of 63.66 meters in the men’s hammer throw. Keogh placed 13th in the event, but only the top 9 advanced to the final. With his performance Keogh became the first Temple Track and Field All-American since 1994.
Villanova Junior Shericka Ward finished 5th in her heat of the Women’s 100 meter hurdles. She ran the distance in 13.24, but only the top two finishers in her heat advanced. Ward turned in her third-fastest time of the season in her second consecutive trip to the NCAA Championships.
Written By: Glenn Papazian