Sincere Rhea has raced in three meets so far for Penn State, and he’s recorded three PRs. Four, really.
Rhea, the national scholastic indoor hurdles champ for St. Augustine last year, lowered his PR over the 42-inch highs to 7.81 at at the Penn State National Open at Ashenfelter Track in University Park.
Rhea had PR’d with 7.98 in his first meet and then 7.86 in his second.
At the Penn State National Open, he locked up with Pitt senior Shyheim Wright and Hampton junior Dylan Beard. Wright won the final in 7.67, Beard was second in 7.76 and Rhea took third in 7.81.
Rhea’s time is No. 24 in NCAA Division 1 although only 5-100ths of a second out of the top 10. It makes him the No. 3 freshman in the country and No. 2 in the Big 10, behind only Iowa senior Jaylan McConico, who has a 7.66 to his credit from a meet in Iowa City.
Interesting that there are three South Jersey hurdlers among the top freshmen hurdlers in the country. Deptford’s Naseem Smith, a freshman at Syracuse, is the No. 19 freshman hurdler in the nation with an 8.08 at Harvard, and Palmyra’s Sam Aviles, a freshman at Rider, is No. 21 on the Division 1 freshman list with an 8.11 at Ocean Breeze.
One more thing about Rhea: He ran his second collegiate 200 at the Penn State National Open and placed 6th (4th among college runners) at 21.38, another personal best.
His previous 200 PR was a 21.47 a week earlier in Lexington, Ky. That makes him No. 10 in the Big 10 (Paul VI’s Antonio Tarantino of Rutgers is No. 6 at 21.20) and makes him the top freshman in the 200 in the conference as well.
Rhea, a Millville native, had a high school PR of 21.56 from the Cape Atlantic Meet last spring and an indoor 200 PR of 23.27 from a meet at the Bubble his junior year. He only ran the indoor 200 twice in high school.
Rhea also ran a leg on Penn State’s 1,600-meter relay team, which went 3:11.04.