Penn State freshman Sincere Rhea ran a PR in the 60-meter high hurdles Friday and advanced to the finals at the Big Ten Conference Championships.
Rhea, the national scholastic indoor champion last year for St. Augustine and outdoor Meet of Champions 400 winner, ran 7.76, the second-fastest qualifying time going into Saturday’s final.
That’s No. 2 in Penn State history and faster in 19 years!
Jaylan McConico, an Iowa senior, ran 7.72. McConico is ranks No. 2 in NCAA Division 1 at 7.60 from the Tyson Invitational earlier this month in Fayetteville, Ark. He’s the defending champion with a 7.79 from last year and a two-time NCAA qualifier.
Rhea’s 7.76 is No. 17 in NCAA Division 1 and moves Rhea ahead of Brithton Senior of South Dakota as the No. 1 freshman in the U.S. Senior ran 7.77 earlier this month at the Iowa State Classic in Ames Iowa.
Rhea’s previous PR was 7.81 at the Penn State National Open.
The Big 10 hurdles final is scheduled for 2:50 p.m. on Saturday. The meet is being held at SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio.
Rhea raced McConico last month in a meet in Lexington, Ky. McConico won in 7.72 and Rhea ran 7.86, which at the time was his PR.
In Penn State history, Rhea trails only Guy Rose, who set the school record of 7.69 in 2001. He’s also the outdoor school record holder in the 110 highs over the 42-inch barriers at 13.56.
Rose, like Rhea, is a former New Jersey Meet of Champions winner. He won the 1998 title as a junior at Wayne Hills High in Passaic County, out-leaning Camden’s Danyne Brown before Brown beat him the next year.
Rhea also ran 21.49 in the 200, missing the two-race final on Saturday on a photo finish. Justin Becker of Purdue also ran 21.49 and advanced. The official results inexplicably don’t show the times down to the 1,000th-of-a-second.