Penn


#1

Just decompressing after the long weekend. I missed last year, and didn’t get to any meets this fall, so it’s been nearly 1.5 years since I’ve seen a meet in person.

The atmosphere was great, although it was a little less crowded (by design? security? lack of big name elites - i.e. Bolt?), easier to move around. I didn’t think the security was over the top, just stupid - as you could bring a huge duffel bag in, but not a backpack. Or if you came in late in the afternoon, they didn’t even bother to check your bags. Security theater at it’s finest. But the cheesesteaks were still good, ditto the pretzels and the mojitos.

It was also my first time seeing a lot the NJ kids run in person.

Olivia Baker is a stud. I’m sure you all knew that, but her 4 x 8 leg was great. Wasn’t the fastest split - and would have liked to see her match up against the 3rd leg from Edwin Allen on the anchor - but to watch her run controlled on the opening 400 and then start to accelerate with 350 to go was great. Everyone around me took a gasp then - not with 200 to go when it looked inevitable - but when they realized that she was going to make a run at the leader. It’s something special - not just the ability to run great times - but to bring the crowd to it’s feet as they know they are about to see something great.

The Clark twins are studs. Heck, the entire Pleasantville team are studs. Roob mentioned that the leadoff kid PR’d by 2 seconds - that’s huge. On the leadoff, in the finals, at Penn - to run the race of your life when all the chips are on the line, that’s studly. However, the 3rd leg - major league toughness. I can’t really imagine a tougher situation mentally - you have a 1:49.X leg give you the lead at Penn, knowing that you’re the weak link, and having to run the whole thing essentially alone in front of 40,000+ people. I don’t know what his PR is/was, but he handled his job perfectly. And course, the Clarks. They ran great - they paced well, the ran hard. Didn’t go out like maniacs, saved for the last 100m. I don’t think I’ve ever seen two better h.s. legs on distance relay like that. Kostelac and Vrhovac from Abermarle were probably the closest thing. But the Clark brothers were something else.

Union Catholic was good in the 4 x 4 trials, looked very tired in the finals, with a banging race up front. Not much you can do in that situation, but they were still the top American team, which counts.

The DMR was a great race (and yes I’m biased). Cheserek is still Cheserek, and the 3:18 leadoff leg put him way out of reach. I know he takes a lot of criticism for his pacing (and often from me), but he there’s not much he’s going to do when he’s that far down. Other situations? Maybe. But he was nearly 20 seconds down when he got the stick. A doped up Moroccan isn’t going to win that race.

They’ve had similar situations in the previous years: 2011, they go on to run 9:51 at the end of the year, but a bad leadoff leg at penn killed them. 2012, they got the leadoff leg the needed, and Cheserek was ok. This year - another bad leadoff effectively ends the race for them. But, if they get a good leadoff this year…it may be a different race.

I know the CBA kids are probably disappointed - 2 years in a row they have the lead entering the anchor leg, and two years they are 1 second out of winning. But they ran almost a completely different team from the NBIN runner up team - no Bragg, no Mangini, no Boyle. Only McDermott was the same. Throw in another of their 400 guys, and they have two DMRs this year under 10:10. Insane depth.


#2

One mark that has received no notice at all: Trenton’s Zyaire Clemes’ 46.4 400 leg in the 4x400 trials, second fastest leg of the meet.


#3

What heat were they in?

I didn’t get there until about 10:45 on Sat morning, so missed a good amount of the early races.


#4

Event 431 at 10:30 AM. You just missed them.


#5

Is that how fast he went??? WOW!!! It was impressive to watch. he will be running the invite 200 at the Mercer Twilight Invitational this weekend …


#6

who ran the 46.1 i remember hearing it in one of the heats but can’t recall who it was…was it the kid from Munro College Jamaica?


#7

The hell with the 46.1…he split 44.9 in the final! Delano Williams of Munro College.

Unfortunately for him, his split was only the second fastest of the race; Jovan Francis of Calabar ran 44.8!

RESULTS

PL SCHOOL/AFFILIATION MARK ATHLETES ID
1 Calabar (Kingston, JAM) 3:09.22 Kemar Williams (49.2), Jason Hyton (48.1), Michael O’hara (47.1), Jovan Francis (44.8) B
2 Munro College (St. Elizabeth, JAM) 3:09.24 Senoj-Jay Givans (47.9), Kaneil Harrison (49.4), Herbert Thomas (47.0), Delano Williams (44.9) A
3 Manchester (Manchester, JAM) 3:10.21 Derron Wright (48.8), Gawayne Stephenson (48.7), Lennox Williams (46.3), Oshane Burrell (46.4) F
4 Queen’s Royal College (Port of Spain, TRI) 3:12.17 Asa Guevara (48.3), Nathan Farinha (48.8), Jonathan Farinha (47.2), Jamol Pierre (47.9) D
5 Union Catholic (Scotch Plains, NJ) 3:16.06 Obafemi Animashaun (50.2), Jordan Jimerson (48.4), Zach Ghizzone (50.0), Taylor McLaughlin (47.5) E
6 Knightdale (Knightdale, NC) 3:16.09 Henry Kiedy (48.9), Bernard Freeman (48.9), Marcell Johnson (49.0), Marquavious Johnson (49.3) C
7 Moores Island (Hard Bargain, BAH) 3:23.10 Nicholas Roberts (51.3), Whitsun Bain (51.9), Steven Gardiner (51.1), James Williams (48.8) G
8 St. Jago (St. Catherine, JAM) 3:28.18 Robert Thomas (52.7), Ivan Henry (50.0), Raheem Chamber (55.1), Martin Manley (50.4) H

BTW, a leg that has been totally overlooked: Madison Holleran of Northern Highlands split 3:33.1 leading off the girls DMR. According to the program its the 4th fastest 1200 leg ever by a girl at Penn.

For those who weren’t there, the entire Bernards team that won the girls 4x800 30 years ago was there. Pretty cool.


#8

I have never ever seen a 4 x 4 race in HS where anchors split 44.8 and 44.9 and were separateed by .02, look at the splits and how close they were going in

I am wondering if 3:10.21 is fastest thrid place time in a while in a HS 4 x 4 or ever?

Imagine avg’ing 47.5 and back by a second?


#9

This year I attended with one of our youth coaches who is from Jamaica and attended Munro. Unbelievably, he had never attended Penn Relays (he was completely blown away… now he and a buddy from Jamaica are headed to their Nationals next March). He told me there was a kid from his HS who had split 44.9 in the Jamaican National Champs, and pointed him out on Saturday. What a leg… but .1 too slow! One of many amazing races this year, one of the best Relays in quite a while.