Similar to last year, the college men’s 4×800 championship was highly anticipated. There were a number of good teams in this race, but perhaps again with no clear favorite, although defending champion Virginia was returning with their speedy anchor, Robby Andrews.
The first exchange had Arkansas, followed by Penn State and Virginia. Arkansas opened up a nice 30 meter lead on the second leg, but it was quickly swallowed up by the peloton led by Penn State. Penn State and Virginia would pass Arkansas before the halfway mark, with Sam Borchers of Penn State running a 1:47.
Penn State (Cas Loxsom) and Virginia (Robby Andrews) would receive the baton neck and neck at the final exchange, after a sharp duel between 3rd legs Ryan Foster (PSU) and Anthony Kostelac (VA). Mike Preble of Texas A&M made up significant ground on the penultimate lap but could not maintain it throughout.
Loxsom would push the pace the entire last lap, trying to take the starch out of the Cavalier’s anchor, but Andrews dropped the hammer with 150 to go passing the Nittany Lions and right into history with a 7:12.15, Penn State following with 7:12.90. This was the first race in some time that threatened the legendary 7:11 by Penn State in 1985 and is #2 AT. Penn State’s time was #6 and their fastest time since the famous record. Andrews split was 1:46.0.
**Long Beach Poly run #3 All-Time USA Boys 4×800**
The High School 4×800 featured a number of good teams, including Holmwood Tech of Jamaica, the indoor US national champion (Abington), and Long Beach Poly. High schools in the Mid-Atlantic have a long tradition of success in the 4×800, including the national record that was set here at the Penn Relays by Albermarle of Virginia.
At the second exchange, Poly led with Abington right behind, followed closely by Central Bucks West. Poly opened their lead on the third leg with Abington about 70 yards behind. Long Beach Poly won unopposed in 7:31.69, #3 All-Time at Penn and in the US, with a 1:49 anchor leg ! This is the 7th 1:49 by a high schooler.
The Penn Relays now has the the Top 3 high school 4×800’s in US history.
Our third distance championship for women was the 4×800. We had Georgetown in the DMR and Boston College in the 4×1500, with anyone’s guess in this race.
The leadoff leg came through in 2:06. We had many teams in contention (BYU, Georgetown, UConn, Tennessee, Duke) at this point. BYU took the lead with Duke at the second exchange with a 2:03.3. However, Duke took over on the third leg, followed by Georgetown. Kate Van Buskirk anchored for Duke, with Renee Tomlin for Georgetown . . . Van Buskirk held off Tomlin in 8:35.95. Tennessee closed hard with Chanelle Price in 2:03.
This is Duke’s first 4×800 championship, and only the 2nd for the school.
Ristanna Tracey is a little tired after anchoring in 2:03 (Photo Kim Spir)
**Edwin Allen runs under 8:40 – #2 All-Time**
Our second championship of the meet for girls is our first championship of Friday, the girls 4×800 championship. The top qualifier was Edwin Allen of Jamaica.
Edwin Allen had a good lead at the handoff, and opened up almost a 100 meter lead on the second exchange. This lead was maintained into the last leg where Ristanna Tracey, having already won the 400 hurdles on Thursday, increased the lead even further by taking it out under 60 seconds.
By the finish, the lead was a whopping 120 meters, winning in 8:39.22. This was #2 All-Time at the relays, only exceeded by Vere Tech’s legendary 8:37.
The meet is still young, and we’ve already had a long rain delay, but it’s turning out to be a big day for Edwin Allen High School. This morning, Ristananna Tracey shattered the Carnival record for the high school girls 400-meter hurdles with a stunning 56.17 run. The old mark also belonged to an Edwin Allen athlete, Sherene Pinnock, who ran 56.90 in 2006.
In addition, Edwin Allen quartets posted the fastest times of the day in the qualifying races of the 4×800 (8:57.98) and the 4×100 (45.97).
Virginia wins its first Penn Relays men’s Championship of America since 1943 with a 7:15.38 clocking.
On the opening leg, Owen Dawson handed off first for Penn State with everyone still in contention.
Casimir Loxsom kept the Nittany Lions in the lead on the second leg, thanks to the day’s fastest split, 1:46.58. Lance Roller moved Virginia up to second place with Oregon, Tennessee, Texas and LSU following.
We have had a great race in the HSB 4×800. After the first two legs, it was Warwick Valley (NY), Long Beach Poly (CA), and Kingston College (JA) in a great three team race. Warwick Valley made a solid move before the last handoff, taking a small lead on Poly. At the bell, Warwick Valley led, but there were huge moves by Georgetown Prep and Kingston College. Nevertheless, Warwick Valley held on in 7:41.77. The top 7 teams were under 7:50.
Full results here. Off note, the clouds have moved in . . . and its getting a little windy. Hopefully the rain will hold off !
LSU’s Charlene Lipsey took it out hard and immediately set the stage for a great run. Tennessee’s Kimarra McDonald handed off in second, about five meters back.
On the second leg Tennessee’s Chanelle Price gradually closed down on LSU’s Kayann Thompson, but Thompson had a final burst to maintain the lead.
The third leg was the battle of Brittanys, with Tennessee’s Sheffey catching LSU’s Hall in the final 50 meters and handing off a stride ahead.
The anchor leg was a classic battle with Tennessee’s Phoebe Wright leading LSU’s LaTavia Thomas the whole way. A final surge from Wright opened up an 8:18.22–8:19.77 margin of victory. Those are the second and fourth fastest times in Relays history.
The Lady Vols completed the distance “double-triple” — sweeping the 4x800m 4×1500 and distance medley for the second year in a row. Villanova did it in 1989 and 90.
Holmwood Tech of Jamaica put on a dominating performance, winning this event for an event-record eighth time. Their time of 8:42.49 is the third fastest ever at the Relays. Edwin Allen, also of Jamaica was second in 8:47.73.
Holmwood, Randolph (NJ), Edwin Allen and Columbia (NJ) were ahead of the pack at the first exchange. On the second leg, Holmwood went out hard and opened up a gap that grew to 40 meters by the exchange, with Edwin Allen and Long Beach Poly next. From there Holmwood continued to hold its lead.
On the anchor, Edwin Allen’s Ristananna Tracey ran the day’s fastest split (2:06.72) to pull away form Long Beach Poly (9:00.72), which was a full 50 meters ahead of the chase pack.