26 APR 2008 General News

Relay records continue to tumble - Penn Relays Day 2

Kelly-Ann Baptiste (LSU) and Gabby Mayo of Texas A&M in 4x100m Relay (Kirby Lee)Kelly-Ann Baptiste (LSU) and Gabby Mayo of Texas A&M in 4x100m Relay (Kirby Lee) © Copyright

Philadelphia, USAOnce again, Louisiana State University got the best of Texas A&M in the women’s 4 x100m Relay at the 114th Penn Relays on Friday (25 April).

The LSU quartet of Brooklyn Morris, Samantha Henry (JAM), Juanita Broaddus and Kelly-Ann Baptiste (TRI) defeated Texas A&M, 42.59 to 42.69, in a race that produced the two fastest times in the world this season.

LSU and Texas A&M were both under the meet record of 42.73 set by LSU in 2003 and moved the schools into third and fifth on the all-time collegiate performance charts.

The triumph was one of three relay victories for the Lady Tigers, who also set a collegiate record in the Shuttle Hurdles Relay at 52.77 and won the 1600m Sprint Medley Relay in 3:46.65 on a warm and sunny afternoon before a crowd of 39,904 at the University of Pennsylvania’s Franklin Field.

Two in a Row for LSU over Texas A&M in the 4x100m

It was the third meeting of the season between NCAA co-favorites LSU and Texas A&M in the 4x100m with LSU now holding a 2-1 edge. Texas A&M beat LSU at the Texas Relays on 3 April with a then world-leading 42.97.

LSU took over the top global spot with a 42.84 clocking over the Aggies in the LSU Alumni Gold meet on the Lady Tigers’ home track in Baton Rouge on 19 April.

On Friday, Baptiste took the baton on the anchor trailing Gabby Mayo of Texas A&M by about three metres before powering down the homestretch and crossing the line, pumping her right fist in celebration.

It was a record 12th Penn Relays 4x100m win for LSU. No other school has collected more than three wins in the event.

Baptiste, who ran the second 200m leg in the sprint medley relay with Samantha Henry (200m), Deonna Lawrence (400m) and LaTavia Thomas (800m), said the Lady Tigers’ resurgence against Texas A&M in the last two outings was developing chemistry after the loss in their season opener.

“They are a good team, but when we ran at Texas Relays, it was the first time, all we wanted to do was get a feel of it and get the stick around the track,” Baptiste said.

Ongoing Rivalry

Baptiste said that the rivalry between LSU and Texas A&M has become particularly escalated with the departure of  coach Pat Henry, who guided LSU to 12 NCAA outdoor women’s titles from 1988-2004, to Texas A&M after the 2004 season.

“Although it’s not really done in a loud manner, but we have this rivalry between each other,” Baptiste said. “Our coach left and ever since that situation we have this rivalry. We feel as we have to make a statement about LSU every time that we step on the track.”

American and collegiate records in Shuttle Hurdles

In the men’s 4x120yd Shuttle Hurdles Relay, David Oliver, Joel Brown, Aubrey Herring and Aries Merritt ran 53.31, the fastest performance of all time by a national team in the event.

In the women’s Shuttle Hurdles, Tanaya Jones, Angel Boyd, Jessica Ohanaja, Nickeisha Wilson timed 52.77 to break the collegiate record of 52.85 set by Illinois in 2001 and the meet record of 53.04 run by LSU in 2003. Wilson and Ohanaja also had the No. 1 and No. 3 fastest marks in the 100 hurdles qualifying at 13.04 and 13.21.

Michigan women defend 4x1500m crown

The University of Michigan won the women’s  4x1500m Relay less than 24 hours after winning the Distance Medley Relay with the No. 2 performance in meet history on Thursday.

Danielle Tauro, Toni Lynn Salucci, Geena Gall and Nicole Edwards timed 17:28.98 in almost a repeat of the DMR squad with Edwards winning a spirited last lap duel with Sarah Bowman of Tennessee. Tennessee finished second at 17:29.12.

The University of Texas won the men’s Distance Medley Relay in 9:32.89 after Leonel Manzano (4:01.8) pulled away Russell Brown of Stanford (4:01.4) and Bobby Curtis of Villanova (3:59.3) on a sprint coming off the final turn of the 1600m anchor leg.

LSU won the men’s Sprint Medley Relay behind opening 200m legs by Trindon Holliday and Richard Thompson in 3:16.68. Holliday and Thompson also teamed on the Tigers’ 4x100m Relay that had the No. 2 qualifying time at 39.49 behind Texas A&M (39.37).

Powell pulls out of USA vs. The World

A match-up between Tyson Gay and Asafa Powell has been put on hold again after Powell withdrew from USA vs. The World 4x100m Relay scheduled for Saturday. According to Powell’s manager Paul Doyle, the World record holder has a strained pectoral muscle. Powell also pulled out of the 4x100m at the Mt. SAC Relays last weekend, due to an injury suffered while lifting weights.

Stanley highlights high school competition

Tasha Stanley, a senior at Eleanor Roosevelt (Maryland) was named the Girls Athlete of the Meet for Relay Events.

Stanley anchored Roosevelt to a second-place finish and a national record in the 4x800m Relay of 8:43.12 with a 2:09.6 leg, to break the previous U.S. record of 8:50.41. Stanley also ran the final leg on the Raiders’ 4x400m Relay that defended its title in 3:37.16 for the No. 7 time in U.S. high school history.

Cory Leslie of Perkins, Ohio, out-leaned Robby Andrews of Manalapan (New Jersey) to win the boys’ mile, 4:12.76 to 4:12.82. Mark Dennin of Boyerton (PA) was the boys’ 3000m winner in 8:30.11.

Kirby Lee for the IAAF

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