Philadelphia, USAOne down, two to go for the Tennessee women.
The Volunteers won the Championship of America Distance Medley Relay in 11:02.11 in windy conditions before a crowd of 24,315 at the 115th Penn Relays at the University of Pennsylvania’s Franklin Field on Thursday (23 April).
It’s the first of three distance relays for Tennessee, which will also run in the 4x800m today (24 April) and the 4x1500m relay on Saturday (25 April).
Last year, Tennessee finished second in all three relays by a combined 2.69 seconds.
Cool temperatures and breezy conditions prevented the Tennessee quartet of junior Phoebe Wright (1200m), senior Kimarra McDonald (400m), freshman Chanelle Price (800m) and Sarah Bowman (1600m) from challenging the Volunteers’ World Indoor best of 10:50.98 run in the NCAA Indoor Championships on 14 March.
“Our motto is if you go for the win great things will happen,” Price said. “We really wanted to win and see what times we could post. With two more good races over the next two days time wasn’t really a big of deal to us especially after setting the record indoors.”
Thursday’s event turned into a two team event with Georgetown (11:01.85). Bowman held off a homestretch charge by Georgetown’s Maggie Infield to preserve the victory.
“It’s definitely windy, it wasn’t ideal conditions but you’re racing to win so you don’t think about that,” Bowman said. “There’s always records but you have to go out and see how it goes. It just wasn’t the day. It wasn’t happening.’’
Homecoming for Price and McDonald
The triumph albeit without a record was nevertheless a joyous homecoming for Price and McDonald.
It was the first Penn Relays title for Price, who competed at the Penn Relays at Easton Area High in Pennsylvania.
McDonald, a native of nearby Lumberton, N.J., filled in for Brittany Jones on Thursday. Jones, who ran on Tennessee’s DMR that twice lowered the World best this season, missed her flight from Knoxville to Philadelphia after attempting to leave a day after her teammates to participate in a group presentation for her Social Work 250 class.
“It’s nice to come home, walk around and see a whole bunch of people that you haven’t seen in a really long time,” McDonald said.
Texas A&M posted the top qualifying time in the women’s 4x100m preliminaries with a team of Khrystal Carter, Porscha Lucas, Allison George and Gabby Mayo at 43.80. They are the collegiate leaders in the event at 42.91.
UTech of Jamaica was the fastest qualifier in the 4x400m Relay at 3:34.99.
Scott McPherson of Arkansas won the steeplechase in 8:44.64 and Amos Sang and Cleophas Tanui led a 1-2 sweep in 29:34.21 and 29:42.52 in the 10,000m for NCAA Division II Abilene Christian.
Other college women’s championship event winners included Fawn Dorr of Penn State in the 400m hurdles (57.78), Rachel Laurent of LSU in the pole vault (4.23m), Shara Proctor of Florida in the long jump (6.21m), Nadia Alexander of Louisiana Tech in the shot put (16.68m), Jasmine Jennings of Rhode Island in the hammer (58.00m) and Meghan Briggs of Virginia in the javelin (52.67m).
Kirby Lee for the IAAF