News Americas, PHILADELPHIA, PA, Sun. April 29, 2012: The Americans took back their dominance over the “world” at the Penn Relays Saturday, with both their men’s and women’s Olympic teams shining brightly at Ben Franklin Field despite the chilly weather.
Racking up the first top win of the day was the US blue team that included Porscha Lucas, Barbara Pierre, Phoebe Wright and Maggie Vessey.
The US women took the win in the USA vs. the World Women Sprint Medley in a time of 3:42.85, beating back Great Britain into second place and Jamaica into third. Jamaicans were quick to argue that it was not their best team at the Penn Relays as the best was being saved for London.
Then it was over to the men, with both the U.S. red and blue men’s team placing first and second, respectively in the USA vs. the World Men 4×100-m race, beating back their Jamaican rivals into the third spot much to the disappointment of a huge Jamaican fan base in the stands of almost 50,000.
In the women’s 4×100, the US red team that included Bianca Knight, Carmelita Jeter, Tianna Madison won over the Jamaican squad that included Shelly-Ann Frazer-Price, in a time of 42.19.
Bahamas, however, gave the US stiff competition in the USA vs. the World Men 4×400-m, but the US’ LaShawn Merritt managed in the last leg to outrun the Bahamas and take the win for his red team in a time of 3:00.15.
The women of the US’ red team, including Richards-Ross, also took the win over Jamaica in the 4×400-m.
Despite the dominance of the Jamaican top athletes by the US side, Jamaican PM, Portia Simpson Miller, who attended the relays said: “I am enjoying the Penn Relays very much! The USA and Jamaican have had a good working relationship since 1962 and as we celebrate our 50th anniversary of independence we celebrate our relationship with the government and the people of the United States as well.”
But the Jamaican high school boys saved face for fans and nationals of Jamaica watching by television, winning first and second place in the High School Boys’ 4×400 Championship of America and first, second and third in the High School Boys’ 4×100 Championship of America.
Wolmer’s Boys won the 4×100 in a time of 40.34. They were followed by Jamaica College in a time of 40.57 and Herbert Morrison in a time of 41.03.
Jamaica’s Kingston College and Holmwood were second and third, respectively, in the High School Boys’ 4×800 Championship of America while Christoff Bryan of Wolmers won the High School Boys’ High Jump Championship. The High School Boys’ Long Jump Championship was won by Kingston College’s Clive Pullen.
The girls of Wolmer’s won the High School Girls’ 4×400 Championship of America in a time of 3:42.06 while Holmwood and Vere Tech were second and third, respectively.
High schools from St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, the USVI, the Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Barbados and Grenada, also participated at this 118th running of the relays but did not make the top cut.
(Reported by Ann Walters)