The Internet Home of Track & Field

Penn Relays - Thursday

Big winners: Southern Regional NJ - Ashley Higginson - Ryann Krais - Kam Hayes. Top US qualifiers: Eleanor Roosevelt MD, Pope John XXIII NJ, Rancho Verde CA

April 26, 2007 Franklin Field, Philadelphia PA

DyeStat on-site coverage

SteveU's Daily Wrap - NJ, PA Athletes Rule the Day (more stories coming on event pages)

See Winners Table for results and pix of each event. 


Running Finals
  • Colts Neck NJ sr Ashley Higginson repeats her 3000 victory, improving to 9:37.91 and running alone much of the way.
  • Methacon jr Ryann Krais powers away at the end for a PR 58.93 400H victory in the first running final.
  • With Chelsea Cox providing a key boost with her fast finish in the 800, Southern Regional NJ takes the DMR in 11:45.54. Jillian Smith (3:33.6) and Danielle Tauro (4:50.7) provide the usual strong bookends.
  • Judge Memorial UT sr Samantha McMillan blazes the last 100 to pass Barnesville OH's Stephanie Morgan in the mile, as both PR in 4:50.31 and 4:51.25

Left, Bay Shore's Sarah McCurdy (A) and Southern Regional's Jillian Smith (B) lead the pace after 2 laps of the DMR 1200 leg. At right, shot winner Kam Hayes points the way to victory. Photos by The Track Junkie.

Field Finals
  • Vere Tech, Jamaica's Kim Williams smashes TJ record with 42-04.25 for victory
  • Defending NON champ and Harding NC sr Kamorean Hayes holds off Penncrest jr Karen Shump in SP, 49-03.75 to 49-00.50.
  • Defending NON champ and Westmont Hilltop PA sr Karlee McQuillen has the 2 best throws of competition in winning JT in 151-07.
  • Deep Creek VA sr Ashley Gatling wins jumpoff with 5-06.50 in high jump
  • Easton PA's Abby Schaffer and Montville Twp NJ's Chrissy Finkel both clear 12-04.50 in PV, but Schaffer wins on fewer misses
  • Bethel VA's Shakia Forbes takes the LJ in 19-04.25
Relay Qualifying
  • In 4x400 qualifying, top times are turned in by Eleanor Roosevelt MD (3:43.95) and Long Beach Poly CA (3:44.17) on the US side, and Edwin Allen (3:41.67), Holmwood Tech (3:44.78), Manchester (3:45.68), and St. Jago (3:47.15) on the Jamaican side.
  • Chanelle Price's 53.7 in bringing Easton to 2nd in their heat is the fastest leg of the day.
  • The top times in the 4x100 go to Edwin Allen 46.16, for Jamaica, and Rancho Verde CA (46.67)
  • In the 4x800 qualifying, Pope John XXIII has a big 9:03.56 to lead US teams (also Eleanor Roosevelt 9:14.08). Edwin Allen (9:05.02) and Holmwood (9:05.11) are best from Jamaica.

NJ, PA Girls Dominate Day 1

By SteveU

The athletes for whom the Penn Relays is closest to home were the most successful on the first day of prep action at the 113th running of the Carnival.

Girls from Pennsylvania took home two field event golds and the first running gold of the day, as Karlee McQuillen (JT) and Abby Schaffer (PV) followed Ryann Krais (400H) atop the podium. Much later, New Jersey girls claimed two of the distance golds at the end of the day as Ashley Higginson repeated in the 3000 and Southern Regional took the distance medley relay.

Two more firsts went to Virginia (Ashley Gatling in HJ, Shakia Forbes in LJ), and another to the first Utah prep ever to compete here – Samantha McMillan in the mile. Jamaica’s lone gold came from Kim Williams meet record performance in the triple jump (42-04.25), but one suspects they’ll significantly boost that haul in the next two days.

Samantha McMillan wins the mile. Photo by The Track Junkie.
Cool temperatures, occasional light rain (but mostly threatening skies), and tough swirling breezes were the order of the day Thursday. Those conditions kept most athletes from reaching PR levels, but did not keep the competition from being fierce.

How fierce? Well, a jumpoff was forced between Gatling and Manchester, Jamaica’s Khadeen Issacs when both 5-06.50 on their 2nd attempt, but missed 5-07.75. It took four more jumps at different heights, back and forth, before Gatling cleared 5-07 for her 2nd straight win here. “I’ve got to go shake her hand, because she put me through a mess,” the loquacious Virginian said afterward.

Similar grit was shown by McMillan, reportedly the first prep athlete from Utah to ever compete here, as she surged past Stephanie Morgan OH in the mile to win in a PR 4:50.31. And Ryann Krais PA in pulling away on the last two hurdles for 400H victory. And how about Chelsea Cox’s finish in her 800 leg of the DMR, putting her Southern Regional team in the lead. Indeed, it was some redemption for the Jersey school, which Danielle Tauro then took to victory in 11:45.54, helping make up for a disappointing loss at NIN.

But maybe the toughest performance of the day came from Easton PA’s Chanelle Price. With little chance of her team making the wrenchingly tough final (despite 3:51 team talent), she hammered her anchor leg all the way around for a heats-leading 53.7, which allowed her to catch 2nd place with a dip at the line.

Thursday was also about domination, as Higginson ruled over the 3000 meter field for her second straight victory, and Williams cemented her claim as one of the all-time great Penn athletes with her third straight triple jump win, this one breaking the meet record.

And, finally, it was about holding on. Holding on like NON defending champ Kamorean Hayes NC did in the shot put, as she endured a somewhat off day and constant pressure from Karen Shump PA. Or like Schaffer did with her PR in the PV and taking the event on fewer misses.

As Friday dawned, it looked like “holding on” would be one of the key themes for the day as intense rain could make the 2nd day of Penn Relays a true test of survival.

Penn Relays home page