April 26-28, 2001 at Franklin Field, Philadelphia PA

107th Penn Relays


by John Dye

Boys: Individual - 4x100 - 4x400 - 4x800/DMR. Girls: Individual - 4x100 - 4x400 - 4x800/DMR


  • Dathan Ritzenhein - Olympic Development 5000 meters, Friday 7:40pm - Rockford MI senior is gunning for the high school record (13:44 Gerry Lindgren 1964). Like Alan Webb in his quest for a sub-4 mile, Ritz is hoping for older runners to help him out. The field includes seasoned men like Mark Carroll of Ireland, Johnson Muiruri, Thomas Omwenga, and Julius Nderitu. After his great third in junior men at the World Cross Country championships in Belgiuim, Ritz is not afraid of international runners. The record is a reach from his PR of 14:13.80 last June, but this is a stronger field and Ritz has improved. Getting under 14 minutes would be a historic achievement as only four HS runners have ever done that --Lindgren, who did it twice; Steve Prefontaine 13:52.8, John Zishka 13:55.65, and Craig Virgin 13:58.2 -- and none of them since 1980. Olympic Development 5k Entries
  • Alan Webb - DMR 5:05pm Friday, 4x800 prelims 9am Friday and finals 3pm Saturday - The sub-4 minute miler will concentrate on relays at this meet as his South Lakes VA team looks to score in the distance medley and the 4x800. They just missed the DMR title here last year when Webb made up all but a few meters on St. Malachy's of Ireland in a 3:59.9 anchor split (1600 meters). Webb has stronger suipport this year, with Richard Smith getting a PR 1:53+ in the Arcadia 800. In the same meet, South Lakes had two other runners under 2:00 in the 800, so they now have turned their quest for records to the 4x800. If the first three PR, a sub-1:50 anchor by Webb might put South Lakes in range of the US record of 7:34.1 by Donald Sage's York IL squad last year. South Lakes' DMR nemesis, Atlantic Del Ray Beach FL, cannot run at Penn because their state meet qualifying rounds have already started.
  • Veronica Campbell - Jamaican Olympic medalist leads Vere Technical's crack 4x100 relay team, finals at 2:25 pm Friday - Penn Relays officials believe Campbell is the first Olympic finalist to run in the Penn Relays HS division.
  • Camden NJ boys - sprint relays - This crew (Jamar Ervin, Jade Smith, John Morris) is the best in the US, and Jamaica (St. Jago, Holmwood, Bridgeport, and Jamaica College) will broaden their horizons; should be a terrific fight -- 4x100 prelims Friday, 4x400 prelims Saturday morning, both finals Saturday afternoon. The US side also includes top New York squads Campus Magnet, Poly Prep, Transit Tech, and South Shore, along with Dematha MD, Poly Long Beach CA, and Dover DE.

Other High School (by day)


  • Running Prelims: Girls 4x100 11:15am, 4x400 1:25pm, 4x800 10:35am
  • Running Finals: Girls 400H 10:25 am, DMR 5:50pm, Mile 6:05pm, 3000 6:10pm
    • San Lorenzo Valley CA girls return to the scene of their national record DMR (11:41.28 in 2000). Their team is intact again, with Ale Barrientos' return to form after a 10-month layoff from a stress fracture, and would like to take down the Penn Relays record (11:40.51 Vere Tech, Jamaica, 1992). Coach Rob Collins thinks it is possible, after Ale's 4:47.88 1600 at Arcadia, a 12-second improvement over her Stanford time 2 weeks earlier and not far off her 4:44.28 anchor at Penn last year. Collins sees Ale running back to her 2000 split and equal or better times from the other three legs: Raquel Barrientos 3:42.1, Lyndsay Scharborough 57.7, and Shiloh Whiting 2:17.0. SLV is not alone - there are good teams from Bellport NY, Boys & Girls NY, Manchester Central NH, and Tacius Golding JAM.
    • 3000 - Should be a duel between two sub-10 minute runners: Michelle Wale NY, 4th here last year, and Julia Pudlin PA.
    • Mile - Multi-talented Erin Donohue NJ picks this event under Penn's one individual event rule; she is the Nike Indoor Classic champion this year (4:51.15) and has a PR of 4:48.68 (Raleigh 1999, Foot Locker Outdoor champion).
    • 400m hurdles - With 3-time winner Sheena Johnson off to UCLA, the door is open to Tiffany Abney PA. Her 58.82 PR came in the Junior Nationals last June, and she won the US-Canada dual meet. But Abney will be severely tested by Jamaicans Melaine Walker 56.55 and Camille Robinson 58.41, 1-2 in the recent Jamaican HS championships. .
  • Field: Girls javelin 12pm, long jump 1:45pm, triple jump 145pm, high jump 3pm, and shot put 3pm.
    • Triple Jump - Poly Long Beach CA sr Candice Baucham uncorked a 42-3.5 wind legal mark at the Arcadia Invitational 2 weeks ago, making her the heavy favorite here. Last Saturday she won the Mt. SAC Relays long jump at 19-4.
    • Pole Vault - Massachusetts Air Time teammates Samantha Shepard and Molly Lederman, who have held national HS girls records eight times between them, head this field, with worthy contenders being Poly Long Beach CA sr Jamie Kolar, Fairview PA sr Kim Stuyvesant, and Erie PA sr Emily Tharpe.
    • High Jump - Northern VA rivals Krystle Moss and Bonnie Meekins move to a larger stage, where they are joined by McDowell PA jr Sheena Gordon, a 5-11 leaper indoors this year.
  • Day 1 results


  • Running Prelims: Boys 4x800 9am, 4x100 10:15am
  • Running Finals:
    • Girls 4x800 12:20pm, 4x100 2:15pm, 4x400 5:35pm
      • Can anyone beat the Jamaicans?
      • Jamaican 4x100 and 4x400 teams beat the US national records in their national championship 3 weeks ago, Vere Tech 44.61 and Holmwood Tech 3:35.77. US teams taking up the challenge will be William Penn PA, Poly Long Beach CA, Randolph NY, and Boys & Girls NY. Randolph was fastest in the prelims with a sub-3:40 clocking.
      • Two Jamaican teams (Holmwood Tech 9:02.57 and Edwin Allen 9:04.10) have faster times than any US team, so US indoor champions Randolph NY 9:09.74 (NSIC) and Boys & Girls NY 9:11.82 (NIC) will have to step it up to have a chance. But Boys & Girls made a statement in the prelims with the only sub-9 clocking despite a "slow" heat from Stacy Livingston.
    • Boys DMR 5:05pm, mile 5:20 pm, 3000 5:25pm.
      • Boys DMR - Alan Webb and South Lakes VA won't have nemeses Atlantic Del Ray Beach FL (losses at Arcadia and the Nike Indoor Classic) or St. Malachy's of Ireland (winner of the last 4 Penn Relays DMRs) to worry about, but could still have its hands full with Belvedere of Ireland, St. Alban's of England, Albuerque Olimpico of Puerto Rico, St. George's of the Bahamas, and Christian Brothers Academy of New Jersey.
      • Boys Mile - Bobby Curtis KY and Bobby Lockhart VA will have a rematch of their photo-finish battle at the Nike Indoor Classic, where Curtis surprised Lockhart with a last turn kick and won by a split second. They are joined by such worthies as Matt Maline VA, member of the US junior men's team at the World Cross Country championships and Millrose Games milers Shane Stroup MD and Justin Romaniuk NY.
      • Boys 4x800 - It will take sub-7:50 to talk championship possibilities, with John Jay NY and Christian Brothers already having been there and South Shore NY, Transit Tech NY, North Penn PA, and Archbishop Ryan PA thinking about it.
  • Field: Girls discus 10am; Boys javelin 12pm, high jump 1:30pm, Shot Put 2:30pm
    • Boys High Jump - Indoor leader Dan Olson NY (7-4) is the obvious favorite.


  • Running Prelims: Boys 4x400 9:25am
  • Running Finals: Boys 400H 9am, 4x100 2:15pm, 4x800 3:00pm, 4x400 5:50pm
  • Field: Boys long jump 9am, triple jump 9am, discus 9am, pole vault 10am.

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