Friday Penn Recap - Lady Vols Win 4x1500, Go For 6 Straight Tomorrow


April 23, 2010

There is no meet in America like Penn Relays.

Everyone (and we mean everyone) was talking about Usain Bolt and what should be a Saturday to remember. But for many athletes, coaches and fans there was business to take care of Friday. The big stories for college distance fans centered around the University of Oregon who sent their finest mid-distance runners across the country to compete in the centerpiece distance relays.

The Oregon men opened up their weekend with a very comfortable DMR win. The women, however, were without the services of Australian 1500 ace Zoe Buckman and couldn't quite hang in the 4x1500 race.

Women's 4x1500 - Wright and Reid Bring Crowd To Their Feet In Fantastic Race
The race of the day on Friday is usually the men's Championship of America DMR. But today the women clearly were the headliners. Tennessee and Villanova battled from the gun to the wire and brought thousands of fans to their feet with 150m left. Tennessee, anchord by half-miler Phoebe Wright, got a 62-second last lap from their senior star to edge Villanova and Sheila Reid by 0.5 seconds after a shoulder-to-shoulder final 250m.

Track and Field: 116th Penn Relays
Phoebe Wright and Tennessee won the most exciting race of the day by out-kicking Villanova's Sheila Reid in the women's 4x1500

Tennesee have now won 5 consecutive Penn Relays distance wheels. The won the 4x1500, 4x800 and DMR last year with Wright, Chanelle Price and graduated star Sarah Bowman forming the nucleus. This year, with Bowman running as a professional, coach J.J. Clark's mid-distance girls have stepped up to continue the streak with wins in the DMR (results) and now 4x1500. Indoors the new face was miler Brittany Sheffey, who outran Jordan Hasay to win the DMR NCAA national title in a great race.

At Penn, Jackie Areson is playing the role of previously unheralded star for Tennessee. Areson outran Nicole Blood on Thursday on the DMR anchor by 4 seconds. Today she put 5 seconds on Oregon's Alex Kosinski in the 2nd leg to set the table for Sheffey and Wright to win.

Price mentioned in the post-race commentary that a sickness almost caused her to miss Penn. An eastern PA native, the high school star desperately wanted to compete at Penn but first had to prove her fitness to coach Clark in the past week before making the team.

Tomorrow look for Price, Wright and Sheffey on the 4x8 with a new runner. Areson has done her job as Tennessee will be heading home with at least 2 wheels thanks to her.

Track and Field: 116th Penn Relays
Photo: Oregon freshman Mac Fleet ran the best 800 split of the day to give Wheating a big lead.

Men's DMR - Oregon with Centro Jr, Fleet, Wheating... Untouchable
The women's 4x1500 was clearly the event of the day because Oregon simply dominated the otherwise lackluster men's DMR field. Matt Centrowitz Jr. ran in front of Dad and took the 1200 leg in 2:56.09 with a nice kick. Bumped, cut-off and elbowed at the start, Centrowitz said the 1200 leg was probably the most physical race he had ever run. Freshman Mac Fleet (right) ran a 1:48.0 on the 800 leg to outpace all other runners on the windy day. Andrew Wheating got the baton with 5:31 on the clock. Next time he crossed the line the clock read 6:26 and the race was over. Wheating looked phenomenal taking the 1600 leg out in 55 and cruising from there to clock an easy 4:00 1600. Wheating, at 6'5" or 6'6" is like the Usain Bolt of miling. He made it look so easy, leading Oregon got their first wheel of the weekend.

Next up for the Ducks is the 4xMile tomorrow at 1pm followed by the 4x8 at 4:20pm. Coach Andy Powell said the 4xMile is their focus. It seems highly unlikely they'll be going for a sub-16:00 as the vibe of the Oregon group was "we're here to have fun." With no legitimate competitors in the 4xMile, fans will hope to see the Ducks cruise to an easy win and then square off with Penn State, UVA and others in the 4x8, going for the relay sweep.

Top-5 Results:

1 Oregon 9:30.69 Matthew Centrowitz (2:56.09), Chad Barlow (46.72), Mac Fleet (1:48.04), Andrew Wheating (3:59.84) AB
2 Villanova 9:33.93 Mathew Mildenhall (2:57.55), Christopher Kearney (47.04), Cody Harper (1:48.74), Carl MacKenzie (4:00.62) AA
3 Georgetown 9:34.38 Dylan Sorensen (2:58.70), Toby Ulm (46.61), Theon O'Conner (1:49.37), Andrew Bumbalough (3:59.71) AJ
4 Michigan 9:35.24 Brendon Blacklaws (2:57.95), David St. Amant (47.12), Dallas Bowden (1:49.74), Lex Williams (4:00.44) AL
5 Texas 9:39.08 Logan Gonzales (2:59.48), Danzell Fortson (46.05), Tevan Everett (1:50.24), Patrick Todd (4:03.31) AF

What Happened To All The Sub-9:35 Teams From Indoors?
Take a look at the seed times for the top-11 NCAA indoor men's DMR teams.

NCAA 2010 Indoor Entries
Section 1  Timed Finals
  1  Arkansas                                             9:33.12 
  2  Eastern Michigan                                     9:32.72 
  3  Indiana                                              9:32.73 
  4  Texas                                                9:34.26 
  5  Arizona State                                        9:31.34 
  6  UCLA                                                 9:31.07 
  7  Oregon                                               9:29.82 
  8  Villanova                                            9:33.11 
  9  California                                           9:32.11 
 10  Stanford                                             9:30.25 
 11  Minnesota                                            9:33.86 

It's Good, and Annoying To Be A Duck
The winning relay teams come into the media room to field questions in front of a room of reporters and cameras. After the well-deserved love fest, the Ducks were heading to a special Nike event. Nike is a big sponsor of the Penn Relays. It's fun to be a Duck. But at times it's got to be annoying. For example, as Wheating walked into the warm-up paddock, he was approached by a man and had an awkward interaction. The man? None other than Robby Andrews' father. Probably not exactly who Wheating was hoping to talk to right before the Penn DMR... the father of the freshman who beat him at NCAA indoors. Wheating, as always, was smiling and approachable.

No Rival For Oregon... Except In The 4x8 Where Andrews Will Be Fresh
It became clear to everyone that there is no rival for the Oregon men in the DMR or 4xMile. There's no Dorian Ulrey for Arkansas (and they don't have the other legs anyway), no Matthew Gibney for Villanova or any other comparable miler to Wheating (plus Centro Jr, Fleet and AJ Acosta). The only chance for Oregon to lose will be in the 4x8. UVA coach Jason Vigilante did not run freshman indoor NCAA 800m champ Andrews on Friday so he will be fresh for the 4x8 on Saturday while the Oregon anchor (definitely Wheating) will have 2 mile races in his legs.
Boards: 4 x 800 - Who You Got Penn State Or Oregon (or UVA and others)

Jamaican Kemoy Campbell Becomes First From "The Island" To Win Penn Relays 3000
Kemoy Campbell, a 3:42/14:18 distance sensation for Jamaica, lived up to the hype in the highly-anticipated 3000 showdown against Alex Hatz and Jake Hurysz. In fact, it wasn't a showdown. Campbell took the pace right from the gun and gapped the field, leading by up to 35m. In the end, Hatz brought the crowd to its feet but had too much territory to make up. Hatz had a great kick but Campbell (8:20 finishing time, 4th-fastest ever at Penn) was far-and-away the class of the field as he ran alone in the front the entire race.
*Domination - Kemoy Campbell First Jamaican to Win Boys 3000

3000 Results (looks a lot closer than it was)

PL ID Athlete School/Affiliation Mark
1 3 Kemoy Campbell Bellefield Comprehensive  (Mandeville, JAM) 8:20.14
2 7 Alex Hatz Fayetteville-Manlius  (Manlius, NY) 8:21.01
3 1 Jake Hurysz Eastern Alamance  (Mebane, NC) 8:21.74
4 10 Chris Bendtsen Wolcott  (Wolcott, CT) 8:21.79
5 5 Tyler Udland Millburn  (Millburn, NJ) 8:25.06
6 16 Mohamed Abushouk Cary  (Cary, NC) 8:26.10
7 17 Blake Williams Northern Durham  (Durham, NC) 8:27.60
8 4 Christopher Foley Chantilly  (Chantilly, VA) 8:27.67
9 11 Michael Ross Mansy Science Hill  (Johnson City, TN) 8:28.96
10 19 Yazid Zouaimia Centreville  (Clifton, VA) 8:29.49

Penn Relays Record For Pat Schellberg - 4:08.07
Pat Schellberg set a US-leading and Penn Relays mile record with a 4:08.07 win over, among others, 800m specialist Anthony Kostelac.
*Pat Schellberg New Penn Relays Mile Record 4:08-flat


PL ID Athlete School/Affiliation Mark
1 1 Pat Schellberg Delbarton School  (Morristown, NJ) 4:08.07
2 8 Isaac Presson Asheville  (Asheville, NC) 4:09.16
3 4 Tom Kehl Father Judge  (Philadelphia, PA) 4:11.07
4 11 Marco Bertolotti Paul D. Schreiber  (Port Washington, NY) 4:11.14
5 14 Robbie Creese Glenelg  (Glenelg, MD) 4:11.56
6 3 Colin Mearns Jamestown  (Williamsburg, VA) 4:12.36
7 15 Drew Paisley Ocean Lakes  (Virginia Beach, VA) 4:12.56
8 12 Anthony Kostelac Albemarle  (Charlottesville, VA) 4:12.91
9 17 Vince Perozze Perkiomen Valley  (Collegeville, PA) 4:13.99
10 2 John Bleday Xaverian Brothers  (Westwood, MA) 4:14.10
11 13 Nick Ross East Greenwich  (East Greenwich, RI) 4:14.72
12 10 Tom Mallon Central Bucks South  (Warrington, PA) 4:17.38
13 6 Matt Jablonski Loyola Blakefield  (Baltimore, MD) 4:17.87
14 5 Eric Dillon R.S. McLaughlin Collegiate  (Oshawa, ONT) 4:19.85
15 9 Byron Jones Westborough  (Westborough, MA) 4:21.01
16 16 Brian Robinson Millburn  (Millburn, NJ) 4:21.67
17 7 Mark McCauley Greely  (Cumberland, ME) 4:29.68

Impressive Relays: A&M and Holmwood Tech Women
Jamaican high school girls from Holmwood Tech pulled an impressive triple today, winning the 4x100, 4x400 and 4x800 high school championship races. Impressive range, especially considering the impressive 8:42.49 time for the 4x800 and 3:39.6 time in the 4x4, closing in a 52.7 split.

A&M women, led by Gabby Mayo and Porsche Lucas, dominated both the 4x100 final (43.09) and the 4x200 heats (1:31.00). The 4x200 time averages out to 23-point per woman.




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