Team USA Takes Four Titles In USA VS. The World At Penn Relays

April 24, 2014 to April 26, 2014

The US won the men’s DMR, men’s 4×100, women’s SMR and women’s 4×400. The women’s 4×100 lost to Jamaica and in the men’s 4×400 a botched hand-off for the US on the last leg gave the Bahamas the win.

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USATF Press Release
April 26, 2014

PHILADELPHIA — Team USA took home four of six event titles in the 15th USA vs. The World at the Penn Relays broadcast live on NBC Sports Network.

In the men’s 4×100-meter relay presented by Nike, Jamaica’s Jason Livermore and Team USA’s Charles Silmon ran evenly around the turn, but as Silmon prepared to hand off to Justin Gatlin, Silmon got tangled up with Nigeria’s Ogho-Oghene Egwere running on his inside

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Gatlin managed to make up ground on Michael Frater on the second leg and the two teams handed off almost evenly. Mookie Salaam broke it open for Team USA on the curve and Walter Dix held off Oshane Bailey to win by. 01, crossing in 38.57. Jamaica took second in 38.58 and Brazil was third in 38.94.

In the women’s sprint medley relay, Alexandria Anderson put Team USA in the lead after the first 200 meters, but Jamaica’s Natasha Morrison stormed to the lead in the second 200. Anneisha McLaughlin extended the Jamaican dominance to nearly 10 meters after the 400-meter leg, leaving American Ajee’ Wilson with a big deficit to Jamaica’s Natalya Goule.

Wilson waited until the final 200 meters to make her move, passing Goule in the final homestretch to win in 3:37.94 to Jamaica’s 3:38.41. The Caribbean All-Stars were third in 3:46.95.

In the men’s distance medley relay, David Torrence took the lead and began dropping 57-second laps in the opening 1200 meters, handing off to Quentin Iglehart-Summers in the lead over Australia by one strike, with Mexico trailing in third.

Iglehart-Summers had a 2-meter lead when he handed off to Brandon Johnson for the 800m leg, who extended the lead to 12 meters after the first lap of his 800 meters. Johnson gave Leo Manzano a nearly four-second cushion as Manzano took the baton for the final 1600-meter leg.

Manzano ran easily, allowing the field to slowly close the gap. 500m in, Australia’s Collis Birmingham passed Manzano to take the lead with Manzano on his shoulder. As he has done many times in the past at Franklin Field, as both a collegian and professional, Manzano gathered himself, passed Birmingham with 200 meters to go and went on to win in 9:28.27 with Australia second in 9:30.74 and Ireland third in 9:42.83.

Announced splits for the Americans were 2:59.43 for Torrence, 46.12 for Iglehart-Summers, 1:45.45 for Johnson and 3:57.18 for Manzano.

On the opening leg of the women’s 4×400-meter relay presented by Nike, Christine Day gave Jamaica the lead, followed by Nigeria and Team USA. Monica Hargrove gave the Americans the lead midway through the second leg, but Jamaica’s Patricia Hall returned to the lead by three strides at the second hand-off.

Long-striding Dee Dee Trotter whittled Jamaica’s advantage to half a stride after the third leg, closing on Anastasia Le-Roy. Running anchor, Jessica Beard stayed on the shoulder of Jamaica’s Shericka Williams, then passed her with 200 to go. Beard crossed the line first for Team USA in 3:25.62, with Nigeria’s Regina George nipping Williams at the tape to finish second in 3:27.16 and Jamaica third in 3:27.32.

In the women’s 4×100-meter relay presented by Nike, Jamaica led from start to finish. At the handoff between Alexandria Anderson and Muna Lee, things were neck-and-neck between the Americans and the Jamaicans, but Anneisha McLaughlin opened the race up and Trisha-Ann Hawthorne crossed easily for Jamaica in 42.81 with the Americans finishing second in 43.15 and Trinidad and Tobago third in 43.53.

In the men’s 4×400-meter relay presented by Nike, Team USA and the Bahamas battled for the lead through the first three legs, with no more than a stride or two separating the gold and silver-medal-winning countries from the 2012 Olympic Games. The first three legs of the American men’s 4×4 were also members of the World Indoor Record men’s 4×4 at the 2014 World Indoor Championships.

The Bahamas’ Demetrius Pinder held the rail on the final turn of leg 3, with Team USA’s David Verburg on his shoulder but the teams were lined up for the baton exchange with the USA on the rail and Bahamas outside.

As the two countries criss-crossed paths in a tie heading into the anchor leg, Pinder successfully handed off to Ramon Mitchell, but Team USA’s Manteo Mitchell had to turn and come back for the baton, putting him far behind. The Bahamas cruised to the win in 3:00.78, with Mitchell holding on for second in 3:03.31 and Brazil third in 3:03.32.

Full results from USA vs. The World are available on the Penn Relays official site.

Team USA quotes

Justin Gatlin

2nd Leg – USA

USA vs. The World Men’s 4×100 Presented by Nike

“It really feels good to get this win today. We knew from the beginning that when we came here we wanted to make a statement. Our first leg guy Charles Slimon got bumped on the first leg, but he composed himself and gave us the momentum we needed to win. Participating in races like this always help us build as a team. We learn from each race that we do, so when they Olympics do come we already have the cohesiveness and bond needed to win. Racing in Philly is always a great experience. Everyone comes out to compete and wants to win. What we did today was special and the beginning of something great for the upcoming Olympics.”

Walter Dix

Anchor – USA

USA vs. The World Men’s 4×100 Presented by Nike

“Every time I come to the Penn Relays I never ran the anchor leg. Due to injuries in the past, I haven’t done it as much in the Relays. However, I have done it in the Olympics. So being able to run the anchor leg today and pulling the win out for my team, was something special. It was definitely a close race in the end, but I knew right away that I won the race for team USA. I think the crowd knew also. For a race to come down to the wire the way this did, is what you live for as an athlete. You prepare for moments like this. A win like this is huge for us. It brought us closer together as a team, as well as show what we are capable of doing. What we did out there today, is only half of what we will be doing in the upcoming Olympics. Its definitely going to be something great to see.”

Dee Dee Trotter

2nd Leg – USA

USA vs. The World Women’s 4×400 Presented by Nike

“This is one of my favorite meets [Penn Relays] in the entire country. The exciting thing about today’s race [4×400] is that there were people really rooting directly for me, so loud and so energetic and I really could feel the love.”

Jessica Beard

Anchor – United States

USA vs. The World Women’s 4×400 Presented by Nike

“Well, by the time I got the stick I just saw how hard my teammates had worked. To put us in front and to get us back to the lead. Our coach told us for the last 150, you know, really give it everything that we had and once I saw that all my teammates laid it out on the line, felt like they left me no choice but to go out there and represent everything that they’ve done and also for team U.S.A.” “I’ve been coming here since ’08, this is my, I think, only third time running for a U.S.A team. And the atmosphere is great, you know just to have fans from U.S.A. cheering for us and rooting us home. You really need that, the last 50 meters coming home, you’re already feeling fatigued and it’s nothing like having people yelling Go U.S.A. or Come on do it for red, white, and blue.”

Ajee Wilson

Anchor – USA

USA vs. The World Women’s Distance Medley Relay Presented by USATF

“At that point of the race I wasn’t really sure how I would get the baton. The coach said ‘”this is your first visit and you had your second visit get out there and pull it together.” When I saw Kimarra McDonald of Carribean All-stars, I saw she was a couple of strides ahead of me. The hardest part was the energy. Hearing everybody cheering made me say ”let me just go and catch up to her, but then I thought about it and said no let me just be patient and pick her off little by little then the last two hundred give it all you have.”