Jamaica sweeps final 2 races, splits with US at Penn Relays
PHILADELPHIA (AP) Jamaica swept the last two relays to split six races with the United States, marking the first time that the Americans didn’t win the USA vs. the World competition at the Penn Relays.
The Americans had won the first 17 annual meetings between the two countries at the Penn Relays before Saturday’s draw.
Fitzroy Dunkley ran down the United States’ Calvin Smith in the final 150 meters to lift Jamaica to victory in the men’s 1,600 relay, and Janieve Russell held off Natasha Hastings of the U.S. in the women’s 1,600, giving the Jamaicans a draw.
Elaine Thompson, who won the 100 and 200 at the Olympics last summer in Rio de Janeiro, anchored the Jamaicans’ victorious 400-meter relay.
Spurred on by a raucous contingent of green-and-gold-clan fans in the crowd of 47,420 in Franklin Field, the Jamaicans rallied after the U.S. took three of Saturday’s first four relays.
”All I heard was Jamaica (from the crowd),” said Miki Barber, who anchored the U.S. women’s victorious sprint medley relay team.
The U.S. men built a sizable lead in the 1,600 relay through the efforts of Mike Berry, Brycen Spratling and Javon Hutchinson, and Smith was still well in front in the back stretch of the final lap. Dunkley, who followed Martin Manley, Leford Green and Jermain Gayle, sprinted past Smith on the final turn to win the race in 3:03.14.
The U.S. finished in 3:03.25.
Jamaica enjoyed a healthy advantage entering the final lap of the women’s 1,600, but Hastings, part of the gold-medal-winning 1,600 relay in Rio, drew even with Russell on the first turn of the final leg.
Russell, who followed Stephanie-Ann McPherson, Shericka Jackson and Dawnalee Loney, edged back in front on the back straightaway and fought Hastings off the rest of the way to win in 3:28.32.
”I probably should have been more patient,” Hastings said.
Wallace Spearmon and Beejay Lee of the United States were part of two winning relays — the 400 and the sprint medley.
LeShon Collins and John Teeters joined Spearmon and Lee on the 400 relay, with Teeters holding off Jamaica’s Jevaughn Minzie on the final leg to win in 38.87 seconds.
Jamaica was clocked at 39.01 seconds in the event.
Thompson ran a sizzling anchor leg to overtake USA Red’s Morolake Akinosun in the 400. Christania Williams, Kerron Stewart and Gayon Evans preceded Thompson on the team, which was clocked in 42.25 seconds, .17 faster than the Americans.
Akinosun, English Gardner, Dezerea Bryant and Barber won the women’s sprint medley in 1:35.59. Jamaica was second in 1:36.67.
Lee and Spearmon were followed by Bryshon Nellum and Donovan Brazier on the men’s sprint medley relay team, which won in 3:11.45.
Oregon won two relays Saturday, the men’s four-mile and the women’s 1,600, bringing their total for the meet to five.
The Ducks’ four-mile relay team of Mick Stanovsek, Tim Gorman, Blake Haney and Sam Prakel ran 16:21.81. Prakel also closed out Friday’s victory in the distance medley relay.
Elexis Guster, Raevyn Rogers, Makenzie Dunmore and Deajah Stevens teamed up in the women’s 1,600 relay, running a meet-record 3:24.72.
Oregon had won the women’s 400 relay and the women’s sprint medley relay on Friday.
South Carolina also finished off a strong meet. One day after the Gamecocks’ Josh Awotunde and Yann Randrianasolo won the men’s shot put and long jump, respectively, Precious Holmes, Tyler Brockington, Aalayah Sanders and Maiya Dendy combined to give their school a victory in the women’s 800 relay, in 1:33.79.
Two other athletes from South Carolina, Tye Williams and Clarence Gallop, won the high jump (7 feet, 4 + inches) and hammer throw (220-11), respectively.
The Villanova women took their third relay in as many days, this time winning the 3,200 with a team of Nicole Hutchinson, Angel Piccirillo, McKenna Keegan, Siofra Cleirigh-Buttner.
Cleirigh-Buttner also anchored Friday’s victory in the 6,000-meter relay, which included Piccirillo and Hutchinson. All three were also part of a team that won the distance medley relay on Thursday.
Saturday’s victory extended Piccirillo’s career victory total, already a meet record, to nine.
G.C. Foster edged Oregon in Saturday’s 400 men’s relay, as a team of Colin King, Everton Clarke, Romario Williams and Chaddick Hinds ran 38.94 seconds.
G.C. Foster was, however, denied victory by .38 of a second in the men’s 800 relay, as Houston’s team of Amere Lattin, Mario Burke, Jacarias Martin, Eli Hall-Thompson ran 1:21.17.
The Auburn men’s 1,600 relay team of Randall Ceneus, Andy Smith, Akeem Bloomfield, Nathon Allen earned victory in 3:05.19.
Lehigh’s Courtney Avery won the women’s high jump in 5 feet, 11 + inches.
Tucker Rizzi of William & Mary captured the men’s javelin (223-11), while Notre Dame’s Nate Richartz earned a victory in the pole vault (17-4 +).
Hayden McClain of Oklahoma took the men’s triple jump (53-3), and Cincinnati’s Macklin Tudor took the discus (208-5).