Monday, May 25, 2015

USA vs. the World start lists

Plus some some predictions on which teams will win the big races.

USA vs. the World start lists

Just got a piece of paper with the start lists for the USA vs. the World races. Here are the highlights:

- Former 100m sprint world record-holder Asafa Powell will anchor Jamaica's 4x100 team. USA Blue looks to be the stronger of two American squads wint Walter Dix opening, Travis Padgett second, Shawn Crawford third and Darvis Patton anchroing.

Dix won bronze in the 100m and 200m at the 2008 Olympics. Padgett was on the 2008 Olympic 4x100 squad. Crawford won the 200m silver last year and the 200m gold in Athens. Patton won silver in the 4x100 in 2004 and made the 100m final last year.

- It will be an upset if USA Red doesn't win the men's 4x400 with a team of Kerron Clement, Angelo Taylor, David Neville and LaShawn Merritt. Clement won the 400m silver medal in 2008 and the World Championship at that distance in 2007; Taylor won gold in the 400m hurdles and the 4x400m relay in Beijing; Neville was also on that relay team and won bronze in the 400m; Merritt did the gold double in Beijing with the 400m and the 4x400.

- USA Blue should be favored in the DMR. Leo Manzano will run the 1200m opening leg, Xavier Carter will run the 400m second leg, Khadevis Robinson will run the 800m third leg and Evan Jager will run the 1600m anchor leg. Canada could be the top challenger.

- The top two teams in the women's 4x100 will be right next to each other in Lanes 7 and 8. Jamaica will run Brigette Foster-Hylton, Sheri-Ann Brooks, Kerron Stewart and 2008 100m gold medalist Shelly-Ann Fraser. USA Red will open with stars Lauryn Williams and Allyson Felix, followed by Mechelle Lewis and Carmelite Jeter.

- In the women's 4x400, USA Red should win with Monica Hargrove, Natasha Hastings, Allyson Felix and Sanya Richards. Hastings and Richards were on the 2008 gold medal-winning 4x400 relay team, while Richards also won gold in that event in 2004.

USA Blue's team includes Harrisburg native Dominique Darden, who won the 4x400m Championship of America with Miami (Fla.) in 2006; Shana Cox; 2008 400m hurdles Olympic silver medalist Sheena Tosta; and 2000 and 2004 4x400m Olympic gold medal winner Monique Hennagan anchoring.

For Jamaica, 2008 400m Olympic silver medal-winner Shericka Williams will open, and 2008 400m hurdles gold medalist Melanie will run third.

Great Britain could win the Sprint Medley Relay. 2008 Olympic 400m gold medalist Christine Ohuruogu will open, and she'll have a lot of attention. Ohuruogu was quite controversially banned from all competition for one year in 2006 after nissing three drug tests, and by British Olympic Association rules any ban gets you kicked out of the Olympics for life. But she got the ban overturned and came back to win gold in Beijing.

2007 World Championships 400m silver medalist Nicola Sanders will run second, Perri Shakes-Drayton will run third and Jemma Simpson will anchor.

USA Blue, with Hazel Clark anchoring, is probably the stronger of the two American teams. Of note, 2008 Penn graduate Jesse Carlin will anchor the World All-Stars team.

At the moment, we're in the middle of three and a half hours of high school boys 4x400-meter relays. The Philadelphia-area schools will be on the track just before noon.

If there's a school you root for, a race result you want to know about or a Penn Relays memory you want to share, leave a comment in The Paddock on the right side of the blog.

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Soft Pretzel Logic is Philly.com's college sports blog, with a primary focus on the University of Pennsylvania. You'll also see coverage of the Big 5, other major college sports events in the region, and the annual Penn Relays track and field meet.

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