High school stars squaring off

Competitors from the United States and other nations will be at Franklin Field.

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Brett Johnson of Ocean City will be running the mile. (Steven Benjamin/For the Inquirer)

The Penn Relays offer some of the best high school track and field competition in the nation year after year.

Here is a look at the competition this year:

Boys

400-METER HURDLES

Favorite: Nicholas Maitland of St. Elizabeth Tech (Jamaica) has a personal-best time of 52.19 seconds. Local teams to watch: Washington Township's Tim Carey (54.07) and Octorara's Manny Morris (55.18). Penn Relays record: Camden's Dwight Ruff ran a 50.47 in 2001.

MILE RUN

Favorite: Jimmy Rae of Lakeshore (Canada) won the mile in 4 minutes, 10.09 seconds at the National Scholastic Indoor Championships in March. Local to watch: Ocean City's Brett Johnson (4:12.49) is the only local in the event. Penn Relays record: Matthew Centrowitz of Broadneck (Va.) won the event in 4:08.38 in 2007.

3,000 RUN

Favorite: Solomon Haile of Sherwood (Md.) was last year's runner-up. He won the two-mile race at the National Scholastic indoor meet in 9:02.67. Locals to watch: Lower Merion's Ben Furcht (8:36.17) and Shawnee's David Forward (9:17.71 over 3,200). Meet record: John Trautmann of Monroe-Valley (N.Y.) won the event in 8:05.8 in 1996.

4x100 RELAY

Favorite: Calabar (Jamaica) has run 39.90 this season. Local teams to watch: Camden (42.54) and North Penn (42.57). Penn Relays record: St. Jago finished in 39.96 in 2007.

4x400 RELAY

Favorite: Kingston College (Jamaica) ran 3:09.38 at the Gibson Relays in March. Local teams to watch: Abington (3:20.08) and Delsea (3:20.10). Penn Relays record: John Muir (Calif.) won in 3:08.72 in 1997.

4x800 RELAY

Favorite: Albemarle (Va.) set a U.S. indoor national record of 7:36.99 at the Nike Indoor Nationals in March. Local teams to watch: Central Bucks South (7:49.01) and Washington Township (7:51.43). Penn Relays record: St. Jago posted a time of 7:35.89 in 1990.

DISTANCE MEDLEY RELAY

Favorite: West-Windsor-Plainsboro South ran a 10.07.21 at the Eastern State indoor championships in February. Local teams to watch: Upper Dublin (10:14.39) and Haddonfield (10:19.29). Penn Relays record: South Lakes won in 9:59.66 in 2001.

SHOT PUT

Favorite: Nick Vena of Morristown (N.J.) is the defending champion. The sophomore won the event at the National Scholastic meet in 70 feet, 5 inches. Locals to watch: Methacton's Wesley Lavong (62-5) is the only local competitor in the event. Penn Relays record: J.J. Grant of Liverpool (N.Y.) won with a throw of 67-3 in 1985.

DISCUS

Favorite: Anthony Thomas of Holy Trinity (N.Y.) threw 181-4 in a meet last month. Locals to watch: Timber Creek's Mike Huckabee (174-10), Middle Township's Kevin Hebron (160-8) and Kennett's Blake Davenport (160-7). Penn Relays record: Nick Welihozkiy won the event with a 190-11 in 1999.

LONG JUMP

Favorite: James Taylor of Nansemond River (Va.) posted the nation's second-best indoor leap of 24-8 in February. Locals to watch: Methacton's Carlton Lavong (24-2 3/4) and Camden's Syteek Farrington (23-9). Penn Relays record: Maurice Wignell of Calabar won the event with a 25-23/4 in 1994.

TRIPLE JUMP

Favorite: Ricardo Jaquite of Madison Park (Mass.) finished second at the Nike Indoor National with a 49-11 effort. Locals to watch: Camden's Wayne Walls (48-11/4) and Cardinal O'Hara's James Johnson (44-61/2). Penn Relays record: Sanya Owolabi of Sleepy Hollow (N.Y.) won the event with a 52-23/4 in 1978.

HIGH JUMP

Favorite: Skylar La Cour of Oaks Christian (Calif.) cleared 7-01/4 at the Rancho Verde Relays in March. Locals to watch: Cherry Hill East's Uchenna Njoka (6-8), Phoenixville's Kyriq Williams (6-8) and North Penn's Sean Gentry (6-8). Penn Relays record: Mark Broswell of Central Peel (Canada) won the event with a 7-41/2 effort in 1997.

JAVELIN

Favorite: Justin Shrink of Central Dauphin threw a 207-11 on Saturday to win the Shippensburg Invitational. Locals to watch: Central Bucks East's Brent Millar (203-0), Central Bucks West's Matt Murdo (199-8), and Palmyra's Warren Oliver (163-7). Penn Relays record: Brian Kollar of First Colonial (Va.) won the event at 220-8 in 1998.

POLE VAULT

Favorite: Allen Kelly of Kings Fork (Va.) cleared 15-8 at the Pole Vault Summit in January. Locals to watch: Seneca's Michael Maira (14-6) and Council Rock South's Brett Gilson (14-1). Penn Relays' record: Joe Berry of Hatboro-Horsham cleared 16-31/4 to win the event in 2007.

Girls

400-METER HURDLES

Favorite: Tracey Allen of Edwin Allen (Jamaica) ran a 57.41 to win the Jamaican Championships. Locals to watch: Cardinal O'Hara's Robyn Oakley (61.43) and Abington's Leah Nugent (62.86). Penn Relays record: Sherene Pinnock of Edwin Allen won the event in 56.90 in 2006.

MILE RUN

Favorite: Chelsey Sviensson finished third in the event last season. The sophomore did that by running 4:43.51, the fourth-fastest girls' time. Locals to watch: Lenape's Caitlin Orr (5:19.24) is the only local in the event. Penn Relays record: Stephanie Morgan of Barnesville (Ohio) won the event in 4:41.22 last year.

3,000 RUN

Favorite: Stephanie Morgan of Barnesville could become the first girl to win the mile and 3,000 at the Penn Relays. Locals to watch: Highland's Megan Venables (10:16.46) and North Penn's Christy Cohick (10:23.88). Penn Relays record: Cathy Schiro of Dover (N.H.) won the event in 9:15.3 in 1985.

4x100 RELAY

Favorite: Holmwood Tech (Jamaica), which has run 45.02 and 45.04 this season. Local teams to watch: Abington (48.12) and West Catholic (48.57). Penn Relays record: Vere Tech (Jamaica) posted a time of 44.32 in 2004.

4x400 RELAY

Favorite: Holmwood Tech ran a 3:34.35 at the Jamaican Championships. Local teams to watch: Abington (3:49.77) and Camden (3:54.38). Penn Relays record: Holmwood Tech won the event in 3:34.75 in 2001.

4x800 RELAY

Favorite: Manchester (Jamaica) comes in as the favorite after defeating Holmwood Tech at the Gibson Relays in February. Local teams to watch: Lenape (9:23.71), North Penn (9:25.14), and Downingtown East (9:25.78). Penn Relays record: Vere Tech posted a time of 8:37.71 in 1991.

DISTANCE MEDLEY RELAY

Favorite: Shenendehowa (N.Y.) had a time of 10:46.05 during the indoor season. Local teams to watch: Haddonfield (12:04.45) and St. Basil Academy (12:28.52). Penn Relays record: Vere Tech won the event in 11.40.51 in 1992.

SHOT PUT

Favorite: Emily Vannoy of Gov. Thomas Johnson (Md.) is the defending champion with a heave of 48-4. Locals to watch: Cheltenham's Dayna McCrewell (41-5) and Archbishop Prendergast's Chloe Smith (37-91/2). They are the only local competitors in the event. Penn Relays record: Elaine Sobansky of Trinity (Pa.) won the event with a 50-3/4 in 1980.

DISCUS

Favorite: Aslynn Halvorson of Butler (N.C.) has a personal-best throw of 157-3. Locals to watch: West Chester Henderson's Shante Evans (131-4) and Methacton's Caitlyn Jeffers (120-0). Penn Relays record: Lindsay Grigoriev of Atholton (Md.) won the event with a 160-5 in 2003.

LONG JUMP

Favorite: Tynita Butts of T.C. Williams (Va.) is the defending champion. She jumped a personal-best 20-11/2 during the indoor season. Local to watch: Cheltenham's Brittany Howell (17-9) is the only local in the event. Penn Relays record: Elva Goulbourne of Dinthill Tech (Jamaica) won the event with a 21-0 in 1999.

TRIPLE JUMP

Favorite: Rochelle Farquharson of St. Elizabeth (Jamaica) jumped 41-8 at the Jamaican Championships. Local to watch: Central Bucks East's Ali Gillin (39-41/2) is the only local competitor. Penn Relays record: Kimberly William of Vere Tech (Jamaica) won the event with a 43-10 in 2007.

HIGH JUMP

Favorite: Petagaye Reid of St. Elizabeth (Calif.) is the defending champion. She cleared 5-103/4 to win the Carita Games. Locals to watch: Souderton's Kristin Smith (5-7) and West Chester Rustin's Alison Day (5-61/2). Penn Relays record: Tanya Hughes of Great Mills (Md.) won the event with a 6-01/2 in 1990.

JAVELIN

Favorite: Deloma Miller of Lakeview (Pa.), who tossed a personal-best 167-2 in 2008. Locals to watch: St. Pius X's Meghan Morton (135-6) and Our Lady of Mercy's Victoria Imbesi (129-7). Penn Relays record: Ruby Radocaj of Williamsport (Pa.) won the event in 154-2 in 2004.

POLE VAULT

Favorite: Tory Worthen of Council Rock South, who cleared 12-61/2 in February. Another local to watch: Pennsville's Kristen Weigel (11-0). Penn Relays record: Abigail Schaffer of Easton (Pa.) cleared 13-03/4 last year.


Contact staff writer Keith Pompey at 610-313-8029 or kpompey@phillynews.com.

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