The third day of the Penn Relays meant a third carnival record Saturday for Deajah Stevens and the women's team of Oregon, which romped to victory in the 4x400-meter relay in
3 minutes, 24.72 seconds.
"It's amazing," said Stevens, a junior from Westchester, N.Y., who ran on all three record-breaking teams. "We just come out here and try to do the best we can for each other.
"Relays are always fun because we're such a close-knit team and to be able to run and get the victory together is awesome. I love running at Penn. I've been running at Penn since high school. I love the crowd. I love the atmosphere, and I'm glad there was great weather this year, so it's been a great meet."
The Ducks set two records Friday, in the 4x100 and sprint medley relays. Stevens, who was seventh in the 200-meter finals at last year's Rio Olympics, ran the second leg on those two teams and the anchor leg in the 4x400, following Elexis Guster, Raevyn Rogers, and Makenzie Dunmore.
In the men's 4x400, Auburn rode a terrific 44.82 third leg from Akeem Bloomfield and crossee the line in 3:05.19 for a narrow victory over Penn State.
Nineteen-year-old Vashti Cunningham, taking advice between attempts from her coach and father, former Eagles quarterback Randall Cunningham, won the Olympic Development women's high jump with a winning leap of
6 feet, 4 inches.
"I used to get really nervous, but now I don't see myself as a big person to everybody," she said. "To me, I'm just one of the competitors and nobody special. I just go in there knowing who I am and knowing what I need to do."
The sunshine and temperatures in the mid 80s meant a day custom-made for fast times over the Franklin Field track.
Eli Hall-Thompson of Houston posted the fastest time in Penn Relays history, running 10.00 in the college men's 100, a time that does not count as a record because of the wind's being stronger than the allowable limit. That meant that his coach, former Penn Wood star Leroy Burrell, remains the owner of the carnival record of 10.10.
Ashley Henderson of San Diego State won the college women's 100 hurdles in 11.13, the third-fastest time in Penn Relays history. The runner-up, Auburn's Jonielle Smith, tied the fourth-fastest time at 11.14.
Joining the club
Virginia Tech became the 103rd team in the history of the carnival to win a Penn Relays Championship of America race, speeding to victory in the men's 4x800 relay in a time of 7:13.75, tying the eighth-fastest time in event history.
On Friday, East Stroudsburg became the 102nd team on the Championship of America list, capturing the men's shuttle hurdle relay.