Friday, April 25, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

High school stars squaring off

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

Brett Johnson of Ocean City will be running the mile. (Steven Benjamin/For the Inquirer)
Brett Johnson of Ocean City will be running the mile. (Steven Benjamin/For the Inquirer)
Brett Johnson of Ocean City will be running the mile. (Steven Benjamin/For the Inquirer) Gallery: Penn Relays Decathlon and Heptathlon

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

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  • 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.

    Keith Pompey Inquirer Staff Writer
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