Deon Lendore was in the limelight and loving it at Franklin Field here in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, yesterday—penultimate day of the 120th Penn Relays.
The Trinidad and Tobago athlete’s split of 44.6 seconds anchored Texas A&M University to victory in the opening college men’s 4x400 metres qualifying heat in 3:05.06. Another T&T quartermiler, Carlyle Roudette split 46 seconds even on the third leg.
Texas A&M will do battle in the college men’s 4x400m Championship of America at 6 p.m. today. A crowd of 38,135 showed up at Franklin Field yesterday, creating a big meet atmosphere conducive to top-class performances.
“The Penn Relays,” Lendore told the Express, “is like a start-up for meets like World Championships and Olympic Games. It’s a big crowd, but the good thing about here is no matter who you are, no matter where you’re from, the crowd loves you, once you do good, and once you’re running fast. I love Penn Relays.”
And the spectators loved Lendore, the 2014 400m world leader, outdoors and indoors, with 44.90 and 45.03 clockings. “Even after I finish running for Texas A&M, hopefully I’ll come back here and run for Trinidad and Tobago in ‘USA against the World’.”
Lendore said he is looking forward to representing T&T at the July 18 to August 3 Commonwealth Games, in Glasgow, Scotland. “I’ve never been to a Commonwealth Games before. I want to see how it’s going to pan out.
“Coach, over the years,” he continued, “realises that I have a lot to do in the post-collegiate season, so he tried to reduce the workload. Only this meet I could say I actually ran a lot. But I kind of asked to be a part of it. He didn’t actually force me to do it.”
Lendore also anchored Texas A&M in yesterday’s college men’s 4x100m and 4x200m heats. The university finished first overall in the 4x2 in 1:20.67, and will contest the Championship of America today. And in the 4x1, Texas A&M clocked 40.64 seconds for 11th spot overall. Roudette was part of the 4x2 team.
T&T sprinter Shermund Allsop is expected to line up for Louisiana State University (LSU) today in the college men’s 4x100m Championship of America. He ran the second leg for LSU in their 39.80 seconds run—the second fastest time in the heats.
Meanwhile, Lalonde Gordon helped New York club Zenith Velocity earn top spot in the Olympic Development men’s 4x100m in 40.53, while Texas A&M’s Wayne Davis II clocked 13.70 seconds to lead all qualifiers into today’s college men’s 110m hurdles Championship. And Coppin State University’s Deandra Daniel cleared the bar at 1.76 metres for fifth spot in the college women’s high jump Championship.