The Penn Relays track and field meet has a huge reputation. The last-day atmosphere is phenomenal, and for the athletes who have the privilege of competing on Penn Saturday, the urgings of a passionate crowd of 50,000-odd often provide a fillip.
A new Trinidad and Tobago combination—teenager Aaliyah Telesford, Michelle-Lee Ahye, Reyare Thomas and anchor Kamaria Durant—were among the “Penn Magic” beneficiaries, yesterday, putting together a solid performance to finish third in the USA against the World women’s 4x100 metres relay.
“I like how the crowd gives us a vibe and excitement,” Ahye told the Sunday Express. “I really like the atmosphere.”
T&T got the baton around the track in 43.53 seconds. Jamaica (42.81) and United States (43.15), meanwhile, were first and second, respectively.
Missing from the T&T line-up were the familiar faces of Kelly-Ann Baptiste, Semoy Hackett and Kai Selvon.
“Knowing it’s a young team,” said Ahye, “I didn’t really put any pressure, but I’m very proud of the team.
“Once everybody keeps healthy and keeps training, we’re going to do good at the World Relays (in Bahamas).”
Thomas is anticipating significant improvement for Team T&T.
“For now, it was okay. But I think we could do a lot better once we work on our hand-offs. We’re looking forward to going to Bahamas and representing Trinidad and Tobago to the best of our ability.”
T&T’s Wayne Davis II had things all his own way in the college men’s 110m hurdles Championship, the Texas A&M University student cruising to victory in 13.50 seconds.
Penn State University’s Steve Waithe topped the college men’s triple jump Championship with a wind-assisted 16.22 metres effort. The T&T athlete also had a legal jump of 15.94m.
Shermund Allsop anchored Louisiana State University (LSU) to the runner-up spot in the college men’s 4x100m Championship of America in 38.83 seconds.
Carlyle Roudette and Deon Lendore helped Texas A&M University to silver in the college men’s 4x200m Championship of America in one minute, 20.29 seconds, while Allsop was part of the LSU team that clocked 1:21.47 to finish third.
Roudette and Lendore helped Texas A&M earn fourth spot in the college men’s 4x400m Championship of America in 3:06.94. Texas A&M opted to skip the college men’s 4x100m final.
A Queen’s Royal College (QRC) quartet—Edwin Phillips, Jamoul Pierre, Jesse Fredericks and Nathan Farinha—clocked 3:18.15 to finish fourth in the high school boys’ 4x400m Championship of America. In the qualifying round, the QRC combination of Asa Guevara, Pierre, Phillip and Farinha were second in their heat in 3:15.42.
And T&T’s Alena Brooks ran the 400m leg for a Caribbean All Stars quartet in the USA against the World women’s sprint medley relay, teaming up with Bahamians Anthonique Strachan and Sheniqua Ferguson and Jamaica’s Kimarra McDonald for third spot in 3:46.95, behind USA (3:37.94) and Jamaica (3:38.41).
As expected, it was a bit chilly at Franklin Field yesterday. The sun, though, was often out, and conditions were not unbearable.
“It’s always good to come here and compete,” Brooks told the Sunday Express. “The stadium is really crowded, so it builds the hype, everyone putting forward their best. And it’s really good weather this year.”