USA vs. the World at the Penn Relays
Held: April 30, 2005 at Franklin Field,
View Photo Gallery
Team USA made itself the team to beat at the 2005 World
Championships in Helsinki, while also avenging Olympic defeats in
the 4x100 relays.
The women's USA Red team led from the gun, with 2005 indoor Visa
Champion Angela Daigle getting off to a quick start. She handed off
to 2004 Olympic 100m silver medalist Lauryn Williams, who gave the
U.S. a gaping lead with a blazing leg. 1996 Olympic relay gold
medalist Inger Miller kept the Americans in the game, while 2004
Olympic Trials 100m champion LaTasha Colander easily ran away from
the field to win in a world-leading time of 42.68 seconds.
The USA Blue team of Angela Williams, Allyson Felix, Stephanie
Durst and Muna Lee was second in 43.15, with Jamaica, the Olympic
gold medalists, third in 43.50 (Tayna Lawrence, Juliet Campbell,
Aleen Bailey, Moya Thompson).
American Revolution in men's relay
The men's 4x100m relay provided a bit of confusion to the 44,612 fans at
Franklin Field when the USA Blue team (Mardy Scales, Jason Smoots, Darvis
Patton, J.J. Johnson) took a lead of more than five meters over USA Red (Olympic
silver medalist Coby Miller, Leonard Scott, Olympic 200m gold medalist Shawn
Crawford, Olympic 100m gold medalist Justin Gatlin) heading into the anchor leg.
A searing second leg by Jason Smoots put USA Blue in the lead, while Darvis
Patton used the curve-running technique that made him 2003 world outdoor 200m
silver medalist to keep the cushion.
A come-from-behind victory was no sure thing for Gatlin and USA Red, given
the size of USA Red's deficit and the fact that USA Blue's J.J. Johnson, who
anchored Team USA to a come-from-behind win at the 2003 World Outdoor
Championships, is one of the world's best anchor men.
But Gatlin - the Olympic 100m gold medalist, 200m bronze medalist and 4x100m
silver medalist - displayed his Olympic-champion form, running down the 6-3,
210-pound Johnson to give USA Red the win in 38.58, the second-fastest time in
the world this year. USA Blue was a close second in 38.60, with the Jamaican
team of Christopher Williams, Dwight Thomas, Ricardo Williams and Sheldon Morant
third in 38.38. Running for the Olympic gold-medal Great Britain, Jason
Gardener, Chris Lambert, Tim Abeyie and Mark Lewis-Francis were fourth in 39.59.
in women's sprint medley
The women's USA Red sprint medley relay team crushed the existing
world best in the sprint medley relay, posting a time of 3:37.42 to
break the University of Tennessee's mark of 3:41.78, set by
Tennessee at last year's Penn Relays.
Olympic 200m silver medalist Allyson Felix gave the Red team the
lead in the first 200-meter leg, with Canada second and Jamaica in
third. That order remained through Kia Davis' second 200m leg and
Moushaumi Robinson's 400-meter leg.
Two-time Olympian Hazel Clark took the baton for the 800m anchor
leg, covering the first 400 meters in a searing 56 seconds. The
quick pace was nearly her downfall in the final meters, but the
South Orange, N.J., native held off Kenia Sinclair of Jamaica to
take the win. Jamaica was second in 3:37.87 (Juliet Campbell,
Novlene Williams, Ronetta Smith, Kenia Sinclair), with Canada third
in 3:45.98 (Adrienne Power, Erica Broomfield, Tawa Dortch, Sarah
Ali-Kahn). Team USA blue dropped the baton on the first exchange,
between Connie Moore and Lauryn Williams.
Men's sprint medley success
Jamaica led after one lap of the men's sprint medley, thanks to quick opening
200m legs by world junior record holder Usain Bolt and Ricardo Williams. But Leo
Bookman and 2000 Olympian Kaaron Conwright had kept the Americans in the thick
of it, while USA Blue was a close third after 200 legs by Mark Jelks and Rae
Mitch Potter took a quick lead in the 400m leg for USA red but paid for his
early pace in the final meters, as Jamaica's 400-meter man, Brandon Simpson, had
the lead entering the final handoff. Potter of USA Red and USA Blue's Ashton
Collins were close behind.
2004 Olympic Khadevis Robinson left no doubt of the outcome of the race when
he quickly moved to the lead for USA Red. Robinson crossed the finish line in
3:12.10 for the win, with South Africa moving up for second (3:13.64 - Xandre
Strydon, Snyman Pinsloo, Ofentse Mogawane, Werner Botha) and Alan Webb-anchored
USA Blue third in 3:14.01.
Jamaican 4x400m team
The Jamaican men took their first race in the history of USA vs.
The World in one of the most dramatic races ever. With Chris Brown
toting the baton, Bahamas held the lead at the cut-in point 100
meters into the second leg of the relay. Relay world record holder
Tyree Washington gave chase for USA Red, followed by Sanjay Ayre of
Coming into the final straight, Washington moved to the outside
to start to gain ground on Brown, but got tangled with the
Bahamian's legs. Washington tumbled to the track while Bahamas
maintained the lead.
At the second handoff, Jamaica was in second, followed by the
Dominican Republic (who had just benefited from the efforts of
Olympic 400m hurdles gold medalist Felix Sanchez) and USA Blue, who
were in fourth after legs by Mitch Potter and Olympic 400m silver
medalist Otis Harris.
The remaining USA Red team of teen phenom LaShawn Merritt and USA
indoor champion Bershawn Jackson could only watch as the rest of the
Jamaica's Jermaine Gonzales took the lead on the third leg,
followed by the Bahamas, the Dominican Republic, USA Blue's James
Carter, and Canada bringing up the rear. The anchor leg was dramatic
from start to finish as Leonard Byrd quickly moved up to the pack
for USA Blue. But Jamaica's Davian Clarke was not to be deterred,
taking the win in 3:02.63 over USA Blue's 3:03.08 (Mitch Potter,
Otis Harris, James Carter,Leonard Byrd). Bahamas were third in
3:03.11 (Avard Moncur, Chris Brown, Alexis Roberts, Tim Munnings).
Another world leader for U.S. women
USA Red faced no such obstacles in easily winning the women's 4x400. Three of
the four relay gold medalists from Athens took the track for USA Red, and the
results spoke for themselves.
Dee Dee Trotter, Lashinda Demus, Sanya Richards and Monique Hennagan easily
out-distanced the Russian team of Svetlana Pospelova, Yulia Pechonkina, Olga
Kotlyarova and Oleysia Zykina, 3:22.93 to 3:25.64. An Olympian in the 400-meter
hurdles, Demus joined the Olympic relay trio of Trotter, Richards and Hennagan
to post the fastest time in the world in 2005. The Caribbean All-Stars (Debbie
Ann Paris, Aliann Pompey, Neisha Bernard-Thomas, Hazel Ann Regis) were third in
3:28.77, followed by USA Blue (Kia Davis, Demetria Washington, Allyson Felix,
Moushaumi Robinson) in fourth in 3:29.14.
perfection for Team USA
Prior to Saturday, Team USA's men had never lost a relay at USA
vs. The World since the event began at the Penn Relays in 2000.
Jamaica is the only team to unseat the American women, winning the
4x100 relay in 2002 and 4x200m relay in 2001.
Bad weather? No problem!
Despite the dark, wet and chilly weather, 44,612 fans turned out for the
final day of Penn Relays competition on Saturday, bringing the three-day
attendance total to 108,809, the third-highest attendance for the meet since
Nick Willis and Nate Brannen
Record for Michigan
In other relay action at Penn on Saturday, the University of
Michigan set men's collegiate, Penn Relays and Franklin Field
records in the 4 x mile Championship of America. The team of Andrew
Ellerton, Mike Woods, Nick Willis and Nate Brannen ran 16:04.54 to
break the old record of 16:07.96, set by Arkansas at the 1999 Penn
Top U.S. Performances -
USA vs. the World/Penn Relays
Next up in the Visa Championship Series:
May 22, adidas Track Classic in
Carson, CA. On ESPN May 22, 4:00 - 6:00 p.m. ET.