by Tom Utescher
A number of area track and field athletes turned in noteworthy performances late last month at the historic and prestigious Penn Relays.
In the Championship of America race in the girls’ distance medley relay, a Germantown Friends quartet that includes three underclassmen finished second in an elite field with what is believed to be the fastest time ever registered by an in-state secondary school at the sprawling meet.
Their time was 11 minutes, 55.99 seconds, eclipsing the 1999 winning time of 11:59.99 produced by the old Archbishop Prendergast High School. In the 1200-meter opening leg, freshman Sarah Walker’s split of 3:35.6 was actually a little faster than that of the lead-off runner for the eventual champ, Benjamin Cardozo High School of Queens, New York City.
Next came sophomores Taryn Millbourne (58.2 in the 400) and Brigit Anderson (2:22.6 in the 800), and the lone senior, Eliza Lukens-Day (who will run for Brown University), finished up with a 4:59.6 in the 1600-meter anchor leg. Benjamin Cardozo won in 11:45.69, and first among the 13 schools behind GFS was Warwick Valley (N.Y.), with a time of 11:57.08.
The Inter-Ac league, with a boys’ championship meet that dates back to the 1880’s, is accorded its own heat of the 4 x 400 meter relay down at the U of P. The top honors this year went to Penn Charter, as juniors James Biggs-Frazier, Charlie Hoyt and Tre Williams joined up with senior Daryl Worley to hit the finish line in 3:22.46.
Worley, a football signee for the University of West Virginia, helped the current Quakers relay approach the race record of 3:21.06 set by another PC quartet in 2009.
In the 2013 race, Haverford School was second (3:25.86), and Germantown Academy came in third (3:29.06) with Andrew Simon, Nelson Floyd, Sam Ritz, and Earl Edwards. Fourth and fifth went to Malvern Prep (3:29.16) and Episcopal Academy (3:34.86), and sixth, in 3:36.26, was the Springside Chestnut Hill Academy foursome of Mac Concannon, Chris Williams, Phil Giovinazzo, and Jamil Poole.
The two girls’ relay teams entered by Springside Chestnut Hill Academy were both made up of the same constituents; senior Drew Davis, sophomore Bridget Lipp, and freshmen Julia Reeves and Brooklynn Broadwater.
The quartet established a new school record in the 4 x 100 meters, completing the single-lap race in 49.25 seconds, which ranked them 18th out of 333 teams that completed the event.
In the 4 x 400, the Blue Devils came away with the silver medal in the Prep School Division, turning in a time of 4:01.52 as ninth-grade standout Broadwater ran 55.6 seconds in the anchor leg.
Germantown Academy junior Megan McCloskey tied for third place among a field of elite high jumpers at the Penn Relays. She cleared the bar at 5’7.25” to equal the efforts of an athlete from Jamaica’s renowned Vere Technical School program.
The winning leap of 5’8.75” was made by Fleetwood (Pa.) High School’s Cyre Virgo, considered one of the best jumpers in the country this spring, and aside from McCloskey, the rest of the top five finishers all hailed from Jamaica.