WHITEMARSH TWP. >> Penn Wood All-Delco Terri Turner had her sights set on breaking the meet record in the 800-meter run at the Pennsylvania Track Classic Saturday, but she wasn’t sure if she could get it.
Enter Cardinal O’Hara’s Christine Mancini to give Turner the push she needed to put her name in the record book.
Turner held off a determined Mancini to break the meet record by more than six seconds to highlight a strong day by the Patriots.
The Columbia-bound senior won the event in 2 minutes, 11.52 seconds for the first of two gold medals and two meet records, which earned her Female Performer of the Meet honors. Later in the day Turner teamed with Janae Pitt, Kyra Carroll and Isabelle Mobley to shatter the meet record in the 4 x 400-meter relay.
Turner’s time in the 800 destroyed the mark of 2:17.7 set by Melissa Benner of Gwynedd Mercy Academy in 1987. Turner then turned in a 54-second anchor split as the Patriots finished in 3:50.79 to break the mark of 3:54.0 set by William Penn in 1988.
“It’s nice to have someone push you like that,” Turner said. “I wanted that meet record and I don’t know if I would have gotten it without her.”
Mancini was not sure how she would fare against one of the premier half-milers in the state. Her best time coming in was 2:15.23. Mancini shattered that personal best by nearly three seconds with a time of 2:12.82 and did have the lead until Turner turned on the jets.
“She went out a little slower than I expected,” Mancini said of Turner. “I saw an opportunity and I went for it. I knew I would have to sprint to win it and she was able to sprint past me.”
The Penn Wood girls came home with a host of medals. Pitt was second in the 300 hurdles (44.71 seconds), Tatiyana Laylor took second in the 100 (12.61) and helped the Patriots place fourth in the 4 x 100 relay. Mobley was fifth in the 800 (2:23.51) and Carroll placed fourth in the 1,600 (5:26.83.).
The boys team was just as impressive. Dennis Manyeah won the high jump (6-4) and the 800 (1:58.73), and led off the 4 x 800 relay that finished second. Tyreem Welton placed third in the 100 (11.23) and was on the 4 x 100 relay that took third. Inerji Sierleaf took third in the 400 and was part of the 4 x 800 relay.
“My legs were dying (in the 800),” Manyeah said. “I ran a fast split in the 4 x 8 and did the high jump before that and that took a lot out of me, but I qualified for districts (in all three events), so I’m happy with that.”
Cardinal O’Hara also had a good day in the first meet of the outdoor season. Schola Eburuoh leaped 5-2 to win the girls high jump. Lorielle Laforest was fifth in both the shot put (33-1) and discus (94-4), and Jesikah Boykin took fourth in the 200 (26.80).
On the boys side for the Lions, Obinna Iherjirka was second in the 200 and helped the Lions to a third-place finish in the 4 x 100, while teammate Derrick Patrick was third in the 300 hurdles.
Tina D’Anjollel of Notre Dame was a double winner. She took fourth in the 100 and third in the 200.
Junior Julia Havertine and freshman Abby Idiculla helped Radnor place third in the distance medlay relay and fifth in the 4 x 800. Havertine and Idiculla were joined on the DMR by Grace Frigerio and Barbara Civitella, while Keara Seasholtz and Lucy Hederick rounded out the 4 x 800. Teammate Caroline DiTrolio was fith in the 1,600.
“I was a little rocky at the start,” Havertine said. “I had some leg problems, but we did well as a team.”
“This was my first time going from indoor to outdoor, so that was tough,” Idiculla said. “It’s a different so that took a little time to adjust.”
Academy Park thrower Corey Simmons was making an adjustment, too. The senior was wearing throwing shoes for the first time and it helped him finish third in the boys discus with a personal-best throw of 131-7.
“The shoes made a big difference,” Simmons said. “They’re flat and they help you spin faster. Tennis shoes have too much grip. These shoes are better to throw in.”
The Haverford School claimed two medals. Dan Whaley was fifth in the 400 and teammate Daiyaan Hawkins was fifth in the 200.