Sprint medley the jewel in Penn Wood’s crown at Delco Relays

HAVERFORD >> A year-long quest came to an end at Haverford High’s A.G. Cornog Field Saturday.
Penn Wood set three meet records at the 2016 Delco Girls Relays. The only mark they did not break was in the 1,600 sprint medley relay. And when the Patriots won the event at the New Balance Nationals last June, they set their sights on adding that mark to their collection of records.
Well, the Patriots can scratch that goal off of their bucket list.
Penn Wood shattered Cardinal O’Hara’s 30-year-old record in the event with a sizzling time of 4 minutes, 2.1 seconds, and that wasn’t all. The Patriots came right back and broke their record in the 4 x 200-meter relay to highlight a day in which they also won gold in the 800 sprint medley and 4 x 800 and 4 x 400 relays.
“Five firsts and a second,” Penn Wood coach Len Jordan said. “Not a bad day.”
No it was not. Terri Turner, Janae Pitt and Elicia Moore were on four of the winning relay teams, including both of the record-setting foursomes. The mark they coveted most, though, was the sprint relay record.
“It’s the only one we didn’t have,” Turner said. “We ran close last year and then when we won it at nationals we really wanted to get that record this year.”
To do that, though, the Patriots would have to run faster than the 4:08.74 O’Hara ran in 1987, which they did with ease. Turner, Pitt, Moore and Tatiyana Laylor shattered that mark by six seconds. Turner ran a 2:10 anchor split in the 800 portion of the race, according to Jordan. Pitt turned in her second 57-second split of the day in the 400.
“It feels real good to get that record because we lost a big component of that team in Agnes” Mansaray, the 2016 Daily Times female Athlete of the Year, Turner said. “The thing that gave us confidence is that we ran really well at nationals last year (3:56.75). That showed us that we could run with any team in the country.”
Penn Wood’s time was No. 1 in the state and No. 7 nationally, according to milesplit.com.
“We’re strong, real strong,” Pitt said. “We don’t play around. We know we’re one of the top teams in the area. It puts pressure on us, but it keeps us focused, too.”
Penn Wood’s focus was laser sharp. Turner came right back after running the anchor in the sprint medley with a 25.3 second split in the leadoff leg of the 4 x 200. Moore, Laylor and Pitt finished the relay off in a record time of 1:41.57.
“I knew I had to push myself,” Turner said.
The amazing thing is that Penn Wood won the five events and set the two meet records with six runners. Turner, Pitt, Moore and Laylor also won the 800 sprint medley relay. Moore, Isabella Mobley, Kyra Carroll and Maisha Coleman took the 4 x 800, and Carroll, Moore, Pitt and Turner brought home gold in the 4 x 400. Penn Wood’s B team of Mobley, Coleman, Aquilah Bond and Laylor were second in the 4 x 400. Not bad for just the third meet of the outdoor season.
“The future looks bright,” Turner said.
Once again, Strath Haven’s Rachel Kent put her diverse skills on display. First, she teamed with Jordan Brown to take second in the shot put relay. Then Kent, Tess Bailey, Dana Hubbell and Helen Qi broke the school record to win the shuttle hurdles relay (1:04.23). Kent capped her day when she and Dagny Lott won the discus relay. Kent’s 92-5 was the best throw of the day.
“It’s pretty hard to do because the hurdles and discus are at the same time,” Kent said. “I have to run back and forth to see which one is first.”
It’s not a surprise that Kent competes in completely different events. Her older sister, Natalie, did the same thing for the Panthers the last few years. Her older brother, Nathanial, was a hurdler for the Haven boys team.
“I didn’t start to throw until last year because my sister was a really good thrower,” Kent said. “I kind of followed in their footsteps.”
The question is, which event does she like best?
“I think I prefer the hurdles because I’ve been doing that since my freshman year, but I like all of them,” Kent said.
Kent’s day was one of the many presents the Panthers gave head coach Bill Coren on his 67th birthday. Grace Forbes, Maddie Forbes, Sophie Haase and Olivia Malley won the distance medley relay in 12:19.44. Claire VanDuyne and Madison Snyder took first in the pole vault relay with a combined vault of 17-0. VanDuyne was the individual winner at a career-best 9-6.
Kristen Lynch and Meghan Lynch, who are not related, and Paige Shaika had big days for Ridley. Kristen, Meghan and Shaika teamed with Kayley Smith to win the 4 x 100 (51.77). Kristen Lynch and Shaika also took first in the high jump relay (9-6), while Meghan Lynch and Rylie Butler were first in the triple jump relay.
Haverford’s Cecilia Katcavage had a huge day in the throwing events. Katcavage teamed with Brinna Blair to win the shot put relay (65-½). Katcavage had the best put of the day at 37-0. Katcavage then teamed with Autumn Francis to win the javelin relay with a combined throw of 206-1. Katcavage finished second in the individual competition with a throw of 108-8. Francis was third at 98-10. That duo also was second in the discus relay.
The long jump relay went to Sun Valley’s Haweh Kwaidah and Shannon Purfield with a combined leap of 30-2½.
It’s a good thing the Delco Girls Relays started at 1 p.m. and not earlier in the day. It gave the girls from Cardinal O’Hara time to recover from Friday’s mini-THON to help in the fight against childhood cancers.
The entire team took part in the fundraising event, which lasted from 1 p.m. Friday to 1 a.m. Saturday and raised more than $100,000.
“It was a little tiring, but a lot of fun,” sophomore Christine Mancini said.
The Lions took second in the DMR (Christine, Mancini, Eleanor Mancini, Elizabeth Mancini and Sephora Senestant) and third in the 4 x 400 (Jesikah Boykin, Lindsey Crawford, Sydney McWilliams, Senestant).


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