By Jesse Squire
April 25, 2018
It’s the day you’ve been waiting for all spring — the Penn and Drake Relays are here! Thursday, April 26, marks the first full day of competition at both of the spring classics.
10:00am ET – Penn College Women’s 400 Hurdle Championship
St. Augustine’s Shannon Kalawan was the Penn Relays high school runner-up in this event two years ago. She has the fastest time (56.99) and has won the biggest meet (2018 Florida Relays).
5:30pm ET – Penn College Women’s Distance Medley Championship of America
Indiana and Clemson are considered the co-favorites, with Notre Dame as another possible contender. Villanova is the de facto home team at Penn and has won five out of the last six women’s DMR championships, so don’t sleep on the Wildcats.
6:05pm ET – Penn High School Girls’ Mile Run Championship
Marlee Starliper (Northern, Dilsburg, PA) has the top seed time with her 4:43.49 from the indoor season but was fourth at the New Balance Indoor Nationals. #2 seed Victoria Starcher (Ripley, WV) was second at that race. Some intriguing international entries include Mary Fraser (Bahamas) and Charli Miller (New Zealand).
6:10pm ET – Penn High School Girls’ Distance Medley Championship of America
Despite their cross country success, Saratoga Springs (NY) has never won the distance medley at Penn. They were runners-up at the New Balance Indoor Nationals and are the favorites here.
7:40pm ET – Penn Men’s Steeplechase
The Houston Cougars will show off their tremendous sprinting crew on Friday and Saturday, but there’s more to “Speed City” than just sprints. Houston’s Brian Barazza is the top seed and has run 8:41.58. Travis Mahoney (NJNYTC) ran 8:38.64 last week and this could be a great duel.
7:53pm CT – Drake Seeded Women’s 5,000
The last time Missouri’s Karissa Schweizer was beaten on the track by another collegian was in last May’s SEC Championships 1500. She’s about as safe a bet to win in this meet as you can find. Her stated goal is to break the meet record of 15:31.18, set 33 years ago by Wisconsin’s Cathy Branta. It’s not going to be easy but the notoriously unreliable Iowa weather looks like it’s going to cooperate.
8:37pm CT – Drake Seeded Men’s 5,000
Iowa State’s Andrew Jordan was 15th at the NCAA Cross Country Championships and won the Big 12 indoor 5k. He’s redshirting the outdoor season and will competed unattached here. He and pro Kevin Lewis (Team USA Minnesota) are the favorites.
10:25pm ET – Penn Women’s 10,000
Notre Dame’s Anna Rohrer is scheduled to run her first race since last June. She has been as high as third at the NCAA Cross Country Championships and the 5k at the NCAA Indoor Championships.
I was second in the 1980 Olympic* long jump. (*Cub Scout Olympics, Pack 99, 9-10 age group.)