PHILADELPHIA - 39,103 fans -- the seventh-largest crowd to watch Friday competition at The Penn Relays -- watched records fall as the action heated up on a warm day in Philadelphia.
Penn State entered Friday with a 54-year drought without a Championship of America in the men's Distance Medley Relay. A dominant third leg from Casimir Loxsom gave the Nittany Lions all the room they would lead to end that spell, claiming their fifth DMR in a time of 9:24.68 over Villanova which was looking to replicate its DMR win on the women's side from Thursday.
Texas A&M continued its dominance in the women's 4x100, winning its fifth consecutive title in the event with a winning time of 43.05 - its fastest winning time of the quintet of victories.
The women's 4x1500 went the way of the Wolverines as Michigan fended off a charge from Oregon in a frantic final leg. Michigan's Amanda Eccleston's final leg of 4:19.6 was enough for a 1.03-second win for the Maize and Blue in a time of 17:15.47.
La Salle College High School stunned the crowd expecting a dual between St. Benedict's and Christian Brothers in the high school boys' Distance Medley Relay, keeping the Relays "Wheel" in Philadelphia with the school's first-ever Penn Relays DMR crown. St. Benedict's final leg from Edward Cheserek of 4:05.1 was a sight to see as he did all he could to bring his team back to the front.
Olivia Baker from Columbia (NJ) High School was named the Relay Events Girls High School Athlete of the Meet after her blistering 2:09.9 anchor leg in Columbia's 4x800 championship. Her team was behind entering the final two laps, but Baker stormed to the front to end Jamaica's five-year run of wins in the event. Columbia's win was just the second since 1995 for an American team.
On Friday, Holmwood Tech's Gleneve Grange was named Individual Events Athlete of the Meet after she annihilated the meet's best mark in the high school discus with a throw of 54.29 (178-1) on Thursday. That throw was almost ten feet farther than the previous best set last year.
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