PHILADELPHIA (Sporting Alert) — The 2015 Penn Relays continues on Thursday with its first full schedule for the college women and high school girls, following Tuesday and Wednesday’s mini multi-event sessions.
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On Thursday, the action begins with at 10:00 am with the college women’s 400m hurdles championship, which will see Utech’s Janieve Russell, Rushell Clayton of the University of the West Indies in Jamaica and G.C. Foster’s Ronda Whyte among the top starters.
Jamaican athletes also ranked high among the starters in the high school girls section as well, with the likes of Genekee Leith of St. Jago, her teammate and defending champion Andrenette Knight and Junelle Bromfield (St. Elizabeth Tech) leading the way in the event.
These three Jamaicans are expected to battle things out for the championship title, with Knight, the recently crowned Carifta Games champion, starting as the slight favourite to hold off her rivals, although Leith, who finished sixth at last year’s IAAF World Junior Championships and the champion of Champs 2015, looks in good form.
Leading the way for the American entries is Emma Gallagher (Cardozo, Queens, NY), who was 5th in this event a year ago.
Meanwhile, the first relay competition gets underway at 10:30 am with the high school girls 4×800 qualifiers with the 12 fastest teams from the event booking a place in the Championship Final on Friday.
Defending champions Columbia (Maplewood, NJ), who won this event for the past two years, seek its third championship title and will have the record in mind as well, after just missing out at breaking the national high school mark last year.
As usual, strong challenges are expected to come from the Jamaican schools, with former champions Holmwood among the top entries trying to stop the returning champs streak.
American indoor high school leaders Western Branch (Va.) are also among the top schools, with Jamaica’s Vere Tech, Spalding and Edwin Allen, which finished second last year, starting at the top as well.
The sprint relays for colleges and high schools are also on the scheduled list, with Edwin Allen seeking to dominate the event again, with Holmwood, Wolmer’s and Hydel among the Jamaican top starters.
Meanwhile, the titles up for grabs on the day are the College Women’s and High School Girls Distance Medley Championship of America Invitational.
Action in the field gets underway 9:00 am with the college women’s Discus Throw. The high school girls’ pole vault, long jump and high jump competitions are also taking place on Thursday.