Navy beats Penn rain, takes 6th in relay

Medley team makes bid

Terps jumper Webster 3rd

April 24, 1999|By Jon Marks | Jon Marks,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

PHILADELPHIA -- In a sense, history was made at the 105th Penn Relays yesterday when a combination of driving rain and lightning forced a total halt to the meet for the first time in anyone's memory. And there are people here who's been coming to the relays for six decades.

But the wretched conditions had little effect on Baltimore area competitors, since most of them had finished their work by the time of the deluge.

On two occasions, totaling nearly 1 3/4 hours, meet officials suspended competition. When it was resumed, the schedule was rearranged, with the sprint medley relay, normally the last event of the day, rescheduled for this morning.

In addition, qualifying for the 1,600-meter relay, which was being run when the meet was stopped, became a travesty. Before the meet resumed, a number of schools, apparently believing the program was over for the day, had left.

But Maryland, UMBC, Morgan State, Maryland-Eastern Shore, Johns Hopkins and others didn't let the rain deter them.

Morgan -- with Euel Cowan, Ralph Jones, Anthony Reid and Dadi Denis -- was the best of that group, going 3: 12.41 in the 1,600-meter relay, not far off Texas A&M's 3: 11.89, which earned it the eighth and last spot in the final; Auburn was the top qualifier in 3: 06.11.

UMBC, anchored by Amos Akasa, ran 3: 15.17, followed by Maryland-Eastern Shore (3: 17.96) and Maryland (3: 18.46).

But overall, the best showing came from Navy, whose distance medley team of Eric Adam, Torrance Chaplin, Karlston Holston and Michael Ryan ran sixth behind winner Arkansas' 9: 38.68.

Also, in men's 400-meter relay qualifying, Morgan's Jean Cummings, Jesse Petway, Arnold Henry and Nigel Walker ran 41.57, a strong 19th. UMBC's team of Kevin Bruce, Kevin Dick, Gary Harvey and Casey Swain was 29th in 42.28. Both schools qualified for today's IC4A relay.

UMBC wound up 18th in the 800 relay in 1: 27.31, while Mount St. Mary's (1: 27.97) took 20th.

Individually, the best local effort came in the eastern college phase of the women's triple jump, in which Maryland's Nikki Webster took third with an effort of 40-2 3/4.

Among area high schools, the best performance came from Western, which took third in the secondary phase of the girls' 400 relay. Sharronda Boone, Toni Jefferson, Danielle Hannah and Tia Burley ran 48.26.

Among the boys, Oakland Mills was 36th, running 44.32. In the larger schools, Calvert Hall hit the tape in 44.90, while Mervo (45.40), Frederick Douglass (45.66) and Perry Hall (45.81) also ran well.

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