Oakland Mills races to 4 x 100 relay final

Foursome clocks 41.94

Westminster's O'Connell helps Hoyas' distance relay

Penn Relays

April 28, 2001|By Elliott Denman | Elliott Denman,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

PHILADELPHIA - Oakland Mills' foursome of Chris Barksdale, Stefan Pastor, Nehemiah Spence and Kyle Farmer turned in an eye-opening 41.94-second clocking in the 4 x 100-meter relay, running away with their small-schools division qualifying heat at the 107th Penn Relays at Franklin Field yesterday.

El Dorado High of Trinidad was the fastest qualifying team at 41.85, with Camden, N.J. next at 41.92 and Oakland Mills the only other team under 42. Four teams from Jamaica as well as California's Long Beach Polytechnic High round out the field that will compete in the final at 2:25 p.m. today.

The Relays' second-day collegiate feature was the men's Championship of America distance medley won by Villanova in 9:30.48.

One of the most impressive freshmen in the race was Jesse O'Connell of Georgetown, out of Westminster High.

O'Connell, who'll seek an international team berth at the Junior National Championships at Richmond, Va., in mid-June, was credited with a 1:49.5 800 split that helped the Hoyas finish third.

Maryland's 57.82 placed sixth in the women's Championship of America 4 x 100 shuttle hurdles final. Towson took its men's 4 x 400 section in 3:19.05, and Coppin State (3:16.82) was third in its section and UMES (3:17.37) fifth. Navy (3:18.33) ran sixth in the heptagonal event.

Eugene Vickers, Thomas Jones, Gary Crawford and Derek Holiday, representing the Maryland Elite club, dashed off with the men's Masters 40-and-up 4 x 100 relay final in 43.57. Another Maryland Elite foursome ran fifth in the 50-and-up 4 x 100.

In individual Masters 100-meter racing, Maryland Elite's Holiday won the 40s final (11.13) and teammate Melvin Field led the 60s (12.44.) Elite's Thomas took the 50s silver (11.36.)

Navy (at 9:49.80) and Coppin State (9:50.76) ran 3-4 in their distance medley section won by Texas A&M (9:43.75.)

Maryland, running 46.49, took fourth in the women's ECAC 4 x 100 relay final. River Hill (8:06.61) was the fastest Maryland team in the series of boys 4 x 800 sections, but it took an 8:00.72 to make today's 12-team final. Wilde Lake (43.39) won its 4x100 section, while Owings Mills (44.89) ran second in another section.

In a Thursday field event final, UMBC's Cleopatra Borel put the four-kilogram (8.8-pound) shot 53 feet, 1 1/2 inches, a gold-medal performance that was her school's Penn victory. UMBC teammate Jean Hugeng cleared 6-9 for sixth in the men's Eastern collegiate high jump yesterday.

Today, five-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Johnson will run his last U.S. race, the anchor leg of the 1,600-relay team, then finish out his season running relays abroad. His final race is scheduled Sept. 15, in Yokohama, Japan.

"This year my focus is to go out there and enjoy it, have a good time, live in the moment and take some great memories back from it," Johnson said.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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