Williams, Carter take stand vs. the world at Penn Relays

Baltimore pair shines as U.S. takes 5 of 6 relays

Montgomery beats Greene

Track And Field

April 28, 2002|By Derek Toney | Derek Toney,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

PHILADELPHIA -- The present and future of area track came together before a final-day record crowd of 50,827 at yesterday's Penn Relays at the University of Penn's Franklin Field.

Olympians Bernard Williams and James Carter were on display in the "USA vs. The World" exhibition, which included Jamaica, Canada, Poland, Russia, Germany and Guyana. The Americans won five of six relays in that event.

Williams, a Carver High graduate and member of the gold medal-winning 400-meter relay team at the 2000 Summer Olympic Games, helped the U.S. Blue to a surprise victory over the U.S. Red team in the 400.

"I just wanted to eat up as much ground as I could and give a good handoff," said Williams, who ran the second leg. "It felt good because I haven't run in a while."

Williams and Coby Miller put anchor leg Tim Montgomery well in the lead when he and Maurice Greene -- world-record holder in the 100 -- got the baton. Montgomery, the world 100 silver medalist who owns the fastest time this year (9.94), ran the last leg in 38.38 seconds to best Greene's 38.75. The U.S. Blue team finished in 1:20.68; the U.S. Red team ran 1:21.85.

Carter, the former Mervo High standout, ran the lead leg on the third-place U.S. Blue 1,600 relay. He ran last weekend at the Morgan State Invitational, the first time he has been in Baltimore in several months. Williams said he returns home about every six months and has been friends with Carter since their pre-high school days in summer track.

"We see each other a lot on the circuit," said Williams, who won 10 titles at Carver and a national title in the 100 at the University of Florida. "It's a mutual happiness, and that's good."

After winning gold in 2000, Williams was the second leg on the U.S. squad that captured gold at last year's World Outdoor Championships and ran a personal-best 9.84 in the 100. He hopes to compete at the Doha Grand Prix in Doha, Qatar, next month.

Williams said the glow of being an Olympic champion hasn't dulled, but he thinks some won't forget the U.S. team's celebration that was criticized.

"The one thing about the Olympics: Even though it's every four years, they always remember you," Williams said. "I wasn't trying to upset anybody. I was trying to entertain them, be who I am. A person who likes having fun."

Maryland women, with Western grads Tia Burley and Toni Jefferson, won the Eastern College Athletic Conference 1,600 relay competition; Morgan State claimed fourth (3:41.62). In the ECAC women's 800 relay final, Coppin State took fourth (1:38.17) and the men's 1,600 placed third (3:11.3) in the IC4A race. The Eagles placed fifth (7:33.79) in the men's 3,200 relay.

Navy placed fifth (9:42.98) in the men's distance medley Championship of America final as Arkansas (16:09.84) won for the eighth time in the past 12 years. The Midshipmen finished ninth (16:43.22) in the 6,400 Championship of America race. Tom Delaney was seventh (16 feet, 5 inches) in the pole vault finals.

Penn State, with Calvert Hall grad Ryan Olkowski running anchor, won (1:24.82) the men's IC4A 800 relay. Olkowski was the final leg on the Nittany Lions' fourth-place IC4A 400 relay team. Georgia Tech's Aisha McClinton (Perry Hall) was fourth (13.6) in the women 100 hurdles championship. Former Oakland Mills standout Kyle Farmer helped Florida to fifth (40.85) in the men's 400 relay.

C. Milton Wright didn't compete in yesterday's Championship of America 3,200 final because of a scheduling conflict.

No local boys 1,600 relay squad qualified for the Championship of America final. Mervo had the fastest area clocking (3:24.08), winning its heat. Randallstown (3:25.31) and Meade (3:25.86) also won heats.

The women's 1,600 relay race, meanwhile, was an old-fashioned rout and provided the "USA vs. The World" finale.

Michelle Collins established a huge lead for Team USA Red in the first leg, and Jearl Miles Clark and LaTasha Colander Richardson only extended that lead. That made Marion Jones' job easy, as she came home in 3:23.41. Jones was given a 20-meter lead, which she stretched to more than 40, running her leg in 50.7 seconds.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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