Gay, Felix want 4 events

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania, April 26 Reuters - Olympic and world champion Jeremy Wariner believes he is in good enough shape to break fellow American Michael Johnson’s nine-year-old 400 metres record of 43.18 seconds.
I want to break this record and be the first one to 42 seconds,'' Wariner told reporters at the annual Penn Relays today. It could happen at any time in the season.’’
Wariner, whose personal best is 43.45 seconds in 2007, said he would be running 400m races in the US, Berlin and Oslo leading up to June’s American Olympic trials in Eugene, Oregon.
He ran the fastest leg (44.0 seconds) for the victorious US men’s blue'' squad which clocked two minutes, 59.71 seconds in the 4x400 meters relay today. Meanwhile, double world sprint champion Tyson Gay said he would like to compete for four gold medals at August's Beijing Games but only expects to have a realistic opportunity of running in three events. Gold medal winner at 100 and 200 metres and 4x100 metres relay at last year's Osaka world championships, Gay said he would also like to run the longer relay in Beijing but does not expect to qualify because of America's strength in the discipline. Everyone knows the US has a solid four-by-four team so it would be a wild shot if I was going to be on that team,’’ Gay said. If they do want me to run, I would.'' His relay squad, also consisting of Leroy Dixon, Wallace Spearmon, Doc Patton, finished a surprising fourth in the 4x100 after leadoff runner Dixon was struck in the eye by a Canadian runner during the first handover. The event was won by the Jamaican team of Marvin Anderson, Michael Frater, Nesta Carter and Dwight Thomas in 39.04 seconds. World 100 metres record holder Asafa Powell sat out the meeting with a pulled muscle. Women's world 200 metres champion Allyson Felix ran on winning US squads for both the short and longer events. Afterwards, she said she planned to run the 100 and 200 meters at the US Olympic trials and would also like to compete in both relays in Beijing. If everything went perfect, that would be what I would like to do,’’ said Felix, who won gold in the 200 and both relays at Osaka last year.

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania, April 26, 2008 - US runners sent a message to rivals ahead of the Beijing Olympics with impressive relay triumphs Saturday at the 114th Penn Relays despite an injury to sprinter Leroy Dixon.
Allyson Felix and Sanya Richards anchored 4x100 and 4x400 relay triumphs for US women while Jeremy Wariner did the same for the US men in the 4x400, serving notice the Americans will again by a major force in relays at the Olympics.
We're ready,'' Richards said. We want to sweep the relays like we did at the worlds in 2007 and we’re going to work really hard to do it this year.’’
But disaster struck the strongest US men’s squad in the 4x100 relay as the same team that won world gold last year at Osaka fell victim to a freak accident.
Dixon was the leadoff man for USA Red in the men’s 4x100-meter relay and was struck in his left eye by neighboring Canadian runner Charles Allen as each went to make his exchange.
I don't actually know what happened. It was either his hand hit me in his eye or his fist,'' Dixon said. It hit me in my pupil. He scratched my pupil and I have an ulcer in my eye. It’s infected on my pupil. It’s blurry. I can’t keep it open.’’
USA Red also included US stars Tyson Gay, Wallace Spearmon and Doc Partton and recovered to finish fourth behind winner Jamaica but Dixon was taken from Franklin Field, as 49,831 spectators watched, to be examined by doctors.
He had a gash down his face. They had a towel on it. He was bleeding some,'' Spearmon said. I was proud of him. He grabbed his eye and handed me the stick.
Hopefully the lanes (at Beijing) won't be so tight. I had to slow down and readjust to get the stick and put it in position so Tyson could take it to the finish.'' Treble world champion Gay could do little but carry the baton across the line and prepare for his next race next week at Jamaica. By the time I got the stick, it seemed like Jamaica had already crossed the finish line,’’ Gay said. I was definitely trying to catch them. They had a huge lead. It seemed like once I got the stick, there was only 50m and the race was over. I ran anchor because it may be a possibility that I may run anchor at the Olympics.’’
Jamaica, which did not feature 100-meter world record-holder Asafa Powell, won the 4x100 title in 39.04 seconds.
Marvin Anderson, Michael Frater, Nesta Carter and Dwight Thomas edged USA Blue - John Capel, Xavier Carter, Michael Rodgers and Shawn Crawford - by one-tenths of a second with Trinidad and Tobago third in 39.33.
It's a huge confidence booster for us,'' Frater said. We didn’t have Asafa Powell with us. We specially wanted to show that even though we didn’t have the best sprinter in the world we could still compete against a very good US team.’’
The US 4x400 women’s relay of Richards, Felix, Natasha Hastings and Mary Wineburg won in 3:22.16, defeating Jamaica by 5.80 seconds with the best time in the world this year and a meet record, .77 under the US mark from 2005.
Allyson ran great, Nat ran well and I was just able to open it up on the final leg,'' Richards said. It’s an indicator of how strong we are.
This is the early part of the season, when you get a chance to put a lot of work in, see where you are. I've done very very little speed work in practice, so to run well today, I was very, very happy with that.'' Wariner brought home LaShawn Merritt, Spearmon and Darold Williamson in 2:59.71 to win for USA Blue with the USA Red team of Xavier Carter, Bershawn Jackson, Kerron Clement and Angelo Taylor second in 3:01.12 and Jamaica third in 3:02.00. We ran a great race. We have a great team,’’ Wariner said. No telling what we will be able to do at the Olympics this year.'' For Wariner, that includes a run at Michael Johnson's 400m world record. I want to be the first to break his record and run 42 seconds. I’m working hard to get to that point,’’ Wariner said. I know my race has to be perfect to get it. I can't slip up on one thing. In my eyes, we see little things I need to improve on. Every race I go into, one of my goals is to run for the record.'' Felix anchored USA Red teammates Lauryn Williams, Miki Barber and Lisa Barber to victory in the women's 4x100 relay in 42.57 seconds with USA Blue - Muna Lee, Torri Edwards, Carmelita Jeter and Richards - second in 42.64 and Jamaica third in 43.31. I was pleased with the way I did today,’’ Felix said. ``I felt the 4x100 went well. It was a pleasure for me.’’
Jamaica won the women’s sprint relay - two 200m legs, a 400 and an 800 - in 3:37.61 while Kenya took the men’s distance relay in 9:29.79.

In the 4x4 I thought Williamson ran a great tactical leg in response to Clement’s attack forcing him wide round the top bend. Wariner looked awesome as always. Doesn’t look the coaching change has had a negaitve impact and someone’s going to have to go some to beat him I think!

Sunday, 27 April 2008 U.S. squads cruise to 4x400 world leads, Jamaican men take 4x100 - Penn Relays final day

Dwight Thomas (l) anchoring the victorious Jamaican 4x100m Relay at the Penn Relays. U.S. anchor Tyson Gay was fourth. (Kirby Lee)

relnews Philadelphia, USA - The United States may be losing its dominance in the USA vs. The World competition at the Penn Relays but the Americans are as strong as ever in the men’s and women’s 4 x 400m Relays.

The U.S. squads lost three of six races - the most in the nine-year history of the USA vs. The World competition - but ran to convincing victories in the men’s and women’s 4 x 400m Relays before 49,831 on a breezy, overcast afternoon at Franklin Field on Saturday (26 April) as the 114th Penn Relays concluded.

In the men’s 4x400m Relay, U.S. quartets finished 1-2. Jeremy Wariner powered the USA Blue team with a 43.9 anchor leg to lead the quartet which included LaShawn Merritt, Wallace Spearmon and Darold Williamson to a 2:59.71 win.

The USA Red team of Xavier Carter, Bershawn Jackson, Kerron Clement and Angelo Taylor was second in 3:01.12.

In the women’s 4x400m Relay, Mary Wineberg, Allyson Felix, Natasha Hastings and Sanya Richards combined to run 3:22.16 to win by more than five seconds over a Jamaican team that included Sherone Simpson and Novlene Williams (3:27.96).

Both the winning times were the fastest in the World this season.

The U.S. also turned in a season-leader and 1-2 finish in the women’s 4x100. Lauryn Williams, twin sisters Miki and Lisa Barber, and Felix won in 42.57. A team of Muna Lee, Torri Edwards, Carmelita Jeter and Sanya Richards placed second in 42.64

Jamaican men take 4x100 without Powell

[b]The most drama came in the men’s 4x100m Relay where Jamaica defeated a U.S. team anchored by double World champion Tyson Gay despite the absence of World record holder Asafa Powell, who had pulled out with a pectoral strain suffered while weight lifting.

The U.S. team of Leroy Dixon, Wallace Spearmon, Darvis Patton and Gay - the same lineup that won gold in the 2007 World Championships - finished back in fourth after Dixon was struck in the left pupil by Canadian:eek: Charles Allen who was running in the adjacent outside lane.

Dixon paused noticeably before resuming but the U.S. never recovered as the Jamaican team of Marvin Anderson, Michael Farter, Nesta Carter and Dwight Thomas won in 39.04 to the delight of boisterous green-clad Jamaican flag-waving supporters.

“By the time that I got the stick, it looked like Jamaica had already crossed the finish line,” Gay said.

Another U.S. team of John Capel, Xavier Carter, Michael Rodgers and Shawn Crawford finished second in 39.14. The Canadian team was disqualified.

“We especially wanted to show that even though we may not have arguably the best sprinter in the world, we could still go there and compete against a very good U.S. team,” Frater said.

Dixon was wearing a large patch over his injured eye afterward and said that his vision was blurry.

“I thought we were racing Mike Tyson,” Spearmon quipped.[/b]Another Jamaican victory in women’s Sprint Medley, Kenya takes men’s Distance Medley

Jamaica handed the U.S. its first loss in the women’s competition in the USA vs. The World series. Nadine Palmer, Aleen Bailey, Sonita Sutherland and Kenia Sinclair combined to win the Sprint Medley Relay (200m-200m-400m-800m) in 3:37.61. A World All-Stars team was second in 3:39.16 and the U.S. was third in 3:41.08.

After Sinclair crossed the finish line after a 1:59.3 anchor, she was embraced by Bailey, who then jumped up and down and grabbed the front of her jersey with both hands to display to the crowd.

“A lot of Jamaicans in the U.S. don’t get to see us run throughout the year so we tend to do a little extra to make sure we win for them at this event,” said Bailey, who competed in the Penn Relays while attending Vere Technical High School and a collegian at South Carolina.

“When you look into the stands you see a sea of black, green and gold. The fans are amazing. They give you so much energy, they make you do your best.”

Prior to this year’s meet, the U.S. had only lost three races in the history of the USA vs. The World competition, to Jamaica in the 4x400m Relay in 2005 and Distance Medley losses to Kenya in 2006 and a World All-Stars team in 2007.

The U.S. came up short again in the Distance Medley on Saturday to a Kenyan team of Boaz Cheboiywo (1200m), Thomas Musembi (400m), Jackson Kivuna (800m) and Josephat Kithii (1600m), 9:29.79 to 9:30.66.

Manzano Repeats at College Relay Athlete of the Meet

University of Texas senior Leonel Manzano was named the Relay Athlete of the Meet after anchoring the Longhorns to victories in the Distance Medley and 4 x 1 Mile Relays for the second year in a row. Manzano is the first repeat winner since Kim Collins (SKN) of Texas Christian University in 2000-01.

Jonathan Jackson of TCU earned the honor for Individual Events. Johnson won the Triple Jump at 16.55m for the No. 10 mark in Penn Relays history and tie for the best collegiate mark this season. LaTavia Thomas of LSU was the Female Relay Athlete of the Meet and Kara Patterson was chosen for Individual events.

Thomas, who attended nearby West Catholic High in Philadelphia, ran the 800m anchor on LSU’s winning 4 x 800m and Sprint Medley Relays. Patterson threw 56.10m in the Javelin to move into second on the all-time meet list.

In the high school competition, male honorees were Alwayne Green of Manchester (JAM) and Nicholas Vena of Morristown (NJ).

Green ran a 1:53.0 split in the 4x800m Relay to help Manchester rally for a 7:43.22 win. Vena won the shot put with an all-time U.S. ninth grade record 19.37m.

Other Highlights

Saturday’s attendance of 49,831 was the second-highest total for any day and brought the three-day total to 113,302 for the No. 2 mark at Penn.

Candice Davis, the reigning World Indoor 60m Hurdles silver medalist, won the 100m hurdles in 13.02. Kibwe Johnson won the men’s Hammer Throw at 73.77m and Bethany Hart was the women’s winner at 68.58m.

Kirby Lee for the IAAF

Another U.S. team of John Capel, Xavier Carter, Michael Rodgers and Shawn Crawford finished second in 39.14. The Canadian team was disqualified.

I didn’t know John Capel was still running. Haven’t seem his name for a long time.

He’s one of them who seem to keep ducking in and out of the sport! He beat Rodgers in the individual also.