April 28, 2012
PHILADELPHIA, Pa.- Eleven ladies from the Marshall University track and field team competed at one of the most historic track and field meets in the world this past Thursday and Friday, testing their athletic prowess against some of the top athletes in the nation at the Penn Relays.
Blustery conditions moved across the University of Pennsylvania's Franklin Field over the weekend, setting the scene for an electrical two days of track and field action at a meet that has been running for 117 years. Officially lasting from Tuesday to Saturday, Marshall entered the scene from Thursday through Friday by competing in three relay events and six individual competitions.
The Thundering Herd began the Relays with Brittany Carey, Crystal Walker, Delkira Maybin, and Hadassah Lynch running in the 4x100m relay, and posted a time of 47.29 to finish in the top-35. Kearra Haynes, Vanessa Jules, Delkira Maybin, and Brittany Carey then ran the 4x200m relay, finishing in the top-20 with a time of 1:40.16. Aside from being a new season-best for the Herd team, the time also bested the previous school record of 1:40.47 set in 2006. Jules, Amber Pierson, Loren Dyer, and Hadassah Lynch then ran the 4x400m relay in 3:52.15 to conclude Marshall's participation in the relay events.
Jules also competed individually in the college section's high jump, finishing inside the top-10 with a 1.72m (5-7.75) leap that was good enough for eighth place. Crystal Walker then set a new personal best in the long jump with a distance of 5.92m (19-5.25). The impressive leap allowed the jumper to finish in 10th place in the college section, which bodes well for the junior transfer as she continues to recover from an indoor season injury.
Amber Pierson also made a splash on the weekend, finishing in 6th place for the eastern section's long jump with a leap of 5.92m (18-8.5). Her teammate Elaine Derricott also competed in the same section, finishing in 12th with a mark of 5.48m (17-11.75).
Marshall's other two individual athletes, Jasia Richardson and Amanda Kennedy, made names for themselves at the event, finishing inside the top-10 of their respective triple jump and javelin events. Richardson, a junior from Richmond, Va., bounded 12.26m (40-2.75) in the triple jump to finish in seventh place in the college section. Kennedy, a junior from Bentleyville, Pa., also finished in seventh place at her event, throwing the javelin 43.12m (141-5) to wrap-up a top-10 finish in the college championship section of the meet.
"This was a really great trip for the group of ladies that went," said assistant coach Willie Johnson. "Penn Relays is one of the most historic track meets you can participate in. The weather may not have been the greatest, but that just makes our ladies' performances that much better."
Marshall now has just one meet - the Ohio Invite - remaining before it heads to New Orleans for the Conference USA Outdoor Championships on May 11. The Ohio meet is set to take place this Saturday in Athens.