WEDNESDAY, APRIL 27, 2011
Track & field competes at historic Penn Relays starting on Thursday
Seniors Danielle Davenport and Unique Singleton along with sophomores Joane Pierre and Bienna Freeman, will represent the JU track & field team in front of the largest crowd of the year at the 117th edition of the Penn Relays starting Thursday in Philadelphia, Pa.

The group will race in the 4x400-meter and spring medley relays at the event, which is set to host a crowd of more than 11,000 a day and 48,000 spectators alone on Saturday.

JU is running in the 4x400-meter relay on Thursday at 5:45 p.m. The top eight teams will make the Championship of the American Final on Saturday at 5:45 p.m., while the next eight teams will be the College Championship fifteen minutes earlier. The Sprint Medley Relay is set for Friday at 6:20 p.m.

Fans can see highlights of the relay finals on ESPN 2 on Saturday at 8:30 p.m., while catching the professional USA vs. the World in relay action.

“I’ve been to the U.S. Olympic Trials, and I have been to professional meets in Europe, but the Penn Relays is a meet that every track and field athlete or fan should have a chance to experience,” said JU head coach Ron Grigg. “It is a carnival that brings together high school, college and professional athletes from around the United States and the world. The knowledgeable and excited crowd make it a special place for the athletes to perform.

“To give you an example of the spectacle, there will be a girl’s high school 4x4 going off every five minutes for more than three and a half hours on Thursday, and that is just one event!”

The Dolphins have the 12th fastest time of the teams entered in the 4x400-meter relay by running a 3:39.26 at the Pepsi Florida Relays in Gainesville, Fla. on April 2nd.

Davenport ran a split of 54.7, while Singleton posted her split at 53.1. Freeman had a time of 55.3 and Pierre recorded a 56.2 split to round out the relay.

At the A-Sun Championships, Davenport, Singleton and Freeman combined with senior J’Zotta Rolle to run a time of 3:40.69 to win the 4x400-meter crown.

The Sprint Medley Relay will be the first for the Dolphins this season, which will consist of two 200-meter stretches and finishing with a 400 and 800-meter portion.

“This meet is different from anything you will experience as a collegiate athlete,” said Grigg. “We will have to adapt to different weather and different warm up protocols. We will also have to experience and enjoy the environment, while not allowing it to overwhelm us. I expect that we will run well in the Sprint Medley on Friday. Given our ranking in the 4x4, our goal and our reason for coming here, is to make a championship final and be able to race on Saturday.”

Fans can follow the meet by logging onto thepennrelays.com.