Hydel retain Penn Relays 4×100, 4×400 double Loop Jamaica

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PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania: Hydel High School retained their Penn Relays double by clinching the High School Girls’ 4x100m and 4x400m Championship of America titles on the second day of the 128th staging of the three-day carnival at Franklin Field on the University of Pennsylvania campus on Friday.

The Corey Bennett-coached team first secured victory in the 4x100m, marking their second win in the event, and then completed the double by claiming their third consecutive 4x400m title.

Hydel, though, had to dig hard for victory as, after thwarting a challenge from bitter Jamaican rivals Edwin Allen High on the first three legs, anchor leg runner Alliah Baker repelled a stubborn challenge from Morgan Rothwell of Bullis School on the final leg to seal victory.

Hydel High’s 4x400m team holds up the Championship ‘Wheel.’ (PHOTO: Sanzy Lifestyle Media).

The team, which also comprised Jody-Ann Daley, Abigail Campbell, and the talented class two athlete Nastassia Fletcher, combined to clock 3:34.78, marking the fifth-fastest time in the history of the event.

Bullis School from Maryland, who were trying to become the first American school to win the event since 2008, finished second in 3:35.17. Union Catholic from New Jersey took third place in 3:41.75 while Edwin Allen faded to fourth with a time of 3:43.62.

For the third consecutive year, Union Catholic High School from New Jersey, thwarted Jamaican high school girls’ bid for a complete sweep of the Championship of America titles. They defended their 4x800m title in remarkable fashion, establishing a new national record of 8:41.20.

The record-setting team, comprised of Jimmiea King (2:11.76), Peyton Hollis (2:11.57), Sophia Thompson (2:10.02), and Paige Sheppard (2:07.86), secured a comfortable victory over Edwin Allen High School. Their performance surpassed the previous national record of 8:43.12, set by Roosevelt High School of Greenbelt, Maryland, in 2008 at Penn Relays.

This victory marked the second consecutive year that Union Catholic and Edwin Allen finished first and second in the race. The fastest time ever recorded in the High School Girls 4×800 Championship of America at the Penn Relays remains 8:37.71, achieved by Vere Technical of Jamaica in 1991.

Edwin Allen, represented by Tanesia Gardiner (2:19.22), Monique Stewart (2:08.58), Kevongaye Fowler (2:13.84), and Rickeisha Simms (2:09.14), finished with a time of 8:50.76, falling short of securing a Championship of America title for the second year in a row. Third place went to South Lakes High School from Virginia.

Excelsior High emerged as the favorite to continue Jamaica’s dominance in the High School Boys’ 4x100m Championship of America after easily securing the fastest qualifying time across the six heats.

The Mountain View-based school, featuring Ryeem Walker, Damor Miller, Malike Nugent, and Lennon Green, clocked 40.62 seconds in their preliminary round heat, establishing themselves as the sole team to break the 41-second barrier in the heats.

Six other Jamaican schools advanced to the final. Herbert Morrison recorded the second-fastest qualifying time of 41.26, followed by Kingston College (KC) at 41.30, and St Jago High at 41.35. Also advancing are St George’s College (41.42), Calabar (41.70), and defending champions Jamaica College (41.73).

The last American high school team to win the event was Glanville High of Ohio in 2004.

JC lead the pack of qualifiers into the High School Boys’ 4x800m Championship of America, securing their place after dominating their heat with a time of 7:45.38. Joining them in the final is KC, the only other Jamaican school to advance, posting a time of 7:53.86 and finishing second to Central Bucks West High School (7:52.05) from Pennsylvania.

The heats for the High School Boys’ 4x400m Championship of America are set for Saturday, commencing at 7:45 am Jamaica time. The final is slated for 4:30 pm Jamaica time.