collegechampionships

Some of the nation's top collegiate athletes will be competing at Franklin Field for this year's Penn Relays. We break down the top athletes to watch this weekend. 

Photo: Ilana Wurman / The Daily Pennsylvanian

While the nation’s eyes turn to Franklin Field for USA versus the World on Saturday, there will also be some of the nation’s top college athletes arriving from across the United States to compete in the college Championship of America events. Here’s a look at some of the collegiate competitors to watch out for:

Jasmine Todd, Oregon

A redshirt junior, Jasmine Todd is participating in her third Penn Relays, having finished second in the 4x100-meter relay in 2014 and first in the sprint medley relay in 2015. She is ranked nationally in the top 20 in four events; the 100m dash (No. 1), 200m dash (No. 19), long jump (No. 4) and triple jump (No. 19).

Hannah Cunliffe, Oregon

Right beside Todd is teammate Hannah Cunliffe, who ranks third in the 100m and eighth in the 200m. Cunliffe transferred to Oregon after her freshman year from Oklahoma, where she was a second team All-American in the indoor 60m.

Kellion Knibb, Florida State

The 2014 Penn Relays champion in the discus, Kellion Knibb continued her tear after the Relays, claiming two more meet wins in the event before a fifth-place finish at the NCAA Championships. Currently ranked second in the country, she has competed in the discus three times this outdoor season, winning twice, with two marks better than her best Penn Relays throw from two years ago.

Desmond Palmer, Pittsburgh

After finishing second in the 400m hurdles at last year’s Penn Relays and helping set a school-record time in the 4x400m relay, Desmond Palmer was named a second team All-American, and he currently holds the top spot in the national 400m hurdle rankings. This outdoor season, he has already posted wins in the 110m hurdles, 400m hurdles and 4x400m relay.

John Ampomah, Mid. Tennessee

The reigning Penn Relays champion in the javelin, John Ampomah took second in the NCAA Championships last year, and his 81.55m throw from last year’s Relays would rank second nationally if it occurred in the 2016 season. The Accra, Ghana, native has competed in the javelin four times so far in the outdoor season and has won each time.

Elinor Purrier, New Hampshire

The holder of this season’s best time in the steeplechase, Elinor Purrier qualified for U.S. Olympic Trials just a few weeks ago at the Ocean State Invitational in Providence, R.I. She finished third in the mile at the NCAA Indoor Championships this year and had the fastest individual mile time nationally during the indoor season. In the NCAA Championships last year, she placed seventh in the steeplechase with a time she has already bested this season by more than six seconds.

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