Razor-close faces for Arkansas teams Razor-close faces for Arkansas teamsThe Razorbacks distance squads were not as dominant as expected. It's not often that a distance race is decided by a margin of .05 seconds or less. Yet for Arkansas, it happened on successive days at the Penn Relays, as the perennial powerhouse Razorbacks -- who swept the distance races last year at Franklin Field -- had to settle for just one set of watches and two losses by razor-thin margins. Arkansas first tasted bitter defeat in the distance medley on Friday afternoon, when Connecticut anchor Dan Wilson held off Sharif Karie at the finish line by 3/100 of a second. "I tried to judge from the crowd [how close Karie was]," Wilson said. "I was surprised when he blew past me over the line." After winning the 4xMile by the markedly larger margin of 11 seconds, the Hogs were again nipped at the finish by a Big East school in the 4x800. Seton Hall's Ned Brooks barely held off a charging James Karanu at the line, leaving the Arkansas anchor in disbelief at a near-miss that was eerily similar to the DMR. "I heard the crowd, so that's what made me look over my shoulder, because I knew by the crowd's reaction that Arkansas was coming up on me," Brooks said. · The women from Arkansas had better luck than the men, as they won their first Penn Relays race ever in the distance medley on Saturday. Anchor runner Tracy Robertson received an added bonus as the Razorbacks started their victory lap -- a peck on the cheek from longtime Relays supporter Bill Cosby. · American fans chanted, "One-two, One-two" when both teams from the USA beat Team Jamaica in the "USA vs. the World" 4x400 relay, but Jamaican fans got a chance to exact their revenge in the finals of the high school boys 4x400. Schools from Jamaica grabbed the top four spots, prompting chants of "One, two, three, four" by supporters of the islanders. · Charles Kamathi, the winner of the men's Olympic Development 5,000 on Friday night, uses his speed for more than just races. Kamathi is a constable in Kenya, where his conditioning and quick feet can come in handy when chasing down those on the wrong side of the law. · While preparations were being made for the "USA vs. the World" 4x200 on the track, all eyes turned to the infield, where Mark Boswell of Texas was attempting a new Penn Relays record of 2.30 meters (7'6.5") in the high jump. Much to the delight of the crowd, Boswell made it over the bar on his third attempt, but the high-socked Longhorn couldn't clear the next height of 2.32 meters (7'7.25") to tie the Franklin Field record. He came closest on his second attempt, when he clipped the bar with his legs. · Moorehouse anchor Momodou Drammah had a little difficulty finishing his race in the second heat of the college men's 4x800. With a 30-meter lead over the second-place team, Drammah threw his hands up in celebration at what he thought was the finish line -- 20 meters from the real finish line. To add insult to embarrassment, after Drammah realized he wasn't finished, he hurriedly sped toward the finish line but got his feet tangled and ended up falling across the finish line. There was a silver lining for Drammah, however -- he still won the heat. · South Carolina finally ended Texas' five-year stranglehold on the women's 4x400. Gamecocks anchor Mikele Barber came from behind to pass the Longhorns' Moushaumi Robinson 120 meters from the finish line, turning in a race-best split of 50.6 to give South Carolina the win. "All I was thinking was, 'We've got to beat Texas. We've got to beat Texas,'" Barber said. · Last year, St. Jago (Jamaica) lost its lead on the final exchange of the high school girls' 4x400 by dropping the baton. This year, St. Jago was in the reverse situation. St. Jago was running neck-and-neck with Berkely until Berkely fumbled the final exchange. Looking demoralized, Berkely anchor Katrina Keith could not recover and fell to last place. Meanwhile, St. Jago held off a late charge by another Jamaican school, perennial favorite Vere Tech, to grab its second win in the event in three years. · In one of the most heartwarming events of the Relays, the 100-meter dash for men 75 and older, Ray Bower of Western Pennsylvania Track Club came from behind to edge last year's winner Les Wright. Bower ran 15.54 -- 0.1 seconds faster than Wright. The oldest man in the race was the Reverend Angelo Oliver from Rhode Island. The 83-year-old finished sixth in 18.66.Comments powered by Disqus
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