WITH another outstanding anchor leg from Alonzo Russell, the men’s 4 x 400 metre team placed second behind the United States of America in the much anticipated USA versus the World showdown while the St Augustine’s College Big Red Machine got into a couple high school finals at the 124th version of the Penn Relays.
On the final day of competition Saturday at Franklin Field in Philadelphia, Russell joined the team of Ramon Miller, Teray Smith and Michael Mathieu as they clocked three minutes and 02.54 seconds to finish behind the USA that won in 3:01.31. Jamaica had to settle for third in 3:03.12.
Russell got the baton in third place from Mathieu and kept his composure until the back stretch where he passed Jamaica’s Jermaine Gayle. He went after American Mike Berry and although he caught him coming off the final curve, he didn’t have enough left in the tank to accelerate to the front.
It was the second time in two weeks that Russell has anchored the Bahamas to a second place. At the recent Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast, Australia, Russell was on the anchor leg as he chased Botswana’s Isaac Makwala through the finish line.
The rest of the team comprising of Ojay Ferguson, Smith and Stephen Newbold had to settle for the silver as Botswana clinched the gold.
The Bahamas also participated in the sprint medley on the ladies’ side of the USA vs the World match-up. The team of Sheniqua ‘Q’ Ferguson and Tamara Myers (running the first two 100m respectively), TyNia Gaither (200m) and Katrina Seymour (400m) had to settle for fourth place in 1:39.03.
The USA took the top spot in 1:35.20 with Trinidad & Tobago second in 1:37.42 and Jamaica third in 1:38.31.
The Bahamas didn’t enter teams in the women and men 4 x 100m or the women’s 4 x 400m and the men’s sprint medley. The USA, with a cadre of young competitors, won five of the six events, losing just the women’s 4 x 100m relay to Jamaica.
Big Red Machine roll on
St Augustine’s team of Megan Moss, running slightly injured in a split of 55.90, Jada Knowles (57.04), Marissa White (55.60) and Doneisha Anderson (53.02) sped to victory in their heats of the high school girls 4 x 400m relay.
But without Moss and Knowles, the team of White, Anderson, Anthaya Charlton and Kayneshia Carter ended up ninth in the Championship of America final in 4:01.04.
SAC’s girls 4 x 100m team of Lakelle Kinteh, Anderson, Charlton and Knowles had the second fastest qualifying time of 46.21 in the heat. St John’s team of Shania Darrell, Jameka Chisholm, India Cartwright and Geordan Thurston was 15th in 49.25.
In the Championship of America final, the combo of Knowles, Charlton, Kinteh and Anderson ran 46.64 for seventh place.
The Big Red Machine’s 4 x 100m team of Lowell Bethel, Joel Johnson, Raymond Oriaki and Adrian Curry finished fifth in their heat in 42.32 to advance to the Championship of America final. In the final, the same combo did 41.41 for seventh place.
Going for some exposure, the Big Red Machine’s team of Oriakhi (49.28), Oscar Smith (49.70), Rickey Moxey (50.65) and Kyle Humes (51.80) were second in their heat of the 4 x 400m in 3:41.21.
In the girls high school javelin, SAC’s Latia Saunders was eighth with her toss of 39.77 metres or 130-feet, 5-inches and Taylor Walters was ninth with 38.40m (125-11).
Grand Bahamian teams
In results of other schools that participated from the Bahamas, Grand Bahama’s Bishop Michael Eldon team of William Forbes, Ty Dawkins, Travis Joseph and Deshon Joseph was 66th in 45.37 in the boys’ 4 x 100m heats and their team of William Forbes, Travis Joseph, Braham Najman and Ty Dawkins got 11th in 3:23.59 in the 4 x 400m.
Tabernacle Baptist Academy, also from Grand Bahama, competed in the boys’ 4 x 400m heat where they were ninth in 3:22.70. The team comprised of Devonte Smith, Nastario Williams, Shaquiel Higgs and Corey Sherrod.
The Falcons’ 4 x 100m team of Corey Sherrod, Nastario Williams, Ethnie Stubbs, Shaquiel Higgs didn’t complete the race.
UB Mingoes in action
After the University of the Bahamas got a historic victory from Ken Mullings in the men’s decathlon, the Mingoes brought in the rest of their team and they made it to one more Championship of America Invitational.
That came from their men’s 4 x 200m relay team of Anthony Adderley, Yurick Dean, Verdell McIntosh and Michael Stuart, but they didn’t get to complete the race that was won by Middle Tennessee.
UB men’s 4 x 100m team of Javaughn Culmer, Anthony Adderley, Yurick Dean and Avery Thompson placed 36th in 42.83; their 4 x 200m team of Adderley, Dean, Verdell McIntosh and Mullings got seventh in 1:25.74 and their 4 x 400m team of Michael Stuart, Byandon Hanna, Donya Roberts (50.47) and Verdell McIntosh (50.23) came 43rd in 3:21.12.
On the ladies’ side, the Mingoes’ 4 x 100m team of Jodie Miller, Alexander Strachan, Gabrielle Shannon and Romica Josey were 48th in 49.10 and Shannon, Miller, Strachan and Romila Torrey made up their 4 x 200m team that placed 30th in 1:42.90.
Other Bahamians in action
Brianne Bethel, competing for the University of Houston with Golden Girl Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie as an assistant coach, got the better of a match-up with Eleuthera native Keianna Albury, running for Penn State in their Championship of America final match-up, although they didn’t run the same legs.
In the 4 x 100m, Bethel anchored Houston’s team of Essance Sample, Ariele Adams and Samiyah Samuels to fifth place in 45.00. Albury, on the second leg for Penn State’s team of Brooke-Lynn Williams, Quenee Dale and Kiara Lester, had to settle for seventh place finish in 45.35.
Albury’s quartet of Deja Davis, Lester and Madeline Holmberg got third in 1:33.86 in their other appearance in the Championship of America 4 x 200m final.
And Xavier Coakley, popping off in his split of 48.9, helped Auburn’s team of Akeem Bloomfield (43.4), Chiason Tenkiang (47.46) and Nathon Allen (43.77) to a second place finish in the college men’s 4 x 400m Championship of America Invitational in 3;03.52 behind Houston, the winner in 3:01.82.
Bahamian Henry Rolle is an assistant coach at Auburn.
The Penn Relay is the oldest and largest meet on record in the USA, having started on April 21, 1895.