Track and Field: Panthers compete in front of record crowds at Penn Relays

By Mike Furlong

Pitt’s men’s and women’s track and field team participated in the Penn… Pitt’s men’s and women’s track and field team participated in the Penn Relays in front of a record crowd over the weekend.

The Pitt athletes had a strong showing with several Big East and Intercollegiate Association of Amateur Athletes of America qualifying performances.

The event, held at the University of Pennsylvania’s Franklin Field, is one of the largest in the nation, with 258 college teams participating, as well as several hundred high school teams and professional club teams.

The Relays drew a record crowd of 54,310 fans on Saturday, mostly because the Jamaican professional team — which included Olympic Gold Medalist and world record holder Usain Bolt — participated in the competition. The three-day event drew 117,346 fans — also a record.

In the men’s 400 meter hurdles, sophomore Jermaine Lowery turned in an IC4A standard with 52.91 seconds. In the event, Lowery won his heat, and took tenth overall out of 43 competitors. His brother Jerome Lowery, finished 20th in the event with 54.21, which qualified him for next week’s Big East Championships.

In the shot put, junior Garrett Larkin took sixth place, with an IC4A qualifying throw of 15.74 meters.

In the 4×100 relay, Pitt qualified for the IC4As at 42.23. The team, featuring freshman Tashaun Hill, sophomore Idris Kasumu, junior Antony Hobwana and senior Sam Perkins took 38th in the event with 87 teams competing.

In the distance medley, Pitt finished sixth, with a time of 9:51.24. In the medley, each runner has a different distance for his leg of the race. Freshman Kevin Hull ran the 1200 leg, Jerome Lowery ran the 400, sophomore Dontave Cowsette ran the 800 and sophomore Greg Kareis anchored the relay with the 1600.

In the triple jump, senior Brandon Turner qualified for the Big East Championships with a leap of 14.44.

Also qualifying for the Big East Championships was sophomore Folarin Ijelu in the long jump, who jumped a distance of 7.07, a team and personal best.

In the women’s 400 hurdles, senior Brianna Broyles finished fifth with 59.44, an NCAA regional qualifying performance. It was a personal best for Broyles, shaving more than a complete second off her previous season best, recorded last weekend.

In the women’s 4×100 relay, Pitt posted an NCAA regional standard time of 45.65, also a season best mark for the runners. Competing in the event was freshman Ashley Woodford, junior Da’Lynn Mills, freshman Jonnique Lawrence and sophomore Cambrya Jones.

In the women’s shuttle hurdles event, Pitt took seventh place with a time of 58.71 seconds. Competing in the event were Broyles and freshmen Brittany Carroll, Rachel McIntosh and Elizabeth Kline.

McIntosh, the current Big East field performer of the week won the heptathlon and took ninth in the high jump, with a jump of 1.70.

The women’s 4×400 relay team finished with a season best time of 3:42.52, which was good for sixth in the ECAC heat. The team consisted of Broyles, Lawrence, freshman Arielle Fonrose and senior Kaetlyn Brown.

In the 4×200 relay, Pitt took eighth with 1:34.73. The team consisted of Lawrence, Brown, Mills and Jones.

Junior Anita James placed tenth in the women’s long jump, with a distance of 5.81.

The next event for the team is the Big East Outdoor Championships on April 30, held in Cincinnati.

Following the Big East Championships, athletes who have met the standards for the IC4A meet will travel to Princeton, N.J. on May 14 for that event.