April 26, 2003
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – Kenneth Ferguson won the 400m hurdles championships during the final day of the Penn Relays competition at Franklin Field in front of 39,783 fans. The total, three-day attendance was 98,277; the day three attendence was the fourth largest single day attendence in Penn Relays in the meet’s storied 109-year history.
Ferguson, ranked second in the nation, won the 400m hurdles race with a NCAA Qualifying time of 49.63. “The Penn Relays are a great thing and anything can happen here,” said Ferguson. “I was happy to win but I should have ran faster with better weather.” Ferguson’s teammate Charles Ryan placed 23rd in the event with a time of 53.09.
The women’s 4x200m relay team finished third to LSU and Texas. USC’s quartet of Erica Whipple, Aleen Bailey, Shevon Stoddart and Lashinda Demus ran a time of 1:31.26. “The meet went well; the women ran a great 4x200m relay,” said Carolina Head Coach Curtis Frye. “In that relay, we had splits of 22.5 (Whipple), 21.9 (Bailey), 23.8 (Stoddart) and 22.7 (Demus). That split of 21.9 is one of the top split times in Penn Relays history. We know that Miki runs a 22 flat so if she runs, we can win that relay race. We had a great effort by a lot of people. Corey Taylor did a good job by stepping up and getting into the mix in the hurdles. We’ve found some people that can do some different things, and that’s just what this meet does. People step up and you find out who you can count on so when you get to the national championships, you know exactly what you have.”
The women’s 4x400m relay team fell short of winning their fourth straight 4x400m relay title as the foursome of Shevon Stoddart, Tiffany Ross, Aleen Bailey, and Lashinda Demus finished third with a time of 3:32.15. Texas won the race, setting a meet record with a time of 3:27.64.
The men’s 4x400m relay team was forced to scratch their entry in the championship run as injuries plague the team. “We had to scratch our men’s 4x400m relay team because Otukile Lekote is ill and Kenneth Ferguson has strained a hamstring a bit,” said Frye. “They both could run, but it’s too early in the year and there’s too much left for them to go out and end our season by getting hurt in this cold weather.”
In field events, USC’s Greig Cryer placed 12th in the triple jump with a mark of 47’7 while Tony Antonio finished 19th in the hammer throw with a mark of 174’6. Scott Alsup placed 19th in the javelin with a throw of 189’11.
In the “USA vs. the World” men’s Olympic development 4x100m relay, former Gamecock standout and Olympic Silver medalist Terrance Trammell ran the second leg of the USA High Performance team that placed third with a time of 38.86. The United States swept the international race with the Red team winning with a time of 38.62 and the Blue team placed second with a time of 38.67. Jamaica placed fourth with a time of 39.13.
In the “USA vs. the World” women’s 4x400m relay, the United States Red team, anchored by for Gamecock and 20-time All-American Demetria Washington, posted a winning time of 3:26.65. “We ran for the experience here,” said Washington after her race. “It was great. The crowd was really into it. It reminded me of the World Championships in 2001. The crowd is a great help and I was glad I could help my team win.” The United States Blue team, with former Gamecock and 15-time All-American Lisa Barber, placed second with a time of 3:28.47. Jamaica finished third with a time of 3:28.69.
Final results for the 109th annual Penn Relays can be found at www.thepennrelays.com. The 110th annual Penn Relays will be held on April 22-24, 2004 at Franklin Field on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania.