Heading into the 119th annual Penn Relays Friday, Lionel Wilson just wanted to get a win.
The junior sprinter got his win in the 4×400 Wetzler/Pennsylvania relay, when a Temple team consisting of Wilson, senior Damian Myers, graduate senior Alan Harding and junior Carlton Stafford, took top honors with a time of one minute, 46.8 seconds.
“With all the training we do and how [Coach Eric Mobley] pushes us, I expected us to run a good time,” Wilson said. “I’m glad we came through and won.”
The race pits eight Pennsylvania colleges up against each other, giving the Owls a legitimate shot to win it each year.
“We competed last year and ran like a 3:18, so this was a big improvement from this year compared to last year,” senior Damian Myers said. “These four guys, we’ve never run together this entire year. That was the first time we ran together and we ran the fastest time this year for our 4×400 team.”
After missing practice this past week due to injury, the win gives Myers a little extra boost of confidence heading into the Atlantic 10 Conference championship meet next weekend.
“I’ve personally been hurt the past week,” Myers said. “I had to miss workouts and stuff and this a good feeling going into conferences next week and we’re ready to go.”
“I really wanted to win today so I just wanted to give the best performance I could,” Wilson said. “I love the Penn Relays, so anytime we get a chance to go here, I’m all for it.”
In other men’s action Friday, a Temple distance medley relay consisting of sophomore Cullen Davis, junior Will Montgomery, junior Will Kellar and sophomore Matt Kaycon took seventh in its heat and 18th overall with a mark of 10:08.68.
“We ran alright,” Davis said. “We weren’t too happy with how we did. All of us felt a little flat standing there for 30 minutes and waiting to run, but it was a good way to get ready for conferences. It was a good effort. Our total time wasn’t really wasn’t what we thought it was going to be, but it wasn’t a bad day or anything.”
After waiting for the DMR Championship of America race to run its course, the Owls had to stand pat while watching the first heat of the regular DMR race before finally hitting the track.
“I never usually run well here,” Davis said. “You warm up, sit here for 30 minutes just waiting in line and it’s not easy. It’s more about the effort in this meet.”
“It’s tough when you stand there for a half hour on the track,” Kaycon said. “They don’t let you do your strides or anything like that and stay loose and stay warm. It’s tough you get on the line and ‘boom,’ your race goes off.”
Despite the less than desirable time on the track, the experience of competing in one of Philadelphia’s oldest and proudest traditions matters as much as the result, Davis said.
“It’s more for the experience,” Davis said. “You’re never going to run a personal record here, but the experience is what it’s really all about.”
Rounding out the day’s results, a 4×100-meter relay team of senior Damian Myers, junior Carlton Stafford, senior Gabe Pickett and sophomore Darryl McDuffie clocked in at 41.76 seconds for a 29th-place finish. Darryl McDuffie also represented the Owls in the collegiate long jump, reaching a height of six foot, five inches (1.96 meters) and a 13th-place finish.
Temple will continue its Penn Relays exploits tomorrow at 9 a.m. when Pickett and sophomore Derrick Holland compete in the triple jump. Sophomore Justin Berg will take part in the hammer throw at 12:15 p.m., while the men’s currently sit as the first alternate in the men’s 4×100 relay, and will participate in the race at 1:20 p.m. if a scheduled school drops out of the race prior to start time.
Andrew Parent can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on twitter @daParent93.