The 109th running of the historic Penn Relays provided the perfect stage for Temple’s track teams to showcase their much improved talent.
In front of more than 50,000 fans over three days, the Owls posted some of their best times in over five years, qualifying some relays and individual efforts for the East Coast Athletic Conference Championships and setting them up for a strong Atlantic 10 Championship meet.
Saturday was the most popular day for fans, but it started off on a rainy note.
On a day that saw present and future Olympic stars, the weather didn’t seem to quell the spirit of the crowd that came out in full force for the competition.
However, the weather conditions didn’t bode well for men’s triple jumper Robert Liete-Young.
Leite-Young contended with cold and rainy conditions but was able to place fourth, though the jump was well short of his personal best of 49 feet.
Later in the day, the men and women were back on the track for the 4 x 200 final as the rain began to subside for a few hours.
The women ran first in the ECAC against strong non-conference teams like Pittsburgh, Virginia and Penn State.
The women finished third in 1:37.28 behind Pittsburgh and Virginia.
The men’s 4 x 200 team placed fifth in the IC4A final behind with a time of 1:26.12.
Temple finished the races after a rain delay.
The women ran first in the ECAC final finishing in seventh with a time of 3:44.4.
“Excellent outing (at Penn). We never ran so many races,” coach George Phillips said.
“The men did a respectable job. Edith [Lewis] had a good jump in bad weather. If it had been [better weather] we would have seen better times.
The 4 x 400 ran a 3:35 in the monsoon, and they could have gotten to 3:42 and we haven’t run that fast since the 80s.”
Friday started off on a bit of a sour note for Temple in the women’s 4 x 100 meter ECAC final.
Temple came in with the 10th best time of the meet, just missing the Championship of America final with powerhouse teams like LSU, South Carolina and Texas.
The biggest blow of the race occurred in the second exchange between Aderonke Adeniyi and Lewis.
Adeniyi ran a little too quickly into the passing zone of Lewis, who is much taller, causing the two to drop the baton.
The team did not finish the race and East Carolina went on to win.
The only individual runner to compete on Friday was hurdler Rachel Clinton who competed in the women’s 100-meter hurdles.
Clinton finished in a time of 14.14 seconds, which qualifies her for the ECAC Championship meet later on this season.
Lewis competed in the women’s eastern triple jump on Thursday, where she finished 10th with a jump of 38′ 3″.
Saudia Mitchell can be reached at Saudrae@hotmail.com