As senior distance runner Katie Pinson rounded the corner on the final lap of Thursday’s distance medley relay, she had nothing short of first place on her mind.
The relay team of Pinson, sophomore distance runner Millie Howard, freshman hurdler Sydney Williams and freshman distance runner Helene Gottlieb won the race at Franklin Field with a time of 11 minutes, 34.63 seconds. Temple broke its distance medley relay record for the second time in 2018, and it set a new record for the second straight year at the Penn Relays.
The Owls broke their previous record of 11:36.18, which they set at the American Athletic Conference Indoor Championships in February. The Owls finished with a time of 11:42.6 at the 2017 Penn Relays to beat the 11:47.08 mark set in 2013.
“I told the girls all week heading into this that we were going to have to be consistent,” coach Elvis Forde said. “Everyone had to do their part, and I thought we were excellent today.”
Howard gave Temple a comfortable lead through the first two laps. Howard’s efficient start put Temple in a prime position heading into the second leg, Forde said.
“I had a lot of confidence heading into the race,” Howard said. “All week, coach helped me get into the right mental state and mentality is crucial in a race like this. Off the gate, I knew I had to be sharp and cover my ground, and I couldn’t have expected a better start.”
Williams and Gottlieb maintained the lead in the second and third legs, setting up Pinson to close out the race. Williams and Gottlieb also helped Temple win their 4×400 meter relay heat on Thursday.
Pinson, the lone senior on the distance medley relay team, stressed how important it is for her to be a mentor to younger runners. She said having confidence in the ability of everyone on the relay team is a key for success.
Pinson ran her final distance medley event at the Penn Relays. She was one of the four runners who helped Temple set a new program record at last year’s event at Franklin Field.
“I’m never gonna forget this for as long as I live,” Pinson said. “I’m so happy we were able to finish like we did today. At an event like this, especially as a senior, you have to step back and remind yourself to be excited and happy that you are here because it is such a huge race. But you’re so focused that it makes it hard to take it in at times.”