Jennifer Whitfield, the first woman to receive a full track scholarship to attend longtime men's powerhouse Villanova University, yesterday led the Wildcats to their first women's Penn Relay Carnival championship.
Whitfield, a freshman from Columbia, Md., who won the 1978 Maryland state quarter-mile crown, sped a 2;10.1 leadoff leg as Villanova ran away with the 3,200-meter relay, winning by close to 100 yards and 13.2 seconds over the University of Virginia in a meet-record 8;47.8
"I don't believe it still," said Whitfield, one of three freshmen starters. "It's a shock for me to run that far, because I never ran anything so long in high school.it's always the guys getting the attention at Villanova (1979 NCAA indoor champion), but the girls are just begining and will do all right."
A teammate, junior Brigid Leddy contributed a 2:10.0 relay leg and came back 40 minutes later to win the 1,500 meters in a meet-record 4:20.4 by four seconds over Penn State's Patty Murnane. Virginia's favored Margaret Groom missed the start of the race.
Maryland's Paula Girven high-jumped 5 feet 10, four inches below her season best Sunday but still a meet recrd, one of eseven set in the college division. There were five marks established by high school girls and one tied.
"I'm not too pleased," said Girven, who also ran on a Maryland 400-meter relay unit that clocked 47.8 and qualified for Friday's final. "But it was windy and rainy, and I didn't feel right. Once, as I was approaching the bar, the wind blew it rightoff."
Aileen O'Connor, from High Point High In Beltsville, Md., whizzed to a 30.1-second victory in the two-mile (10:18.3). Juanita Alston, from Seat Pleasant, Md., was second in the scholastic long jump with a wind-aided 18-8 3/4. Jill Haworth, from Bowie, Md., clocked 4:52.2 for second in the high-school mile behind Upper Dublin, Pa.'s record-setting ninth-grader Kim Gallagher (4:49.2).
One national high school record was set: 9:06.9 by Brooklyn Tech's girls in the two-mile relay. The U.S. Military Academy got its first win from a woman when Terri Tupper threw a javelin a meet-record 159-1.
Tonight, Jennifer White of the Washington Running Club finished second in the Olympic development 3,000-meter run in 9:40.1 D.C. International's Charlotte Bradgley was third at 4:32.4 in the Olympic development 1,500-meter run. Margaret Groos of Virginia won that event in 4:21.8.
Dick Buerkle of the New York Athletic Club won the Olympic development 5,000-meter run in 13:51.5, beating out Greg Myers. The college 5,000-meter run was taken by Penn State's Alan Scharsu in 13:48.5.