Only the schedule was able to stop Fairmont Heights today in the 85th Penn Relays. The Hornets from Prince George's County captured the 3,200-meter relay championship in a tense duel with Ferguson of Newport News, but, after qualifying, were forced to withdraw from the 1,600-meter final, because it was scheduled just 15 minutes later.
John Wallace and Tyrone Cross ran on both Hornet teams and each ran three outstanding races. Wallace anchored the championship quartet with a 1:53.1 time for 800 meters, twice fighting off Ferguson's anch man on the final lap before earning a 10-yard victory.
Ronny Franklin led off in 1:58.5, Darryl Gill sent Fairmont ahead to stay in 1:55.2 and Cross covered the third leg in 1:56.1. Fairmont's time of 7:42.9 was slightly slower than its morning qualifying mark of 7:40.9, fastest of the day, in which Wallace anchored in 1:52.7 and Cross ran 1:54.6.
In Fairmont's absence, Gar-Field High of Wood-bridge, Va., made a big bid for the 1,600 title, but fell five yards short in 3:15.6, behind the winning 3:15.1 posted by Clarendon High of Jamaica, N.Y.
Charles Edwards ran a 48.0 third leg for Gar-Field but Tommy Mason's 48.7 anchor fell short. Mason had run 47.8 in the morning, when Gar-Field clocked another 3:15.6. Lance Sherrill, 53.0, and Joe Miller, 48.6, ran the first two legs of the final.
Fairmont qualified for the 1,600 final in 3:15.9, Wallace destroying runner-up H.D. Woodson with a 47.4 second quarter. The other splits were Michael McEaddy. 50.8: Gary Alston, 49.6 and Cross, 48.1.
Central of Prince George's County ran a 3:19 to place second in its heat. Spingarm won its heat in 3:20.6 and H.D. Woodson trailed Fairmont in 3:20.7.
Central of Philadelphia clocked the day's best time, 3:14.4, with Carlton Young anchoring in 46.1. Young's tremedous surge in a 400-meter consolation helped Central edge Gar-Field by inches in 42.4.
Fort Hunt, 42.90, anchored by Rocky Belk, whipped Fairmont, 42.98, in a Washington area duel in another consolation. Calabar of Jamaica took the championship in 41.63.
Central of Prince George's County was timed in 7:50.8 in a morning 3,200-meter heat, while H.D. Woodson posted 7:52.5.