Sydney Maree broke out of a tightly bunched pack on the final turn and outdueled Georgetown's John Gregorek at the finish as Villanova beat Georgetown for its 16th straight distance medley relay championship today at the 87th annual Penn Relays.
The Wildcat foursome of John Hunter, Carlton Young, Marcus O'Sullivan and Maree wore black ribbons in memory of Jim (Jumbo) Elliott, who died last month after 47 years as Villanova's track coach.
The Georgetown team was composed of Kevin Byrne, Brian McNellis, Richard Caton and Gregorke. Maree and Gregorek raced shoulder to shoulder on the gun lap before the Villanova runner broke away to win in 9:36.78.
Georgetown was timed in 9:38.90, with Arkansas, which dueled the Wildcats in the first three legs of the race, third in 9:39.46. Virginia finished fourth.
"This was a super-special race for me today," Maree said, "I wasn't really nervous before the race but I was uncertain. I felt a lot of pressure on my shoulders.
"I though Jumbo definitely was there today. I remembered the words he used to say every time we ran: 'Let it hurt.' I did today."
Southern Methodist's Richard Olsen, 23, from Norway, won the hammer throw, breaking his own collegiate record with a throw of 242 feet 1 inch. Olsen has broken the hammer mark three times this year.
In the high school division, Central of Seat Pleasant, Md., led until the final 10 meters of the girls' 1,600-meter relay championship before finishing second by two-tenths of a second to Plainsfield (N.J.) High School, which won with a time of 3:51.4. Bladensburg (Md.) High School finished fifth in 3:59.
The members of the Central quartet were Cheryl Thomson, Pam Carter, Marion Alston and Karen Woods.
Bladensburg also finished fifth in the girls' 400-meter final in 48.41. The event was won by Willingboro (N.J.) High School in 47.62.
Oxon Hill (Md.) High School had the fastest qualifying time in the boys 400-meter relay, finishing at 42.9. The final is scheduled Saturday.
In the distance medley, Einstein of Kensington, Md., finished fifth, with a time of 10:24, behind winner Bishop Loughlin of Brooklyn, N.Y. (10:13.6). In the 3,000 meters, Einstein's John O'Neill was fifth with 8:36.5, behind winner Steve San Antonio of Yonkers, who clocked 8:30.9.