Texas Christian, Seton Hall and Pittsburgh sprinter Lee McRae turned in inspiring performances today but had to share the spotlight with celebrity Bill Cosby on the final day of the 92nd annual Penn Relays at Franklin Field.
Between Cosby's antics, an appreciative crowd of 35,302 watched 17 meet records fall. TCU's Roscoe Tatum, Andrew Smith, Leroy Reid and Greg Sholars were named the top male performers of the meet after establishing a national record of 1:20.20 in the 4x200 relay and a meet record of 39.11 in the 4x100.
The time in the 800-meter relay is a world best but not a world record because Reid and Smith are Jamaicans and all members of a team must be from the same country to earn recognition for a world mark.
North Carolina State's Kathy Ormsby was named the top female performer of the meet after establishing a national record in the 10,000-meter run Friday.
The Washington area also had its bright moments. Langley High School's Erin Keogh won the girls 3,000 in a meet record time of 9:24.6 and was named the top girls performer. Georgetown-bound John Trautman of Monroe High School in Woodbury, N.Y., set a meet record of 8:05.8 in the 3,000 and was named top boys performer.
Georgetown's Pat Danbrige, Phil Franshaw, Pat Mann and Ashley Ward set an IC4A and school record in the 4x400 relay final, winning in 3:07.8.
"The kids really came through and picked up the slack," Georgetown Coach Frank Gagliano said. "With Darien Outler being out, Phil doubled back with little rest and gave an outstanding effort."
Navy's Ron Harris outkicked George Mason's Ibrahim Okash down the stretch as the Midshipmen won the IC4A sprint medley relay in a meet record of 3:18.76, breaking Princeton's year-old mark of 3:19.69. George Mason was second in 3:19.48 and Georgetown third in 3:20.85. In the college men's sprint medley final, Howard was second behind Hampton Institute in 3:20.51.
H.D. Woodson High School, with Lushia Taliferro turning a 1:53.7 split, qualified for the boys 4x800 meter Championship of America final. Taliferro again turned in a fine effort in the final, but the Warriors' time of 7:57.63 was good for only third place in the race, won by Clarendon of Jamaica in 7:49.06.
Most of the other attention today was focused on TCU's talented group. TCU had no problem winning the 4x100 but a shaky baton exchange between Smith and Reid almost cost them the 4x200 title. Reid recovered and Sholars opened up the gap over SMU and Tennessee to break the national mark of 1:20.26 set by Southern Cal in 1978.
Pittsburgh's McRae surprised Tennessee Olympian Sam Graddy in the Jesse Owens 100-meter dash final. Graddy got out fast but McRae overtook the veteran with a late burst and won by two steps. McRae was timed in a wind-aided 10.13, Graddy in 10.22.
Roddie Haley, who ran so well in helping Arkansas establish a world mark in the men's distance medley Friday, anchored the Razorbacks to a meet record of 40.0 in the 4x100 consolation final. The Razorbacks also won the 4x1500 Championship of America.
Tennessee's Alisa Harvey, formerly of Jefferson High School in Annandale, overtook Leslie Welch of Puma Track Club in the final 15 meters to win the women's mile run in a meet record time of 4:33.26.
On the lighter side, Cosby delighted the crowd with his comedy act. Running the anchor in the 4x400 masters relay, he played the crowd to a bust as he inherited a nearly 150-meter lead, apparently not knowing that Olympian Valerie Brisco-Hooks would be secretly substituted to run the anchor for the other team.
On the final curve, Brisco-Hooks caught up to Cosby and slapped him on the rear end as she breezed past. The apparently shocked Cosby winced, groaned and finally threw his baton playfully at Brisco-Hooks when he eventually struggled across the finish line.