Penn Relays: Butts repeats as long jump champ, Bethel 4x400 & Ocean Lakes 4x800 into COA finals

T.C. Williams senior Tynita Butts (pictured right by Tim Fulton of returned to the great venue of Franklin Field to once again seize yet another Penn Relays title in the long jump. Butts, the state indoor record holder, went a wind-aided distance of 19'11" to win over Alycia Herring from California.

The AAA state indoor champions in the 4x800 meter relay from Ocean Lakes have now earned another honor in qualifying for the Championships of America finals at the Penn Relays. The team of Natalia Kuhn, Anne Reiner, Stacey Nobles, and Peri Bowman posted a time of 9:30.27 to place second in their heat. Kuhn and Reiner both split 2:18 as the first two legs for the Lady Dolphins, while state cross country champion Nobles kept them ahead with a 2:20 third leg. Their performance was 5th best by a US high school team as the leaders Holmwood Tech at 9:08 are from Jamaica.

Ocean Lakes 4x800 Race Video on Flotrack

The Bethel girls ran the fastest time among all Virginian schools and one of the faster times among the US teams in the qualifying rounds of the 4x100 meter relay. Their time of 47.99 was third fastest in the largest school girls division and will advance them onto the large school finals on Friday. Only Maryland schools Eleanor Roosevelt and Elizabeth Seton made the Championships of America finals in an event dominated by the Jamaica schools qualifying from the small schools division. Next fastest from Virginia in the qualifying heats were Western Branch (48.61), Deep Creek (48.74), and Menchville (48.92). Cool and breezy conditions seemed to have slowed times down.

Later in the 4x400 meter relay heats, the Lady Bruins of Bethel faired much better and punched their tickets into the COA finals with a state leading 3:49.55 time to place second in their heat between two of the better Jamaican schools Vere Technical (3:45) and Edwin Allen (3:49). Also running under 4 minutes for a sub 60 second leg average were Western Branch (3:58.42), Menchville (3:59.85). Bethel's 3:49.55 is fastest among US schools with Rancho Verde of California next at 3:49.78 and third fastest overall behind Vere Technical and leaders Holmwood Tech at 3:41 from Jamaica.

Bethel Girls 4x400 Race Video on Flotrack

Pearl Bickersteth of Potomac Senior gave Tynita Butts a stiff challenge at the state indoor meet in the high jump as the second place finisher in the event. She gained another respectable runner-up finish at the prestigous Penn Relays with a 5'8" clearance in the high jump. Bickersteth was one of five girls to clear 5'8" with the winner at 5'10.75" from Jamaica.

Lake Braddock girls posted a solid time of 12:12.08 in the distance medley relay to place 5th overall among a field of 19 teams. Liana Epstein anchored with a 5:03.9 split as Lake Braddock's 1600 meter leg.

In the 3000 meter run, Mountain View junior Kaitlyn Davis ran a time, which would convert well under 11 minutes for 3200 meters and 2 miles. The AAA state indoor 3200 champ finished 12th with a time of 10:09.17, which converts to a 3200 time just under 10:54.

Emma Dejarnette of Atlee cleared a season best height of 11'9.75" to place fourth overall in the pole vault.

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