Penn Relays (VA) Thursday Updates: Western Branch girls 4x1 make COA finals by 1000th of a second!

The Western Branch girls had to sweat it out to find if their qualifying heat performance of 47.11 was good enough to qualify them for the Championships of America finals tomorrow in the 4x100 meter relay. Their time was fourth among the large schools division, but tied them for 8th fastest overall with Bishop Hartley High School from Ohio from the small schools division.


After review by the timing crew, it was determined by the thousandths of a second that the relay squad of Tiffany Ellick, Keilah Tyson, Desmonae Gray, and Taranisha Taylor would move onto the COA finals instead of the Ohio squad. Bethel was the second fastest Virginia girls team in the 4x100 with the 12th fastest time in the large schools division at 48.19.


In field event action, Desmone Gray of Western Branch proved that her US leading mark over 40 feet in indoors was no one meet fluke as she went over 40 feet on the big stage at Penn Relays with a new outdoor best and state leading mark of 40'2" to place fourth in a very competitive triple jump competition. Teammate Keilah Tyson went out of the high jump competition after clearing 5'5", while Henrico's Stephanie Oleson finished 8th in the place after clearing 11'1.75".


Despite not having a qualifier for the finals of the 4x400 meter relay, it was a strong afternoon for the Virginia girls in the event with a half dozen schools running under 4 minutes including three heat winners in Landstown at 3:56.01, South County at 3:57.57, and McLean at 3:59.72. James Robinson finished third in Landstown's heat with a time of 3:59.72. Especially impressed by the Northern Region schools as South County and McLean now have joined the region's established quartet from Robinson as teams able to compete with the Eastern Region's 4x400s.


The Bethel girls ran the fastest 4x400 time among all schools from Virginia and were only a few seconds and places off from making the finals with their finishing time of 3:50.93. Most impressive was the consistency in splits for all four legs Rashuan Combs (57.6), Maya Moore (57.8), Jazmine Wright (57.7), Dominique Johnson (57.8).


Osbourn Park was the final team under four minutes from Virginia as they took 7th in a very competitive faster section including Jamaicans and Californians with a time of 3:59.52. 


Osbourn Park girls and West Springfield girls finished right together in their qualifier heat of the girls 4x800 at Penn Relays at 9:19 for the state's top 2 times! Osbourn Park finished fourth (9:19.10) and West Springfield took fifth (9:19.44) in their heat, but their times unfortunately did not advance them onto the Championships of America finals tomorrow. Cut-off time for the finals was 9:17.70. A school record performance most likely for Osbourn Park.


Osbourn Park's Ariel Karabinus, who ran a 2:14 split on her 4x800 meter relay in the morning, competed later in the girls' mile run where she recorded her first true sub 5 mile to finish sixth overall in a time of 4:58.44. Karabinus finished just behind the other Virginian in the race, 1600 meter state indoor champion Kathleen Lautzenheiser of Midlothian who finished a respectable fourth place with a time of 4:57.81.


Another middle of the pack finish for the Virginia distance girls was found in the 3000 meter run field of 21 runners with Katherine Walker in 9th place at 9:51.64 and closely followed in by Kaitlyn Davis of Mountain View in 10th place at 9:54.53. Their Penn Relays 3K performances would convert to personal best 3200 times for both runners at 10:34 for Walker and 10:37 for Davis.


More to come throughout Thursday...