Penn Relays Women — A Pair Of Collegiate Records

Maia Ramsden took the baton for the DMR’s anchor leg in 2nd place and raced to a 1.49 advantage plus the CR at the finish line. (KEVIN MORRIS)

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA, April 25–27 — Harvard and Washington won their first Penn Relays women’s titles — setting Collegiate Records in the process — at the 128th running of the storied meet.

Harvard’s distance medley squad came to Franklin Field with a chip on their shoulders after missing the NCAA Indoor championship on their home turf in Boston by one spot — and a mere hundredth of a second. In what ended up being a swift opening 1200 leg, Providence’s Shannon Flockhart (3:15.11) handed off first while Harvard’s Sophia Gorriaran (3:20.35) was only 7th.

Chloe Fair (53.20) moved the Crimson up to 4th on the 400 leg, and then Victoria Bossong (2:02.54) went out hard and closed the gap behind Virginia and Providence to less than 2 seconds at the final exchange. NCAA 1500 and mile champ Maia Ramsden caught up to Providence’s Kimberly May and Virginia’s Anna Workman within the first 200 meters of her leg, then patiently waited. Workman couldn’t keep up with May’s hot pace and started to drift back while Ramsden (4:21.46) made her move at the top of the final backstretch. It wasn’t until the final straightaway that she gained separation and a comfortable margin.

“I knew if was able to give the baton to Maia in good position I was pretty confident that we’d be able to do something pretty cool,” said Bossong, who has been primarily a 400 runner but is having a breakthrough season in the 800, including a 2:00.92 PR in March.

Harvard’s time of 10:37.55 erased the CR that Washington had set indoors this winter (10:43.39) and also took down the Penn Relays record 10:48.38 (the fastest ever outdoors) set by Villanova way back in 1988.

“We had the same lineup indoors and we knew we could do it,” Ramsden said. “But DMR is tricky. Everybody has to be ready at the exact same time. And we all train differently, we have different warm-up routines so to be able to put it all together at the same time on the same day is so special.”

Thanks to May’s 4:23.68 anchor, Providence (10:39.04) was also under the CR, while Virginia (10:48.55) became the No. 10 school all-time.

The 4 x 800 record went down by a much smaller margin, and with considerable drama. Providence had a big lead at the final exchange, but Washington’s Chloe Foerster steadily closed the gap to the Friars’ Flockhart. Around the final curve the pair ran side-by-side and entering the homestretch Flockhart drifted into lane 2, forcing contact with Foerster.

With less than 100 meters to go the baton was knocked from Flockhart’s hand, though she didn’t appear to notice. She continued running, empty-handed, and crossed the line just ahead of Foerster, but was of course immediately disqualified. Flockhart put her hand over her mouth as she finished, as if belatedly realizing she no longer had the baton.

Washington was the “winner,” with an 8:17.28 that improved on the CR set by Villanova (8:17.45) at Penn in ’13. Marlena Preigh (2:07.93), Wilma Nielsen (2:05.06) and Samantha Friborg (2:02.12) ran the opening legs, and Foerster finished with a 2:02.17.

“I knew I was close enough when I got the baton that I really just wanted to hunt her down and give my team everything I had the last 100,” Foerster said. “I knew every step counted and I didn’t want to give up and I felt like I was walking it in, but man, I was trying to go as fast as I could.”

In the sprint medley, after Penn’s Isabella Whittaker blitzed her 400 leg, it looked like the home team would take the title. But Clemson’s Gladys Chepngetich closed well with a 2:02.72 split to seal the win in 3:41.41, the sixth-fastest time in collegiate history (and the No. 4 school). Texas A&M (3:42.29) snuck past Penn (3:42.32), with both teams cracking the all-time top 10.

The other relay winners were Ohio State (4 x 100 in 43.92), South Florida (4 x 200 in 1:33.19), Houston (4 x 400 in 3:27.32) and NC State (4 x 1500 in 17:03.29, No. 3 on the all-time collegiate list).

Michigan’s Savannah Sutherland won the 400 hurdles in 55.36, breaking a meet record that had stood since 1995.

In the pro 1500, Sage Hurta-Klecker was just fourth at the top of the final stretch, but switched gears quickly to move to the front, grabbing the finish tape as she crossed the line in 4:07.10. Helen Schlachtenhaufen (4:07.73) took 2nd and Japan’s Nozomi Tanaka (4:08.32) was 3rd.

The top mark on the field went to Rutgers pole vaulter Chloe Timberg, who equaled the outdoor collegiate lead with a 15-1 (4.60) PR clearance despite cooling temperatures and light rain as the competition went along. “The rain was not my biggest concern. If it’s raining a little bit, no big deal as long as the poles stay dry,” said Timberg, who placed 3rd at NCAA Indoors in March. “But the wind was actually perfect. We had a tailwind most of the time. It was swirling a little bit, but typically in past years when I’ve been here it’s been swirling a lot. And I think that’s more what messes with me mentally. So today was perfect.”


400: 1. Leah Anderson’ (Jam) 52.48.

800: 1. Dorcus Ewoi’ (Ken) 2:02.49; 2. Ajee’ Wilson (US) 2:02.88; 3. McKenna Keegan (US) 2:03.62; 4. Sabrina Southerland (US) 2:03.98.

1500: 1. Sage Hurta-Klecker (US) 4:07.10; 2. Helen Schlachtenhaufen (US) 4:07.73; 3. Nozomi Tanaka’ (Jpn) 4:08.32; 4. Yolanda Ngarambe’ (Swe) 4:09.01.

St: 1. Olivia Morganti (Penn) 9:57.94; 2. Makenna Krebs (PennSt) 10:01.29; 3. Helena Lindsay’ (GaT-Jpn) 10:02.40; 4. Azza Borovicka-Swanson (NEn) 10:05.90;

5000: 1. *Jette Beermann (Elon) 15:42.30.

10,000: 1. ***Leah Stephens (NCSt) 33:09.25.

100H(0.2): 1. **Janela Spencer’ (OhSt-Jam) 13.01; 2. **Oneka Wilson’ (Clem-Jam) 13.17.

400H: 1. *Savannah Sutherland’ (Mi-Can) 55.36; 2. Ken’naria Gadson (Clem) 56.82; 3. **Chloe Fair (Harv) 57.42.

OlyD 5000W: 1. Viktória Madarász’ (Hun) 21:59.67; 2. Miranda Melville (US) 22:52.18.

Relay Events

4 x 100: 1. Ohio State 43.92; 2. TCU 44.05; 3. Howard 44.30; 4. Duke 44.50; 5. Clemson 44.55.

4 x 200: 1. South Florida 1:33.19; 2. Duke 1:34.32.

4 x 400: 1. Houston 3:27.32 (. Texas A&M 3:29.27; 3. Penn 3:29.29.

4 x 800: 1. Washington 8:17.28 CR (old CR 8:17.45 Villanova ’13) (Marlena Preigh 2:07.94, Wilma Nielsen’ 2:05.05, Samantha Friborg 2:02.12, Chloe Foerster 2:02.17);

2. Duke 8:28.37; 3. Clemson 8:33.73; 4. Virginia 8:33.90; 5. Georgetown 8:35.43; 6. Penn 8:36.04;… dq[drop, didn’t retrieve]—[1]Providence [8:16.94] (A. O’Neill’ 2:05.97, May’ 2:02.46, M. O’Neill’ 2:05.32, Flockhart’ “2:03.19”).

4 x 1500: 1. NC State 17:03.29 (6W, 3C); 2. Virginia 17:08.05 (8W, 4C; #3 school); 3. Penn State 17:09.59 (6C; #5 school); 4. Wisconsin 17:14.75 (8A; #10 school).

SpMed: 1. Clemson 3:41.41 (6 C; #4 school) (Chepngetich’ 2:02.72);

2. Texas A&M 3:42.29 (Goggans 2:04.43);

3. Penn 3:42.32 (#9 school) (Patterson 2:05.42).

DisMed: 1. Harvard 10:37.55 CR (old CR 10:48.38 Villanova ’88; old absolute CR 10:43.39i Washington ’24) (Sophia Gorriaran 3:20.36, Chloe Fair 53.20, Victoria Bossong 2:02.53, Maia Ramsden’ 4:21.46) (3 W);

2. Providence 10:39.04 (4W, 2C) (Flockhart’ 3:15.11, Fenerty 55.05, A. O’Neill 2:05.20, May’ 4:23.68);

3. Virginia 10:48.55 (#9 school);

4. Washington 10:53.26; 5. TCU 10:53.34; 6. Duke 10:55.48.

Field Events

HJ: 1. Vashti Cunningham (US) 6-½ (1.84); 2. Sanaa Barnes (US) 6-½.

PV: 1. *Chloe Timberg (Rut) 15-1 (4.60).

LJ: 1. *A’liyah Thomas (Ct) 20-10¾ (6.37).

TJ: 1. Kiara Lee (AzSt) 42-8¼ (13.01).

SP: 1. *Ava Roberts (MdBC) 54-11¼ (16.74).

DT: 1. *Marie Forbes’ (Clem-Jam) 177-8 (54.15).

HT: 1. *Marie Forbes’ (Clem-Jam) 208-3 (63.49); 2. Samaria McDonald (PennSt) 204-8 (62.39); 3. Foluke Olujide-Ajibade (Pitt) 203-0 (61.88).

JT: 1. *Maria Bienvenu (TCU) 167-4 (51.00); 2. Kayla Thorpe (Md) 166-10 (50.86).