PHILADELPHIA – The Penn Relay Carnival adds to the Wall of Fame begun in 1994 at the time of the 100th running and Kingston College will be apart those honoured this year. The Class of 2014, the 21st group of inductees, brings the number of individuals selected to 99, with 89 relay teams having been chosen.
The 1964 Kingston College High School 440-yard relay ran 42.7. While not a meet record, it marked the first appearance of a team from Jamaica in a championship race at the Relays. The team of Jim Grant, Rupert Hoilette, Ken Keyes and Lennox Miller began a tradition at the Relays that has endured for 50 years.
Four individuals and four relay teams were selected by a panel of Penn Relays experts. The sole restriction in the nomination process is that only retired athletes (or those now competing as masters) may be nominated, and inductees are honored solely for their accomplishments at the Penn Relays; achievements in any other meets are not considered. Any relay team may be nominated, and nominations of relay teams and individuals will be accepted by the Penn Relays office at any time and from any interested party.
Each of this year’s four individual inductees won at least three titles and set at least one Carnival record. Earl Thomsontied the meet record of 15.0 while winning his third straight 120y hurdles crown and also won the discus in 1922.Anthony Washington also won three times in a row, setting a meet record in the discus in 1989. Mike Stahr was a two-time winner of the high school 1500-meter run, and in 1987 was named the outstanding collegiate performer when he anchored Georgetown to a world record in the distance medley. Cheryl Taplin was a six-time winner, and was named the Carnival’s outstanding female collegiate athlete at the 1994 Relays.
The other relay team honorees for this year includes the 1914 Oxford University 4-mile relay team, which is being honored on the 100th anniversary of being the first international college team to win a Relays title. The team of George Sproule, David Gaussen, future mile world record holder Norm Taber, and 1912 Olympic 1500m gold medalist Arnold Jackson ran 18:05.0, running in rain and mud in one of the most thrilling races in Relays history.
The 1939 Pitt 880-yard relay team of Frank Ohl, Al Ferrara, Larry Tregoning and John Woodruff set a Relays record of 1:25.9, one of a record-breaking four relay championships Pitt won that year, the first time that feat had been accomplished. Woodruff anchored all four teams, which included a second meet record in the mile relay.
The 2003 LSU women’s shuttle hurdles team of Raynish LeBlanc, Tiffany Robinson, Zamyal Jackson and Lolo Jones ran 53.04 for the 4×100-meter distance, setting a Carnival and collegiate record which lasted five years. The quartet broke a meet record set 12 years earlier by another LSU group.
Earl Thomson, Dartmouth ‘22
A world record holder and Olympic gold medalist, Thomson ran some of his best races on the Franklin Field track. A three-time winner of the 120-yard hurdles, he ran 15.0 to equal the meet record in 1922 and also won the discus that year. Thomson went on to become the head coach at the Naval Academy, which became the first Eastern team to win the NCAA track title.
Mike Stahr, Carmel (NY) High School ’83, Arizona State ’84, Georgetown ’88, New York Pioneers ‘89
One of a half-dozen boys to win a pair of Mile or 1500-meter titles, Stahr set a meet record of 3:50.4 as a senior. Four years later, he anchored Georgetown to a world record or 9:20.96 in the distance medley, and was named the Outstanding Male College Athlete of the meet. As a senior in 1988, he anchored the winning 4x800m and returned the next year to win the open mile.
Anthony Washington, Syracuse ‘90
A three-time winner of the discus throw, Washington set a meet record of 205-8 (62.70) as a junior in 1989. His throw was the first Carnival record over 200 feet, and broke his own meet record of 193-9 (59.06), which he had set one round earlier. His winning mark was more than 12 feet farther than the previous record.
Cheryl Taplin, Louisiana State ‘94
A six-time watch winner, Taplin earned two victories each in the 100-meter dash and the 4×100 and 4×200-meter relays.In the latter event she ran on a pair of record setting teams, the second of which—in 1994—was an American record 1:32.55 which she anchored. She also set a meet record in the 100-meters that year and was the Carnival’s outstanding female collegian.