The annual Penn Relays for the first in a while, experienced great weather for the weekend. The temperature was in the mid 80’s Fahrenheit which helped the Jamaican teams to soar. The high school teams especially, made use of the lovely weather. Calabar High School, with an astounding time of 39.00 in the High School Boys 4x100m Championship of America, demolished the old record shared by Calabar and Kingston College (39.63).
That time would beat most world junior teams national record. What makes this feat even more compelling, is that the team is made up of three 2017 World Youth Championships prospects and a seventeen year old. The unusual thing about the Calabar relay record is that the time is faster than the Jamaican high school championship record. To cap things off, they also set a new record for the boys 4x400m relay with a time of 3:08.59.
The Jamaican high school girls also created history, with Edwin Allen breaking the 44 seconds barrier with a record time of 43.96 set in the High School Girls 4x100m Championship of America.
It should be interesting to see what the future holds for both sprint record teams.
Hydel High displayed dominance in the High School Girls 4x400m Championship of America, by being the first team to go under 3:34 seconds, clocking an impressive time of 3:33.99, ahead of St. Jago 3:36.54. St. Elizabeth Technical boys (STETHS) and Holmwood Technical girls, were the 4x800m winners with impressive performances in the finals of the Championship of America races. I believe if there were another team to challenge STETHS they could very well have broken the meet record.
The Penn Relays experience was a fun time for athletes and fans. One would wish for them to have at least one high school girls Championship of America final on Saturday when there is a full house.
On a whole, Penn Relays lived up to its tradition of a carnival type weekend where friends meet up to enjoy the time and to reminisce. Jamaica high school past students meet up to talk about their glory days and gain some bragging rights when their school performs well. Most of all, the joy and experience the high school athletes’ gain are immeasurable.
Many concerns were shown on social media whereby they talked about the athletes getting out of Carifta and then into Penn Relays without even considering if they will recover and perform at their best.
With all being said, the high school, college and senior athletes all seemed to have a grand time. The joy and exuberance displayed by the winners are something to behold. We, the fans, family members of athletes and past students of the various schools, enjoyed the weekend while basking in the summer like condition.