PHILADELPHIA - The Union Catholic girls put the finishing touches on its fantastic three days at the Penn Relays by placing a very impressive second in the Tri-State 4x100 final on Saturday at Franklin Field.
The foursome of Kira Alexander, Sydney Tucker, Khamil Evans and Amaya Chadwick combined to run 47.55 to place just behind the 47.39 run by the winner, Cheltenham of Wyncote, PA. It was the second final in two days for UC's 4x100. On Friday, the Vikings, running without Evans and Chadwick, placed ninth in the Northeast 4x100 final on Friday in 49.49
The 47.55 run in the Tri-State race by UC is just off the NJ #1 time and school record time of 47.42 they ran to win its 4x100 qualifying heat on Thursday. It was the second 4x100 Tri-State race in three years at Penn for UC. In 2016, the Vikings placed fourth in 48.18.
While the appearances in the two 4x100 finals were huge accomplishments for UC, the biggest highlight of the meet for the Vikings came when it made history by running in its first ever 4x800 Championship of America race on Friday. UC earned the fifth and final medal in the 4x800 C of A with a time 9:10.40.
UC qualified for the 4x800 C of A by running a NJ #1 and Union County record 9:10.04 to place second in its qualifying heat on Thursday. UC used ???Ashleigh Patterson, Leena Morant, Jerika Lufrano, Zamira Ysaac and Morgan Jackson over the two days in the 4x800.
In addition to the 4x100, and 4x800, UC also ran a NJ #1 3:54.38 in the 4x400 on Thursday. So the Vikings left Franklin Field as the fastest relay team in N.J. in all three races-the 4x100, 4x400, 4x800, a remarkable feat.
Evans, a junior, was very happy with how her team performed in the 4x100.
Chadwick said she thinks UC exceeded expectations.
"I think there are people that might be surprised by what we did here in the 4x100, 4x400 and 4x800,'' said the Purdue-bound Chadwick. "But we knew what we were capable of and know how much more we can do. This is just the start of things for our team.''
Evans, who ran on the 4x400 along with Tucker, Felicia Quianoo and Mia Bennett-Jones, is very proud of how her team ran in the 4x100.
"I never ran a 4x100 in my life until last week (at the Blue Devil Classic in Westfield) and Amaya just started racing last week after missing most of indoors, so we know we can go faster after we work with each other more,'' said Evans. "So to get second today is a good result, but it's also made us want to work even harder.''
Chadwick feels that it's just a matter of time before UC breaks the Union County 4x100 record of 47.07 set by Summit when the Hilltoppers finished first at the Meet of Champions last June.
"I know we can go under 47,'' said the Purdue-bound Chadwick. "We might even go under 47 at the county relays next week.''