Horned Frogs Set For 118th Running Of Penn Relays
April 25, 2012
FORT WORTH, Texas - Following a solid showing at the 2012 Michael Johnson Dr Pepper Classic, the TCU track and field program will close out its regular season this week in Philadelphia at the 118th running of the historic Penn Relays.
The three-day meet will begin on Thursday and continue through Saturday at Franklin Field on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania. Thursday's action is set to begin with the college women's 400-meter hurdles at 9 a.m. CT.
"This is one of the most prestigious meets in the country. We are really excited about the opportunity to compete in that type of environment. Anytime you are able to go to Penn and compete in front of 40,000 people on the final day, it is special," said head coach Darryl Anderson. "This should be a really good test for our relays and student-athletes."
The historic meet, which also boasts high school and Olympic divisions, is one of the premiere events in track and field around the world. In fact, it is the world's largest and oldest relay carnival.
Over 1,000 teams and almost 4,000 athletes will be in competition this week in Philadelphia. Collegiate ranked teams competing at the 2012 Penn Relays are Auburn, Arkansas, Central Florida, Clemson, Florida State, Indiana, Kansas State, LSU, Mississippi State, Nebraska, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Virginia, Virginia Tech and several others.
This weekend marks the last time the Horned Frogs will have a chance to compete before they open the championship season, which begins on Wednesday, May 9 at the Mountain West Outdoor Championships in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Follow The Frogs
Fans not able to attend the Penn Relays can follow all the action live on GoFrogs.com. A live results link and video feed will be located on the right side of the schedule page, while final results and a full recap will be available immediately following each day of competition in Philadelphia.
TCU History At The Penn Relays
The Horned Frogs have enjoyed great success in the previous 117 years of one of the nation's premier outdoor track meets.
Last season, Whitney Gipson became the first female student-athlete in TCU history to win the women's long jump at the historic Penn Relays, snapping the meet and Franklin Field record. In 2010, Gipsons' counterpart and all-time great Neidra Covington became the first female student-athlete in TCU history to capture the women's triple jump crown.
In 2008, the Frogs captured five event titles, including the men's 4x400 crown. Former Horned Frog great Jonathan Jackson, who was named College Athlete of the Meet, added his name to the record books with the 10th-best leap in the men's triple jump in Penn Relays history.
Overall, the men and women's teams have combined to win 13 individual and 12 relay titles at Franklin Field. The Frogs have also had two men and two relay teams named the Outstanding Male College Athlete/Individual for the meet. In 2008, TCU brought its Wall of Fame total to two as the men's 1991 4x100 unit joined the 1986 4x200, which set a collegiate record at Penn, on the prestigious wall. Finally, the Frogs' have set two Penn Relays records on the men's side in the 4x100 and 4x200.
Men's 4x100 Ready For Big Things
So far this season, the men's 4x100 relay quartet consisting of OJ Stoneham, Charles Silmon, Lavon Collins and Mark Barnes have been solid, clocking a seasonal-best time of 39.59 earlier this season at the Texas Relays. That mark currently ranks No. 15 in the NCAA. Head coach Darryl Anderson recently added another piece to his 4x100 stable as redshirt sophomore Skye Dawson returned to the track after taking a year off to concentrate on football. In 2010, Dawson was part of a 4x100 unit that exploded to clock a seasonal-best time of 39.20 seconds. Dawson, who has clocked a personal-best time of 10.29 in the 100 meters, also claimed the men's 60 meters crown at the 2010 Mountain West Indoor Championships.
The 2011 Penn Relays
Whitney Gipson won the women's long jump at the historic Penn Relays, snapping the meet and Franklin Field record by soaring 22 feet, 11 ½ inches to hit the longest leap by any female in the 117 years of the Penn Relays. Amazingly, Gipson broke Auburn's Elva Goulbourne previous record, marking the first of two times during her prestigious career that she has broke or tied a record held by Goulbourne. At the 2012 NCAA Indoor Championships, Gipson tied Goulbourne for the longest jump in NCAA history.
The men's 4x100 quartet of OJ Stoneham, Mark Barnes, Mychal Dungey and Silmon registering a third-place showing in the Championship of America final, while Silmon clocked second-place honors in the men's 100 meters, recording a time of 10.41.
TCU In The World Rankings
Heading into the prestigious Penn Relays, TCU has recorded four marks that currently rank in the top 40 in the world standings according to IAAF. Junior Charles Silmon currently sits No. 12 in the world in the men's 100 meters, while the Waco native is 38th overall in the men's 200.
Lorraine Ugen and Whitney Gipson have also fared well in the world standings. Both jumpers currently rank No. 4 and No. 7 in the current world standings, respectively. Ugen's jump of 22 feet, 5 inches ranks No. 5, while Gipson's top mark of 21 feet, 10 ¾ inches currently stands as the ninth-best jump in the world. Both leaps are calculated to include wind-assisted marks.
TCU In The National Rankings
The Frogs have had several student-athletes ranked in the top-30 heading into this week's action in Philadelphia.
Freshman Lorraine Ugen leads the nation in the women's long jump, leaping 22 feet, 5 inches at the TCU Invitational. She is followed by senior Whitney Gipson who recorded a jump of 21 feet, 10 ¾ inches a few weeks ago at the Texas Relays.
Junior Charles Silmon is currently recognized as the fifth-fastest man in the country in the 100 meters. Silmon also sits in the top-25 in the men's 200 nationally, clocking the 20th-best time in the NCAA this spring.
In relay action, the men's 4x100 relay has recorded the No. 15 ranked time in the NCAA.
Frogs Shining In Mountain West
As TCU heads into competition this week, the Frogs currently lead the conference in 12 different events, including both the men and women's 100 and 200 meters, respectively. In all, the Purple and White lead the conference in the men's 100, 200, 4x100, shot put and discus. On the women's side, the Frogs lead the Mountain West in the women's 100, 200, 400, 100-meter hurdles, 4x100, 4x400 and long jump.
TCU will have a week off before heading to the 2012 Mountain West Outdoor Championships in Colorado Springs, Colo.