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Penn Relays Men — 4 x Mile Mania

Penn Relays Men — 4 x Mile Mania

As three schools bettered the 4 x Mile CR, Liam Murphy’s 3:54.32 carry brought Villanova home 11.33 under the old standard. (KEVIN MORRIS)

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA, April 25–27 — The 128th Penn Relays featured a mix of old standbys (Villanova), new contenders (South Florida) and plenty of close races. Villanova led a massive revision of the all-time list in the 4 x Mile, with three teams breaking 16:00.

The Wildcats’ Liam Murphy doubled his anchor-leg heroics from last year, coming out ahead in homestretch battles in Friday’s DMR and Saturday’s 4 x Mile. In the DMR he swung wide off the final turn to finish a tactical win over Georgetown, 9:35.90 to 9:36.37.

Less than 24 hours later the 4 x Mile was both competitive and fast, with Villanova, Georgetown and Virginia locked in a three-way battle over the anchor leg. Murphy pulled ahead of UVa’s Gary Martin in the final 50 meters to stop the clock in 15:51.91. That’s the second-fastest time ever, behind Ireland’s 15:49.08 from 1985, and smashed Oregon’s 16:03.24 Collegiate Record from 2009.

“Getting the record was a bonus,” said Murphy, who split 3:54.32. “Coming in here today, there was a little pressure off after winning yesterday, so it’s a different mindset. A lot different than last year when we lost the DMR coming into the 4 x Mile. So I was a little more relaxed this year.”

Running the opening legs for Nova were Sean Donoghue (3:59.32), Charlie O’Donovan (4:00.09) and Marco Langon (3:58.18).

Virginia (15:52.30) moved into the No. 4 spot on the all-time list, while Georgetown (15:52.56) broke the American Record in 3rd. Hoyas anchor Abel Teffra (3:54.25) had the fastest carry of the day, slightly faster than Murphy.

In the shorter races, South Florida continued its emergence as a sprint powerhouse. Three weeks after Abdul-Rasheed Saminu ran the 100 in a windy 9.95, the Bulls came to Philadelphia intent on disrupting the recent Franklin Field domination by Houston.

In Friday’s 4 x 200, Saminu, Shevioe Reid, Jaleel Croal, and Nathan Metelus clocked 1:22.08 for the win, with Metelus pulling away from Houston’s Shaun Maswanganyi in the closing meters.

The next day, Houston was looking to grab its fifth straight win in the Penn 4 x 100, a streak that began before the pandemic. But once again, South Florida had an answer. Zayquan Lincoln led off, followed by Croal, Reid and Saminu, who out-leaned Maswanganyi to take a 39.34 to 39.35 win.

“The coaches have been…

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