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Penn Relays Women — A Pair Of Collegiate Records

Penn Relays Women — A Pair Of Collegiate Records

Maia Ramsden took the baton for the DMR’s anchor leg in 2nd place and raced to a 1.49 advantage plus the CR at the finish line. (KEVIN MORRIS)

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA, April 25–27 — Harvard and Washington won their first Penn Relays women’s titles — setting Collegiate Records in the process — at the 128th running of the storied meet.

Harvard’s distance medley squad came to Franklin Field with a chip on their shoulders after missing the NCAA Indoor championship on their home turf in Boston by one spot — and a mere hundredth of a second. In what ended up being a swift opening 1200 leg, Providence’s Shannon Flockhart (3:15.11) handed off first while Harvard’s Sophia Gorriaran (3:20.35) was only 7th.

Chloe Fair (53.20) moved the Crimson up to 4th on the 400 leg, and then Victoria Bossong (2:02.54) went out hard and closed the gap behind Virginia and Providence to less than 2 seconds at the final exchange. NCAA 1500 and mile champ Maia Ramsden caught up to Providence’s Kimberly May and Virginia’s Anna Workman within the first 200 meters of her leg, then patiently waited. Workman couldn’t keep up with May’s hot pace and started to drift back while Ramsden (4:21.46) made her move at the top of the final backstretch. It wasn’t until the final straightaway that she gained separation and a comfortable margin.

“I knew if was able to give the baton to Maia in good position I was pretty confident that we’d be able to do something pretty cool,” said Bossong, who has been primarily a 400 runner but is having a breakthrough season in the 800, including a 2:00.92 PR in March.

Harvard’s time of 10:37.55 erased the CR that Washington had set indoors this winter (10:43.39) and also took down the Penn Relays record 10:48.38 (the fastest ever outdoors) set by Villanova way back in 1988.

“We had the same lineup indoors and we knew we could do it,” Ramsden said. “But DMR is tricky. Everybody has to be ready at the exact same time. And we all train differently, we have different warm-up routines so to be able to put it all together at the same time on the same day is so special.”

Thanks to May’s 4:23.68 anchor, Providence (10:39.04) was also under the CR, while Virginia (10:48.55) became the No. 10 school all-time.

The 4 x 800 record went down by a much smaller margin, and with considerable drama. Providence had a big lead at the final exchange, but Washington’s Chloe Foerster steadily closed the gap to the Friars’…

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