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Cheserek Leads Oregon To Penn Relays Crown

Published by
ArmoryTrack.com   on Apr 26 2014, 01:44 PM

Cheserek Leads Oregon To Penn Relays Crown

By ELLIOTT DENMAN

PHILADELPHIA – Edward Cheserek, whose 4:06.2 anchor 1,600 meters carried St. Benedict’s Prep of Newark to the boyshigh school Championship of America in the distance medley in 2012 at the University of Pennsylvania Relay Carnival, is now the proud owner of a second of those classic P-E-N-N-S-Y-L-V-A-N-I-A timepieces.

The young Kenyan who sizzled for St. Benedict’s three straight years at Penn, but was a winner just once, is now a Penn titlist all over as a University of Oregon Duck.

Upset winner of the NCAA cross country title last fall, and a double winner at the NCAA Indoor Championships in March,Cheserek uncorked a 3:57.98 four laps at Friday’s session of the 120th Penn Relays to give the Ducks (clockedin 9:25.40) just their second-ever Penn collegiate Championship of America DMR title and first since 2010.

“My coach (Andy Powell) told me to just run smart,” said Cheserek. “I did my move with 300 meters to go instead of 200 and I was feeling really good.”

He ran smarter than smart. Once his kick was underway, there was simply no catching the soft-spoken freshman with Garden State ties

Feeling really good along with Cheserek were three fellow Ducks:  Mac Fleet led off (2:53.95 1200 meters), Mike Berry followed (44.72 400) and Boru Guyota (1:48.77) set the stage for Cheserek.

Meanwhile, Villanova was hanging very tough with Sam McEntee (2:56.03), Samuel Ellison (46.29) and Dusty Solis (1:49.36) as Jordan Williamsz got the stick to battle with the now-out front Cheserek.

Williamsz actually got to record a faster split (3:57.26) but to no avail.

"It’s kind of fun winning here, knowing how these East Coast schools really gear up for this,” said Fleet. “I planned on giving us a lead, but it just wasn’t in my legs.”

Kentucky’s Keffri Neal (2:53.70) actually held the lead after the opening three laps, but his Wildcats(9:30.52) wound up fourth back of Villanova (9:28.93) and Stanford (9:29.66) with Indiana (9:30.52) andColumbia (9:37.67) next over the line.

It was still a watch-filled day for Villanova, after the Wildcats built on their women’s distance medley triumph on Thursday to add the women’s 4x1500-meter title Friday.

Coach Gina Procaccio’s women did it in 17:16.52 with Stephanie Schappert (4:22.3), Angel Piccirillo (4:17.4),Nicky Akande (4:20.4) and NCAA indoor mile champion Emily Lipari (4:16.4).

Just as she had done in the DMR, resolute Long Islander Lipari just wasn’t to be beaten.

When it came down to the drama around the final turn and into the home straightaway, Lipari had just enough to edge past an old rival, Cornwall, N.Y. product Aisling Cuffe, anchoring for Stanford.  

Cuffe’s 4:16.6 just wasn’t good enough for the Cardinal (17:16.74) as the four Wildcats went on off to jog their victory lap.  

Multi-NCAA champion Abbey D’Agostino’s blazing 4:08.0 anchor brought Dartmouth (17:20.87) from far back into third.

New Mexico (17:35.25), Columbia (17:56.59) and Georgetown (18:02.84) ran 4-5-6.

Texas A&M claimed the women’s 4x100 title in 43.11 over Oregon (43.33) and University Tech of Jamaica (43.66) but UTech women snared the sprint medley crown (3:47.14) over Kentucky (3:48.24) and Penn State (3:49.19).

Rutgers junior Corey Crawford, NCAA indoor silver medalist and a 26-11 leaper indoors, took the men’s long jump crown with a span of 25-11, just .75 of an inch ahead of St. Augustine’s DeJon Wilkinson.

For the first time in years at Penn Relays, the men’s Olympic Development 4x120-yard shuttlehurdles winning team ran faster than the collegiate winner.

It happened when the Shore AC foursome of Gefkenz Senesca, Devon Hill, Josue Louis and Brian Richards came home in 56.95, after Savannah State of Georgia had claimed the collegiate crown in 58.25 over Cornell (58.66), East Carolina (58.75) and Army (59.11).

Photo courtesy of Chris Lotsbom, All Rights Reserved

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