Participants named for 'USA vs. the World' relays

Cornell's Mike Rabitt throws the javelin in the second day of decathlon competition at the Penn Relays.
Cornell's Mike Rabitt throws the javelin in the second day of decathlon competition at the Penn Relays. (RON TARVER / Staff Photographer)
Posted: April 25, 2014

Penn Relays veterans Justin Gatlin, Walter Dix, Leo Manzano, Francena McCorory, DeeDee Trotter, and Phoebe Wright are among the athletes named Wednesday to compete in the "USA vs. the World" relay competition Saturday at the carnival.

The 15th annual competition features six races - 4x100- and 4x400-meter relays for men and women, plus a men's distance medley and a women's sprint medley.

Gatlin, a five-time Olympic medalist, has been a part of five winning USA-vs.-the-World teams at Penn, including each of the last two years in the 4x100. Dix will seek a third victory as part of the 4x100 team.

Manzano, who had an outstanding career at the Penn Relays competing for Texas, will be part of the DMR.

McCorory and Trotter, members of the U.S. gold-medal-winning 4x400 relay team in the 2012 Olympics, have combined for five victories in the same event at Penn. Wright, the former Tennessee star, is entered in the sprint medley.

The Jamaican contingent for Saturday is expected to include Michael Frater, Kerron Stewart, and Natalya Goule. Some of the world athletes scheduled to compete are Chris Brown of the Bahamas, Dominique Duncan of Nigeria, and Ryan Gregson of Australia.

Heptathlon winner

Penn freshman Noel Jancewicz knew she needed a good 800-meter time to close the Penn Relays heptathlon, and she succeeded in fine style, posting a come-from-behind victory in her first collegiate competition in the grueling seven-event test.

Jancewicz clocked a time of 2 minutes, 20.67 seconds on a windy day at Franklin Field, good for 814 points and a final score of 5,035. She was followed by a pair of freshmen from Northern Illinois - Claudette Day (4,829 points) and Logan Tillmon (4,465).

Day held a 31-point advantage heading into the 800.

"I knew I had to put everything I had into it," Jancewicz said. "My coaches were standing by the 200 marks yelling out my times. I ran 2:17 a couple of weeks ago, but I knew with the wind and doing six events it was going to be tough."

Decathlon winner

Nick Lebron of Southern Connecticut State, who set an NCAA Division II record last month in winning the national championship in the indoor heptathlon, captured the decathlon.

Lebron posted the fastest time in the day's first event, 14.61 seconds in the 110 hurdles, and had the best marks in the pole vault (14 feet, 3ΒΌ inches) and the 1,500 (4:39.05) en route to 7,160 points.

Buffalo's Kevin Enck took second with 6,647, finishing 20 points ahead of Mike Rabbitt of Cornell.

"It was all right; it was my first one of the year," said Lebron.

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