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Stanford Sets American Record in Relay

April 28, 2006

PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ Stanford has an American record to go with its third 6,000-meter relay title in the Penn Relays.

One day after losing a showdown with Villanova, the Cardinal took the lead early and held off the Wildcats to win the 6,000 in an American-record time of 17 minutes, 18.63 seconds Friday at the historic track meet.

The Cardinal won their third straight 6,000 with Amanda Trotter, Lauren Centrowitz, Katy Trotter and Arianna Lambie.

The 1990 Wisconsin team held the American record of 17:22.72. The 1990 Villanova team still holds the Penn Relays record of 17:18.10, but not the American record because one member of the four-person team wasn’t American.

``We just enjoy this relay very much,″ Katy Trotter said. ``It’s a special relay for us.″

The Wildcats, who beat Stanford in the distance medley relay Thursday, finished second in 17:28 and North Carolina State was third in 17:54.50.

Stanford’s school record was 17:36.66 in 2002.

Here’s the scary thing for the rest of the field: This entire lineup could return next year, giving them all one more chance to set the Penn Relays mark before Lambie leaves.

``This was a great team to step on to,″ Centrowitz said.

Amanda Trotter led off and set a pace that Villanova could never match. Trotter ran in 4:20.3, nearly 9 seconds faster than Villanova’s Akilah Vargas.

Villanova kept chipping away, with Katy Trotter looking over her shoulder at one point on the third leg with Frances Koons charging hard.

``I felt it,″ Trotter said. ``In the back of my mind, I was nervous.″

Koons ran a better split time and closed the gap, setting up another anchor battle between Lambie and Marina Muncan. On Friday, Lambie had a lead in the DMR wiped out by Muncan with about 150 meters left.

This time, Lambie left little doubt about the outcome. Muncan trailed by about 15 meters with two laps left before Lambie turned her performance on.

Lambie, who holds the Penn Relays high school mile record, ran her split in 4:15.3 to Muncan’s 4:22.3. Stanford won in 2004 in 17:26.88 and last year in 17:38.16.

``It didn’t matter who went against us, we just wanted to defend our two-time title,″ Lambie said.

Centrowitz’s father, Matt, was an American record holder in the 5,000 (13:12.91) in 1982. He’s now ninth on the list.

Texas got a solid anchor performance from Leo Manzano to win its first distance medley relay at the Penn Relays in 9:33.10. In front of what was left of a record Friday crowd of 39,943, the Longhorns never led until Manzano blew by Arkansas’ Josphat Boit with about 200 meters left.

Manzano, Jake Morse, Joseph Davis, and Kyle Miller grabbed a Texas flag and took a celebratory lap around the famed track.

``This is really for the state of Texas,″ Miller said.

The Razorbacks finished second in 9:33.49 and Michigan was third in 9:36.10.

Providence was a surprise leader after the first 1,200 meters and no team ever really pulled ahead by more than a few strides for most of the race, running in a pack with little separation.

With two laps left, about five teams looked as if they could have won the coveted relay. Only Texas had Manzano.

He ran loose, smooth and tried to take the race easy his first two laps before speeding up in the final two. When Manzano finally broke away from the crowd, he could still hear footsteps but refused to look back.

That’s OK. No one was gaining on him.

``I hope Texas will be recognized as one of the better universities for distance running,″ Manzano said.

It was quite a Texas two-step for the Longhorns.

In the 400 relay, Texas posted the third-fastest time in Penn Relays history when LaTashia Kerr, Alexandria Anderson, Melaine Walker and Marshevet Hooker finished in 43 seconds.

Tennessee won the women’s sprint medley relay in 3:45.16 and Texas Tech won the men’s SMR in 3:16.72.

While the high school and college events are the heart of what the Penn Relays are all about, Saturday’s ``USA vs. the World″ event will draw the headlines.

Some of the biggest names in U.S. sprinting will compete, including Justin Gatlin, Lauryn Williams, and Leonard Scott.

The Relays got another boost Friday now that Asafa Powell, who set a world record of 9.77 in the 100 last summer in the Olympics, will compete in the same event in the Olympic Development race.

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