Jamaica, U.S. take top spots in Penn Relays

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Jamaica, U.S. take top spots in Penn Relays

PHILADELPHIA - Asafa Powell helped Jamaica defend the men’s 4x100m relay crown while Allyson Felix aided two U.S. women’s triumphs in Saturday’s “Team USA vs. The World” events at the 117th Penn Relays.

More than 180 athletes from 16 nations took part but Jamaica’s men and the United States’ women shined brightest at Franklin Field.

Powell, Michael Frater, Nesta Carter and anchor Steve Mullings won the 4x100m relay in 38.33 seconds, one-tenth of a second ahead of USA Red’s Walter Dix, Wallace Spearmon, Trell Kimmons and Mike Rodgers.

Powell, Carter and Frater joined world record-holder Usain Bolt in setting the world 4x100 record of 37.10 in 2008.

Only Bolt was part of the Jamaican squad that won the 2010 Penn Relays in 37.90, Bolt with an 8.79 anchor leg. The other trio from the world-record run joined Mullings in defending the title.

USA Blue’s Justin Gatlin, Darvis Patton, Shawn Crawford and Ivory Williams came in third with 38.66.

Felix and Carmelita Jeter helped extend the U.S. women’s 4x100m win streak to seven years, sparking USA Red to victory in a meet-record 42.28 seconds. USA Blue came in second at 42.64.

Jamaica came in third with a time of 42.74. Its lineup included Olympic and world champion Shelly-Ann Fraser and Olympic medalists Kerron Stewart and Sherone Simpson.

Lauryn Williams ran the USA Red opening leg, then passed to Felix, who has been on the past five winning foursomes in the event.

She handed off to Marshevet Myers, who delivered the baton for the anchor leg to Jeter, the 2011 100m world leader who has helped win the event three years in a row.

Felix also helped the U.S. women to an 11th 4x400m relay title in 12 tries against global rivals at the Penn Relays, joining Sanya Richards-Ross in claiming their fifth 4x400 Penn title in the U.S.-World format.

Richards-Ross ran the fastest anchor leg to bring home the crown for a team that also featured opener Debbie Dunn, second-leg Felix and Natasha Hastings. USA Blue was second in 3 minutes, 23.17 seconds, while Jamaica finished at 3 minutes, 23.82 seconds.

U.S. 400m hurdles stars Bershawn Jackson and Angelo Taylor ran the final two legs for the triumphant U.S. 4x400m relay, joining opener Quentin Summers and Jamaal Torrance to win for USA Red in 3 minutes, 2.40 seconds.

Taylor’s anchor leg of 45.49 seconds was only fourth-best but still enough to give the United States the victory over the Bahamas by 0.39 seconds with Grenada third at 3 minutes, 4.69 seconds.

Jamaica won a fourth consecutive women’s sprint medley-relay crown ahead of USA Red.

The Jamaicans were 0.08 seconds off the world record set in their 2009 victory, when Sinclair’s anchor leg was 0.37 slower than this year.

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