PHILADELPHIA -- Tominka Howard said she and her ' teammates didn't run very well.
Kym Morehouse said the baton passes were poor and there's plenty of room for improvement.
Imagine then what might happen if Howard High School's
speedy 4 x 100 relay team gets its act together in time for today's Championship of America relay at the 100th Penn Relays at Franklin Field. Why, they just might stun all those Jamaicans who use the Relays every year as their personal showcase.
"The Penn Relays is a big thing for the Jamaicans," said Howard, after the team of Morehouse, Suzette Mullings, Howard and Donna Mullings from Ellicott City barely squeezed into the finals with a clocking of 47.62. "They come here mostly so their kids can get recruited.
"But we had terrible handoffs. We'll practice them after dinner."
Western High, with a team of Tamara Clark, Janee Ward, Gabrielle Butler and Tamara Long, also won its heat with a time of 49.60.
Howard's 47.62 trailed fastest qualifier Long Beach Poly of California (45.95) by more than a second and a half, followed by a fleet of four Jamaican schools as well as Eleanor Roosevelt of Greenbelt, Md. (47.23).
If all breaks right today, though, Howard's Joe Thomas said his girls have a shot at the school record, 47.2, set earlier this year.
"Our goal was to get in the Championship of America relay and run our best time," said Thomas. "But we knew the competition would be tough."
Too tough as it turned out for a couple of other locals, as Perry Hall's Krissy Jost (4:34.66) had to settle for third in the 1,500, with Sally Glynn of Walter Johnson in Bethesda successfully defending her title in 4:29.98. Annapolis' Kristen Nicolini finished 10th in 4:44.01. Then, in the 3,000, Christy Nichols of Arundel could manage no better than eighth in 10:15.50.
In field events, the best local showing came from Old Mill's Kristin Wimbro, who placed seventh in the high jump, clearing 5-7.