Centrowitz is 2nd in Penn Relays mile


PHILADELPHIA - Lauren Centrowitz's 4:53.79 mile performance at the 110th annual Penn Relays yesterday gave Dana Dobbs, her Broadneck High School track coach, a surge of delight.

"She was terrific. She ran her best time of the year, and you always like to see that," Dobbs said.

The thing it didn't give her was a gold medal in the high school mile at one of the most prestigious American track and field meets.

Sarah Bowman of Fauquier (Va.) High School, the 2003 Penn mile runner-up, took out the pace from the opening gun and ran to victory in 4 minutes, 48.56 seconds.

Her silver-medal finish didn't satisfy Centrowitz.

"I got too caught up in running with the [trailing] pack. I settled in and never really made a run at her," she said. "[Bowman] was just way out there."

Beaming with obvious pride was her father, Matt Centrowitz, the two-time Olympian and former American 5,000-meter record-holder who is American University's track coach.

"She's had a great four-year career, and she's going to run a lot better when she gets to college [Stanford]," he said. "This was a strange race - one girl's way out there, everyone else is running for second. You don't see too many like that."

It was an even stranger race for Devon Williams, Towson Catholic's sensational freshman. She came to Penn as the top-seeded entry (off her 4:50.76 indoor mile this winter) yet was never a factor. After running two laps in the pack with Centrowitz and the others, she dropped back gradually and eventually slowed to 12th place in the 16-runner race, clocked in a subpar 5:04.75.

No explanations were available, either. Williams never returned to the paddock area at the finish.

Kelli Buck of C. Milton Wright High was 14th in 5:05.71.

Baltimore-area winners in the long series of classified 1,600 relays were Severna Park (4:00.39), Western (4:04.6), Mervo (4:06.89) and Oakland Mills (4:15.23).

Sub-4:12 teams in other sections included Mount Hebron (4:09.96) and Bryn Mawr (4:10.89).

Western (49.03) advanced to today's small-school 400 relay final.

Large-school teams breaking 52 seconds in the 400 relay included Meade (49.55), Laurel (50.31), Long Reach (50.60), Reservoir (51.30) and Mervo (51.46).

In major college action, Georgia Tech's Chaunte Howard repeated as high jump champion with a meet record-equaling clearance of 6-3 1/4 .

Morgan State (47.28) sprinted into the women's ECAC 1,600 relay final; Coppin State (47.34) is an alternate. Towson's Kelly Robinson threw the javelin 142-1 for sixth in the non-championship division.

UMES took its 1,600 section in 3:48.63 over Saint Joseph's (3:51.04). Mount St. Mary's won in 3:54.43 over Fordham (3:55.02.)

David Hinton of Mount St. Mary's gave the Maryland delegation a rousing start with his victory in the decathlon, which wound up Wednesday, reeling off second-day performances of 15.34 seconds (110 high hurdles), 114-5 (discus), 15-9 (pole vault) 159-1 (javelin) and 4:57.40 (1,500 meters) to win by a huge 438-point margin over Millersville's Dan Ober.

Another Mount St. Mary's athlete, Devin Barry, placed seventh with 6,339 points but lost the family title to his brother, Regan Barry, of Charlotte, who was third at 6,645.

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