Foster leaps to Penn Relays title


PHILADELPHIA -- As she rushes down the homestretch of her collegiate track and field career, Kierra Foster continues to raise her sights.

The University of Maryland senior from West Palm Beach, Fla., is already a two-time NCAA indoor medalist in the long jump.

With a leap of 20 feet, 10 inches yesterday at Franklin Field, she claimed the women's collegiate championship of the 112th Penn Relays.

Now the NCAA title - on the line June 7-10 in Sacramento, Calif. - becomes her goal.

"It's a boost," she said of her winning jump. "Winning at Penn Relays is a real confidence builder going into regionals [the NCAA qualifying meet May 26-27 in Greensboro, N.C.]"

From Greensboro, she'll be hoping to leap all the way to Sacramento. Her previous NCAA medals (both indoors in Fayetteville, Ark.) were a third in 2006 and a sixth in 2005.

Auburn's Jovanee Jarrett was a close second at 20-7.

Morgan State's Brittany Robinson soared 5 feet, 10 3/4 inches to win the women's non-championship high jump, as Maryland's Toni Aluko shared fifth at 5-6 1/2 . Another Morgan State medalist was Romona Modeste, the fourth-place finisher in the 400 hurdles at 57.80.

The women's Eastern shot-put crown went to Nina Victorin of Mount St. Mary's with a 47-4 1/4 heave. Navy's Jacqui Charnigo tied for seventh in the non-championship pole vault at 11-11 3/4 .

Eleanor Roosevelt High of Greenbelt played a starring role in girls scholastic action, qualifying for the 4 x 400 and 4 x 800 Championship of America finals on today's program.

Roosevelt ran 3:43.36 in the 4 x 400 and 9:08.84 in the 4 x 800.

Elizabeth Seton High of Bladensburg (49.51) advanced to the small-school 4 x 100 final. Three of the eight finalists in the large-school 4 x 100 will be Maryland teams - Western (47.52), Eleanor Roosevelt (47.92) and Largo (48.47).

For Chrissy Johnson of Baltimore's Bryn Mawr, there was joy in a 4:57.19 seventh-place finish in the girls high school mile championship.

As Danielle Tauro of Manahawkin, N.J., ran away from the field to win in 4:48.50, Johnson hung on to run the fastest mile of her life.

"For somebody from a small school like me, this is amazing," she said. "It was definitely a nerve-wracking experience for me [after another runner went down in the first 20 meters, requiring a restart] but it was definitely the best race of my life, too."

On Wednesday, Devin Barry of Mount St. Mary's rallied in the final five events to win the men's decathlon title with a total of 6,407 points.

Barry, a Mount senior from Freehold, N.J., opened the second day of the 10-event test by winning the 110-meter high hurdles in 14.67 seconds, then throwing the discus 107-6.

He moved into the overall lead when first-day leader Darion Powell of LSU no-heighted in the pole vault, in which Barry cleared 13 feet, 1 1/2 inches.

Barry completed his winning day with a 119-3 javelin throw and a 5:03.23 1,500 meters.

Buky Bamigboye of Georgetown won the women's heptathlon with 5,033 points, with Morgan State's Kelsi Russell fifth on a 4,566 score.

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