Sevenhigh school and collegiate student-athletes were bestowed with Athlete of the Meet honors for their outstanding performances during the 111th Penn Relays. The four collegiate honors were presented by the Philadelphia Sportswriters Association.
North Carolina’s Vikas Gowda was named the College Men’s Athlete of the Meet for Individual Events after capturing the discus with a throw of 203”4’. Gowda’s toss was the third-longest in Penn Relays history.
The College Men’s Athlete of the Meet for Relay Events was Nick Willis who helped Michigan win three Championship of America Relay titles, including a collegiate record, by running some of the fastest splits of the Penn Relays. The Wolverines string of wins started with the distance medley relay championship (9:22.57). Willis ran a 3:55.1 in the 1600m anchor leg. In the 4xMile, he clocked a time of 3:56.2 in the third leg to help Michigan set a new Penn Relays and collegiate record of 16:04.54. Willis capped off his Relays by running a 1:48.6 in the second leg of the 4x800m. The split was the fastest on his team.
Tiffany Ross-Williams of South Carolina captured both the Collegiate Women’s Athlete of the Meet for Individual and Relays events after continuing to shine for the Gamecocks. Ross-Williams won the 400m hurdles in a time of 55.70, the second-fastest in Penn Relays history. She also placed second in the 100m hurdles with a mark of 13.07. Ross-Williams was also a member of two of South Carolina’s four winning relay teams. She anchored the shuttle hurdle relay that ran a 53.19, the third-fastest time ever run at the Relays. She also ran the fastest split (50.7, third leg) on the winning 4x400m that ran a 3:28.00, the second-fastest time ever at the Relays.
Nicole Leach from West Catholic High School in Philadelphia was named the High School Girls’ Athlete of the Meet for Individual Events after a record-setting performance in the 400m hurdles. Leach won the event in a time of 57.44 setting a new meet record and posting the fastest high school time in the United States in 2005.
Aislinn Ryan of Warwick Valley High School in New York was named the High School Girls’ Athlete of the Meet for Relay Events after running a 4:48.0 as the 1600m anchor for the winning distance medley relay. The split is the third-fastest ever at the Penn Relays for the 1600m leg. The team’s time of 11:47.55 was the fastest in the United States this year.
On the high school boys’ side, Sean Tully from Syosset High School in Syosset, N.Y. was named the Athlete of the Meet for Relay events after anchoring the winning 4x800m team and running the fastest split of the day (1:51.8) in Syosset’s come from behind victory to defeat archrival Shaker (N.Y.).
Carlos Mattis from Kingston College in Jamaica was named the High School Boys Athlete of the Meet for Individual Events after capturing the triple jump with a mark of 48”10 ¾’ inches. Mattis becomes the first high school boy in the history of the Penn Relays to win an event four times.
-Written by Kelly McCarthy, Penn athletic communications assistant