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PHILADELPHIA - Clearly one of the perks of running for the University of Pennsylvania women's track and field team is rounding the track in front of a packed Franklin Field just hours after the fastest man in the world electrified a Penn Relays record crowd of 54,310.
Penn was 14th in the 4x800 Championship of America race. The Quakers were one of just two Ivy League teams to participate in the prestigious event. Running for the Quakers just moments before Usain Bolt was senior Anna Aagenes (2:12.48), sophomore Veronica Salcido (2:15.86), and freshmen Megan Powell (2:18.85) and Michelle Johnson (2:20.20). The group finished in 9:07.37.
Four more Quakers ran after the main event. The Red and Blue qualified for the finals of the 4x400 ECAC final and placed seventh. Sophomore Paige Madison ran the first leg and handed to junior Kali Strother who in turn handed to sophomore Leah Brown. Sophomore Victoria Strickland ran the anchor leg, stopping the clock of 3:45.64. It was the second best time of the year, only topped by Penn's 4x400 relay on Thursday when the Quakres finished with the fifth-best time in school history. Click here for video of that race.
The biggest crowd in the 116-year history of the Penn Relays packed into Franklin Field, and when the counting was done, 54,310 fans were on hand, nearly 3,500 more than the previous mark set in 2002.
The Relays also drew 117,346 fans over three days, also more than 3,000 better than ever before. The old mark was 114,194 set in 2006.
The record crowd watched the fastest man in the world and Usain Bolt did not disappoint. He ran a 8.79 split in the 4x100 relay to propel Team Jamaica to the win in one of the most anticipated races in the 116-year history of the Penn Relays. Team Jamaica won with a Penn Relays-record time of 37.90. USA Blue was second at 38.33 and USA Red was third at 38.50. Mario Forsythe, Yohan Blake and Marvin Anderson teamed with Bolt for the record-setting performance.
The Quakers have a week off to prepare for the Outdoor Heptagonal Championships. The Ivy League championship meet will take place at Princeton's Weaver Stadium starting on Saturday, May 8 and concluding on Sunday, May 9.