Photo Finish Delivers Penn Relay Title
April 29, 2011
Philadelphia - With a dramatic kick to the line, the Boston College 4x1500-meter relay contingent of Caitlin Bailey, Jillian King, Siobhan Breagy and Caroline King became the first-ever women's track team from The Heights to win an event at the world renown Penn Relays, simultaneously setting a school record of 17:25.19 on Friday afternoon at the 117th annual carnival at Franklin Field.
All-American Caroline King anchored the Eagles to the monumental feat in 4:12.20, running on the heels of Sheila Reid - 2010 NCAA Cross Country champion and 2011 national indoor 3,000 meter runner-up - over the final 600 meters, before over taking the Wildcat on the final turn and making up more than 20 meters over the final stretch to catch Georgetown's Renee Tomlin in front of the tape.
"Going into the race I felt really relaxed," King stated. "I didn't feel like we had any huge pressure on us. I could feel Sheila [Reid Villanova anchor] on my back and that really pushed me to go on. Sheila then went ahead with 600 to go and that really helped me because I would just focus on her back. That was just it. I kind of just went with 100 to go."
Richmond took control during the first leg, but Caitlin Bailey led off with a competitive 4:25.20 clip that put BC in fourth place at the first exchange.
"This is my fifth year at Boston College and my third year at the Penn Relays," Bailey began, "I came in knowing what to expect from being here before. This is the first time we've ever done a 4x1500 and I just had a lot of confidence for us, being a strong mid-distance school. That really made us feel that we were going to run well today."
Jillian King led the field's surge in 4:18.80 as it chased down the Spiders to draw even after the second leg. Siobhan Breagy made the bold move to go with Georgetown's Renee Tomlin - who took command on leg No. 3 - and kept BC in striking distance with a near personal best clip of 4:29.00 before the final exchange.
The Hoyas anchor ran out front and held about a 30 meter advantage headed into the final lap. King and Reid kept pace through the final bend, when the Eagle slung shot herself past her counterparts in signature fashion to capture the crown and break BC's record by over 33 seconds.
"Everyone ran absolutely perfectly," Head Coach Randy Thomas said. "We are on such a high right now. I'm extremely happy and proud this group of fine young women, not only for winning and being graceful and humble in victory, but to also have the experience of running in front of such a large and enthusiastic crowd here at the Penn Relays."
The Eagles will close out the Penn Relay with the 4x800 Championship of America, scheduled to go off on Saturday at 1:55 p.m.
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