April 28, 2011
PHILADELPHIA - Senior Andrew Benford crushed the field with an electrifying run to win the college men's 3,000m steeplechase, while junior Meaghan McGovern won the college women's hammer throw at the Penn Relays Thursday night.
Benford, who has established himself as one the elite steeplechase runners in the NCAA, led vitually wire-to-wire and crushed the field on the historic Franklin Field track with his championship time of 8:48.94. Benford was five seconds clear of second-place finisher Wesley Ruttoh from the University of Houston (8:53.91).
McGovern was crowned the Penn Relay's college women's hammer throw champion with a throw of 54.81m, beating out Amanda Phelps of Navy (54.42m). McGovern's winning throw came in Round 5 of the finals.
Richmond's big Thursday also included Monica Howard taking fourth in the college women's discus (48.43m), breaking her own school record of 47.10m. Howard's mark of 48.43m currently ranks her 75th in the NCAA nationally, 30th in the NCAA East Region ranks and No. 1 in the A-10.
Coming off a second-place finish two weeks ago at the USA Collegiate National Triathlon Championships, Julie Rechel kept her momentum going by placing fifth in the 10,000m (35:14.81). That time currently ranks first in the A-10 and is a personal-best by 36 seconds.
Heather Roush was sixth (43.06m) in a college women's javelin field that was stacked with big-school talent. The top five finishers ahead of Roush were all from BCS schools.
X'auntasia Johnson was 23rd in the college women's long jump with a mark of 5.28m (17-4) and Jon Wilson rounded out Thursday's action with an 18th-place showing in the 10,000m with a personal-best time of 30:48.74.
Action continued for the Spiders on Friday as the women's 4x1500m relay of Amy Van Alstine, Nicol Traynor, Jenn Ennis and Alli Mannon placed fifth in a time of 17:58.28. Richmond led after the first leg (Van Alstine, 4:19.7 split) and second leg (Traynor, 4:23.2 split).
The Spiders successful Penn Relays appearance wrapped up with X'auntasia Johnson finishing 20th (11.59m) in the women's college triple jump.