1986 sprint medley relay to be inducted in Penn Relays Wall of Fame
April 23, 2012
AUSTIN, Texas - This weekend at the 100th running of the Penn Relays, Texas' 1986 sprint medley relay team of John Patterson, Jason Leach, Earle Laing and Pablo Squella will be added to the Penn Relay Carnival Wall of Fame.
"It means a great deal and is an honor," said Leach. "It gives me great pride that I could run at the Penn Relays and represent Texas. I am real proud of the way we competed and happy to have run with good guys. I wouldn't trade my teammates for anybody else in the world."
Although the Longhorns relay technically finished second, they had the same time of 3:13.65 as the winner to tie for the meet record at the time. Texas and the team from Seton Hall are entering the Wall of Fame together after the incredible finish.
"What I remember from the race is Seton Hall had a really good quarter miler Andrew Valmon," said Leach. "We were neck and neck the whole way. We had a pretty good team and I remember they didn't have sprinters in certain lanes so we were jockeying for position at full speed. It was different than running anywhere else and different running against teams we didn't know from the east coast."
On the relay, Leach ran one of the 200m legs while Laing ran the other. Patterson ran the 400m and Squella capped it off with the 800m.
Four individuals and four relay teams comprise the class of 2012. The Wall of Fame started in 1994. The class of 2012 is the 19th class and brings the total number of individuals to 91 with 81 relay teams included.
Other members of the class include Jack Keller, Robert Carty, Aubrey McKithen, Dawn Ellerbe, the 1912 Mercersburg Academy mile relay team, the 1986 Seton Hall sprint medley relay and the 1998 Vere Tech high school girls' 4x100 relay.
Keller won three consecutive 120-yard hurdle titles and set a Carnival record which lasted 22 years. Carty ran on each of Manhattan's three sprint relay triumphs in 1952, only the second time that feat had been accomplished. McKithen ran a tremendous triple in 1978, anchoring Trenton Central's DMR to a second place, the 4x800 to a win, and running a leg on the winning 4x400 as the school set a pair of meet records. Ellerbe won three successive Olympic Development hammer titles, twice while setting American records.
The 1912 Mercersburg Academy mile relay team, which is being honored on the 100th anniversary of setting a Carnival record in the prep school race, consisted of Al Robinson, E.P. Hammitt, Theodore Dale and Ted Meredith and ran 3:27 1/5 to break the old record by three seconds. The 1986 Sprint Medley saw two teams run to the wire, each running a record 3:13.65, which lasted eight years. Seton Hall's Akanni Gbadamosi barely won, anchoring Andrew Valmon, David Jones and Barron Chambliss. In 1998, Vere Tech won the high school girls' 4x100 with a meet record, which lasted six years. The team of Melocia Clarke, Natalee Sterling, Veronica Campbell and Aleen Bailey ran 44.78, the first sub-45 run by a high school team at the Relays.