Penn Relays & Boston Strong - the best of the best

April 25, 2014
Linda Schwartz-Chi finished the Boston Marathon in 3:59. COURTESY JACK VASSALOTTI

An emotional Boston Marathon was held April 21 from Hopkinton to downtown Boston with 36,000 runners taking part in the 26.2-mile event. The race was an emotional roller coaster for some runners, who were affected by last year’s tragic bombing at the finish line. So many people lined the course waving American flags and chanting "USA!" that many runners noted they had tears in their eyes each step of the way. Local Linda Schwartz-Chi traveled to Beantown with husband Brandt and Bruce Clayton of Tri-Sports to take part in the historic event.

“I know it will be an emotional event, and I hope to keep it together and run four hours, while Brandt hopes to break the three-hour barrier and Bruce a 3:45," said Linda a few days before the event.

Being from the Boston area, I have several relatives who go out every year to cheer on the runners at the 17-mile mark at the beginning of the Newton hills, known as the start of Heartbreak Hill.

This year with today’s advanced technology we were able to track the Delaware locals, and my relatives knew when to expect them passing by among the hundreds of runners a minute.

Results from local participants are as follows: Brandt Chi of Rehoboth, 3:10:15; Bobby Spath of Milford, 3:12:19; Bruce Clayton of Rehoboth Beach, 3:51:07; Linda Schwartz-Chi of Rehoboth Beach, 3:59:15.

Finish line: 24-year old Cape graduate Alex Hellams, residing in Charleston, S.C., set a personal best of 3:24:24 averaging an impressive 7:48 per mile. Alex came through the half in 1:42:39 and ran a minute faster during the tougher second half, splitting a 1:41:45, which is super impressive for this self-made runner. Way to go, Alex!

McKinnon Invitational

Rich McKinnon, a former AD at Mount Pleasant, passed away in 2004 after a battle with heart disease, and Mount Pleasant created a championship meet consisting of the top 14 middle schools in the area gathering together for some top track & field performances. The meet, started in 2006, honors McKinnon and raises money for the American Heart Association. The championship meet is based on Rich’s principles: Competition, Sportsmanship, Teamwork, and Striving for Excellence. There has not been a team from below the canal ever participating in the meet, but this year the Beacon girls' team and a group of individual boys have qualified to take part in the meet that will end the Beacon season Friday, May 2. It will be a great opportunity to showcase some downstate talent in the sport of track & field.

Cape Henlopen Classic

The Beacon and Mariner track & field teams will take part in the annual Cape Classic Invitational that will be held Thursday, May 1, at Cape Henlopen’s Legends Stadium in Lewes.

The competition will include 12 other middle school teams in the conference and will act as an end-of-the-season conference championship.  Last year, the Beacon boys finished third in the final standings, while the Beacon girls won the championship. The Beacon team is looking for volunteers who can help out in producing the meet. If you're interested in giving back to the Cape middle school track & field programs of Beacon and Mariner, please contact me at

Rolling Ritter

Emily Ritter, former Sussex Tech distance runner now running for Rider University of New Jersey, recently competed in the 1,500 meters, where she set her personal best and qualified for the ECAC Championships with a time of 4:28.7. Ritter’s performance placed her ninth overall in the field and broke the Rider record. The time converts to a 4:44 mile, well under Ritter’s previous best set last year at 4:49. “Emily ran a very determined and smart event to post one of her best races of her career. She is definitely on a new level right now,” said coach Bob Hamer. Ritter will race at the championships May 16-18 in Princeton, N.J.

Penn Relays

Thousands of the best high school track teams from across the East Coast and collegiate teams from all over the country will invade Philadelphia next weekend for the annual Penn Relays Carnival to be held at Franklin Field. Thursday is dedicated to the girls' teams as well as distance events on Thursday evening. On Friday and Saturday, the boys and men take to the track. Cape Henlopen will take part in the 400- and 1,600-meter relays for both boys and girls in the carnival, while Delaware State, Delaware, Salisbury, Wesley, and UMES are scheduled to make their way around the historic oval throughout the meet.

Cape graduate and former Cape coach Kai Maull competed at the relays in the late ‘90s as a Viking, followed by several years as a Clemson Tiger on the long and triple jump runways. In 1998, Maull won the high school long jump championship, jumping nearly 24-feet-9-inches  in front of a packed stadium on a hot Saturday afternoon. This year Maull, coach of the St. Georges track & field team, will enter his star jumper, Micaiah Dendy, in the triple jump with hopes that she can bring home a title like her older brother Marquise.

Maull will also have an outside shot in getting his number six Delaware all-time 400-meter relay team, already racing to a 42.35, into one of the afternoon championships.

Upcoming Races

Saturday, May 3 - 4th Delaware Tech Roady 5K, Georgetown,

Saturday, May 3 - Big Fish Grill 5K for CHEF, Rehoboth,

Sunday, May 4 - 4th Delaware State Police/Camp Barnes 10K/5K/1M walk, Bethany Beach,

Sunday, May 4 - Daffodil Dash for Spring, Lewes,

Saturday, May 10 - 6th Mother’s Day Remembrance 5K, Irish Eyes Series No. 2, Lewes,

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