Hints of a smile took over the face of Daina Harper as she hit the finish-line tape on Saturday at the Penn Relays.
It was that kind of a pleasing day for Harper and her U.S. teammates.
Harper, running the final leg in the women’s 4x400-meter, finished off a win for the USA Red squad and a dominating day for American runners in the 19th annual USA vs. The World competition at Franklin Field in Philadelphia.
U.S. relay teams won five of the six showdown races. The women’s sprint medley relay set a world record in its victory. The USA Red men won all three of their races: 4x100, 4x400 and the sprint medley.
Among the women in that final 4x400 race was Kendra Chambers, who once ran in the Penn Relays as an eighth-grader and dominated the third leg of Saturday’s relay.
“Everything I dreamed of,” she told NBCSN after the race.
Chambers and Harper were joined by Jaide Stepter and Jasmine Blocker to finish with a time of 3 minutes, 26.73 seconds. Jamaica was second in 3:28.59.
Destinee Brown, Aaliyah Brown, Kimberlyn Duncan and Raevyn Rogers won the women’s sprint medley in a world-record time of 1:35.20, chopping 0.39 seconds off the record set last year at the same meet. The event consists of two 100-meter legs, a 200-meter leg and a 400-meter leg.
Justin Gatlin, a five-time Olympic medalist, helped lead the U.S. men to a victory in the 4x100. It was a 1-2 finished for the U.S., with times of 38.39 seconds (Red) and 38.72 seconds (Blue). Jamaica was third.
The only race not won by the U.S. was the women’s 4x100. Jamaica won in 43.14, but the U.S. captured second (Red) and third place (Blue).
Paul D. Bowker has been writing about Olympic sports since 1996, when he was an assistant bureau chief in Atlanta. He is sports editor of the Cape Cod Times and a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.