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Penn Relays History

April 22, 2011

A race official gave each of the eight starters a baton. Then we heard the familiar words of the starter: “Runners, take your marks!” Each of us made one more attempt to loosen up and control the surge of adrenaline now surging through our bodies. Then we carefully, deliberately, stepped over the starting blocks and began to assume the runners’ starting position. Everything had to be perfect: spikes pressed against the blocks, fingers spread and planted on the track, the rest of the body coiled, ready to spring.

“Set,” the starting judge called out. Eight rear ends raised upward; eight pairs of eyes stared straight down the running lanes toward the first turn.

Crack! It was the sharp report of the starter’s pistol. All eight of us burst into action and began the smooth 30-meter rise from the starting crouch to the streamlined position of the runner in full stride. Instantly the crowd came to life.

~ Gordon MacDonald ’57, an except from A Resilient Life

The year Stony Brook first sent a relay team to the Penn Relays gas cost 15 cents per gallon, Babe Ruth was on his way to a major league record 60 home runs, and the American flag was adorned with 48 stars. Since that 1927 team ran on Franklin Field’s cinder track, Stony Brook runners have enjoyed a great deal of success at the most prestigious relay carnival in the world.

Begun in 1895, the Penn Relays are the longest-running and largest relays on the globe, boasting 35 hours of competition over a three-day period. 22,000 high school, collegiate, amateur, and professional athletes from 60 different countries compete in 425 different events before a weekend crowd of over 115,000 people.

Since 1927, the Blue and White has been represented at the Relays 56 times including every year since 1977. 20 teams have medaled at the Relays and eight teams have brought home the coveted Penn Relays plaque for placing first in their race: 1949, 1951, 1958, 1960, 1965, 1977, 1993, and 2004. This year’s 4×100 meter and 4×400 meter relay squads are laden with talent and hope to write another winning chapter into the annals of Stony Brook track and field when they enter the 117th Penn Relays on April 29 and 30.

4×400 Meter Relay History

1927Cary Weiseger, Billy Baker, Norman Wilson & Charles Poole
1928Rodney Taylor, Javier Goyanes, Fay & Norman Wilson7th
1937Reeve Sweezey, David Watt, Lee Redard & Walter Oman3:343rd
1949Bruce Dodd, Kendall Haff, Larry Burnell & Robert Evers3:33.91st
1951Dave Gillispie, Johnny Walker, Charles Cowan & Roy Avers3:34.81st
1958Wain Barnes, Ray Searby, Tom Gillan & Tonnie Coane3:34.01st
1960*Robin Lingle, Jon Hescock, Peter Treiber & Peter Barmonde3:26.41st
1965Mark Govertsen, Bill Krampe, Pete Randall & Bernard Mumo3:29.41st
1975Kevin Lockerbie, Steve Crawford, Ed Young & Don Lockerbie3:29.92nd
Franklin Field track converted from 440 yards to 400 meters in 1976
1977Mark Whitney, Peter Ljundquist, Keith DeBoard & Kevin Lockerbie3:25.51st
1978Jeremy Goodwin, Mark Whitney, Andy Whitney & Keith DeBoard3:32.83rd
1980Stephan Brandstadter, Ray Camano, Robert Gaffney & Andre Drayton3:34.04th
1980Diane Fonseca, Isabel Roman, Gayle Hardison & Gerri Vincent8th
1982Larry Dy-Liacco, Ray Camano, Graham Reside & Jim Santiago3:32.53rd
1983Pierre Lawrence, Paul Sanford, Rich Wittman & Ray Camano3:35.5
1984Lawrence Hutcheson, Pierre Lawrence, Paul Sanford & Rich Wittman3:31.0
1985Rich Wittman, Lee Hamblen, Marc Conti & Paul Sanford3:30.93rd
1986Marc Conti, Paul Roberts, Scott Rossa & Matt Cooper3:36.2
1987Joe Hamner, Mike Rose, Pete Glus & Marc Conti3:37.2
1988Brandon McCarthy, Pete Hurtado, Frank Wagner & Marc Conti3:27.2
1989Pete Hurtado, Scott Krentel, Edwin Rose & Chris Gumbrecht3:34.2
1990Christian Pidoux, David Maura, Chad Salberg & Chris Gumbrecht3:39.8
1991Allan Patrick, Nils Brownworth, Gary McVeigh & Christian Pidoux3:39.8
1992Allan Patrick, Gary McVeigh, Ben Sholl & Nils Brownworth3:39.0
1993Brandon Stuckey, Allan Patrick, Ben Sholl & Nils Brownworth3:31.21st
1994Marc Vega, Ben Sholl, Pete Mantius & Luke Conti3:38.5
1995Luke Conti, Matt Mattimore, Marc Vega & Ryan Steenburg3:35.6
1996Matt Spooner, Luke Conti, Gerald Iza & Nate Craig3:41.2
1997Rob Coane, Nate Craig, Mike Keller & Orlando Velez3:39.6
1998Rishad Armstrong, Daren Brown, Mike Keller & Orlando Velez3:41.8
1999Andy Mho, David Cuddy, Mike Zarcone & Rishad Armstrong3:49.1
2000Jason Cannie, Ryan Pinder, Jon Hicks & Josh Hicks3:35.9
2001Ryan Knowles, Jon Hicks, Will Lingle & Ryan Pinder3:30.93rd
2002Mark Cuddy, Dan Hickey, Christian Francis & Will Lingle3:36.2
2003John Kerr, Dan Hickey, Justin Song & Christian Francis3:36.23rd
2004Justin Song, Louis Gabel, Dan Hickey & Christian Francis3:31.81st
2005Heejae Yang, Zach Philyaw, Jules Gilimpundu & Justin Song3:34.772nd
2006Zach Philyaw, Mac Drane, Terrance Anderson & Jules Gilimpundu3:40.6312th
2007Mike Cox, Jon Bute, Terrance Anderson & Zach Philyaw3:36.276th
2008Zach Philyaw, Kenny Ruddick, Carlo Masakayan & Billy Collins3:37.07
2009Kenny Ruddick, Carlo Masakayan, Khoren Lawson & Jon Wentling3:38.69
2010Khoren Lawson, Carlo Masakayan, Taylor Colucci & Jon Wentling3:35.187th
2011Khoren Lawson, Jon Wentling, Marco Masakayan & Taylor Colucci3:31.127th
*Qualified for the Championship of America race.
Hescock ran on Friday and John Fitch on Saturday.


On Friday, April 22, the relay team, composed of Bruce Dodd, Kendall Haff, Larry Burnell, and Robert Evers, traveled to Philadelphia and brought back a handsome plaque denoting the team’s victory in the Preparatory Schools One Mile Relay race. The time of the race was 3:33.9 with the Stony Brook anchor man finishing well in advance of his closest competitor.

~ June 1949 Stony Brook Bulletin

At the Penn Relay carnival in Philadelphia, the Brookers again entered the medley. This time [Peter] Randall led off, pacing himself splendidly against a field of thirty opponents and bringing in a lead. [Mark] Govertsen, replacing [Bill] Krampe, and [Bernard] Mumo continued in first place, giving [Christian] Spencer a substantial margin. But inexperience gave way to seasoned pursuers, and Stony Brook finished sixth.

The next day, however, a team of Govertsen, Krampe, Randall, and Mumo captured first place in a mile relay race (4×440), fashioning the fastest winning time of any Long Island team.

~ July 1965 Stony Brook Bulletin

Keep your eye on the finish line. The boys’ varsity track team did and found themselves in the winner’s circle at the Pennsylvania Relays this year with a 3:31.2 in the 4×400 meter relay. Nils Brownworth, Allan Patrick, Michael Roderick, Ben Sholl, and Brandon Stuckey raced at the relays.

“Brandon was pushed in the opening curve and in the process was spiked,” said Mike Roderick, the Bears’ alternate. “He ran with determination and captured the lead. It was great to hear the stadium pulling for the Stony Brook School.” The 1993 plaque joins six others in the entryway to Swanson Gym.

~ Summer 1993 Stony Brook Bulletin

On April 24, track team members Justin Song ’05, Louis Gabel ’04, Dan Hickey ’04, and Christian Francis ’04 competed in the 4×400 meter race in the Penn Relays — and won! They brought home the team’s eighth Penn Relay plaque (the first since their last victory in the 1993 relays). This year marked the 110th relay carnival held at the University of Pennsylvania.

~ May 2004 Parents Plus Monthly


Top 25 Legs Since 1982

1.Allan Patrick199350.5
2.Marc Conti198750.6
3.Will Lingle200250.7
4.Brandon McCarthy198850.8
5.Marc Conti198851.0
6.Nate Craig199751.1
7.Nils Brownworth199351.5
7.Paul Sanford198551.5
9.Chris Gumbrecht199051.6
10.Ben Pinder200051.8
11.Kenny Ruddick200952.1
12.Ben Pinder200152.2
13.Jon Wentling201052.3
14.Will Lingle200152.4
14.Heejae Yang200552.4
16.Matt Mattimore199452.5
16.Jim Santiago198252.5
18.Dan Hickey200452.7
18.Christian Francis200452.7
20.Paul Sanford198352.8
20.Ryan Knowles200152.8
22.Chris Gumbrecht198952.9
22.Rich Wittman198452.9
22.Justin Song200452.9
22.Mike Cox200752.9


Individual History

1978Andy Whitney2 Mile7th
1979Andy Whitney2 Mile9:06.21st
1980Laura Whitney30003rd


2 Comments leave one →
  1. louise Goldberg permalink
    April 27, 2011 8:01 AM

    i can’t believe all the work you have done Dan this is tremendous job !


  2. D. Bruce Lockerbie permalink
    April 30, 2011 10:48 AM

    Thanks, Dan, for this significant contribution to school spirit and teammates’ memories. I coached SBS teams with MWG from 1958 to 1982, but one of our greatest moments was when MWG was honored with Bill Cosby at Franklin Field. I ran in the Penn Relays from 1952 to 1963 (Fort Hamilton HS, NYU, New York AC). 56 years ago this weekend, NYU won two races, the distance medley relay and sprint medley relay. I led off the first team and anchored the second. So today I’m wearing one of my watches that spells P-E-N-N-S-Y-L-V-A-N-I-A instead of numbers. At the moment it’s “two L’s after I” ( 10:32 a.m. ) and the SBS 4X400 team goes off in 22 minutes. God bless ’em. DBL April 30


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