In a poignant moment during Saturday’s final day of 128th edition of the Penn Relays, veteran sports journalist Paul Reid accepted the prestigious Jesse Abramson Award on behalf of his late friend, brother, and colleague, Hubert Lawrence. The ceremony, tinged with both celebration and remembrance, highlighted Lawrence's unparalleled contributions to track and field journalism and his lasting impact on the sport.

"It's an absolute honour to receive the Jesse Abramson Award for excellence in track and field journalism on behalf of Hubert Lawrence," expressed Reid, who was the first Jamaican sports journalist to receive the award in 2010.

"This award was long overdue given Hubert's outstanding body of work, particularly at the Penn Relays, which he covered for over 25 years. Hubert would have cherished this moment, especially witnessing Excelsior's historic win after nearly 60 years."

Excelsior High School won the Championship of America High School Boys 4x100m in a time of 40.45. It was the first time they were winning the event since they last claimed victory in 1967.

Reid's emotional words encapsulated the deep bond shared with Lawrence, who passed away suddenly on February 23, 2024. The Penn Relays marked a poignant occasion for both friends, whose coverage of the event spanned more than three decades. "He (Lawrence) would have pulled up a long list of statistics and facts," Reid remarked in reference to Excelsior historic win. "It was surreal standing there on the infield during the ceremony as I had missed my award in 2010 because I had no idea that I was being awarded and was busy working at the time. Hubert leaves a massive legacy and he is missed every day, especially at track and field meets."

The decision to honour Lawrence posthumously was prompted by Irwin Clare of Team Jamaica Bickle, a longstanding supporter of Jamaican and Caribbean athletes at the Penn Relays.

"With his untimely passing, we felt this was an extremely appropriate time to honour someone who had such a profound impact on track and field in Jamaica and at the Penn Relays," remarked Aaron Robison, the meet director of the Penn Relays. "Hubert was universally respected and admired, not only by athletes and coaches but also by the entire media fraternity. His integrity and dignity in reporting earned him admiration from all quarters of the sport."

 Lawrence's legacy transcended journalism, resonating deeply with athletes and coaches who held him in high regard for his professionalism and genuine passion for track and field.

The posthumous recognition underscores the enduring influence of his work and the profound loss felt by the athletics community. As Reid stood on the infield, accepting the award, the void left by Lawrence's absence was palpable, a testament to the indelible mark he made in the world of sports journalism.

In honouring Hubert Lawrence with the Jesse Abramson Award, the Penn Relays celebrated not only a remarkable journalist but also a cherished friend and colleague whose legacy continues to inspire and resonate within the track and field community.


Kingston College made it three Championship of America 4x400m titles in a row with a comfortable win in the event on the third and final day of the 128th Penn Relays at Franklin Field in Philadelphia on Saturday.

Their quartet of Antonio Forbes, Amal Glasgow, Roshawn Lee and Marcinho Rose combined to run 3:11.86 to win ahead of Excelsior (3:12.94) and Bullis School (3:13.10).

Elsewhere, Jamaica College won their second Championship of America 4x800m relay in three years.

Their team of Nellie Amberton, Samuel Creary, Rasheed Pryce and Kemarrio Bygrave produced a time of 7:42.37 to win ahead of St. John’s College (7:44.66) and Central Bucks West (7:45.99).

Excelsior High emerged victorious in the Championship of America High School Boys 4x100m on the third and final day at the 128th Penn Relays at Franklin Field in Philadelphia on Saturday.

Their quartet of Ryeem Walker, Damor Miller, Malike Nugent and Lennon Green combined to run 40.45 to secure the school’s first win in the event since 1967.

Kingston College (Daniel Clarke, Yourie Lawrence-Clarke, Nyrone Wade, Marcinho Rose) were second in 40.53 and Herbert Morrison (Ky-Mani Hemmings, Tavaine Stewart, Chance Segree, De Andre Daley) completed a Jamaican 1-2-3 with 40.56 in third.


Edwin Allen had to settle for second position in the Championships of America high school girls’ 4x800m, as they were soundly beaten by New Jersey-based favourites Union Catholic in the final on day two of the 128th Penn Relays at the Franklin Field in Philadelphia on Friday.

Not only did Union Catholic defend their title, but the team of Jimmiea King, Peyton Hollis, Sophia Thompson, and Paige Sheppard did so in emphatic fashion, clocking a National Record of 8:41.20. They lowered the previous mark of 8:43.12 set in 2008 by Roosevelt.

Edwin Allen’s quartet of Tanesia Gardiner, Monique Stewart, Kevongaye Fowler, and Rickeisha Simms, gave a credible effort in second at 8:50.76, while Virginia-based South Lakes (8:50.8), were third.

The other Jamaican schools, Holmwood Technical (8:58.94) and Alphansus Davis (9:13.83), placed fifth and ninth respectively.

Hydel High successfully defended their Championship of America 4x400m title on day two of the 128th Penn Relays at the Franklin Field in Philadelphia on Friday.

The quartet of Alliah Baker, Jody-Ann Daley, Nastassia Fletcher and Abigail Campbell combined to run 3:34.78 to win ahead of Bullis School (3:35.17) and Union Catholic (3:41.75).

Hydel captain Alliah Baker reacted to her second gold medal of the meet.

“I am not shocked but I’m very excited. This is my last year and I’m very happy to finish my last year with two gold medals,” she said.

Hydel have now won this event three straight times and five times in the last six years.

Hydel High successfully defended their High School Girls Championships of America 4x100m relay title, as Jamaican schools swept the podium on day two of the 128th Penn Relays at the Franklin Field in Philadelphia on Friday.

The team comprising Shemonique Hazel, Alliah Baker, Shania Myers and Jody-Ann Daley, clocked 44.71s in victory, as they fended off the challenge of Edwin Allen’s quartet Trezeguet Taylor, Theianna-Lee Terrelonge, Renecia Edwards and Jounee Armstrong of Edwin Allen, who clocked 44.96s. St Jago's team of Briana Campbell, Adora Campbell, Bryana Davidson and Quanna Walker, placed third in 45.14s.

Hydel’s captain Baker beamed with delight at the feat.

“We came out here to win and we executed we always say that we are one team, we are here for each other and so we just came out and delivered. We were confident, so we just told each other to stay calm and trust God,” she said shortly after the race.

Munro College’s Chad Hendricks and JC’s Chavez Penn and Balvin Israel all secured wins on day two of the 128th Penn Relays at Franklin Field in Philadelphia on Friday.

Hendricks, a silver medallist at both the ISSA Boys and Girls Championships and the Carifta Games, threw an excellent 66.17m to take top spot in the High School Boys’ discus ahead of Bergen Catholic’s Benjamin Shue (61.55m) and Christian Brothers’ Ashton Hearn (58.42m).

Penn, who won the high jump and triple jump double at both the ISSA Boys and Girls Championships and Carifta Games, produced 15.38m to comfortably win the triple jump ahead of Wolmer’s Boys’ Nicardo Grey-Clarke (14.52m) and Cornwall College’s Obrien Bowen (14.49m).

Israel added to his long jump gold medal at Champs with 7.24m to take top spot Friday. KC’s Nathan Wade, who took silver at Champs, was once again second with 7.09m while Calvert Hall College’s Antoine McNair Jr was third with 7.09m.

A host of Jamaican schools will line up in the final of the High School Boys Championships of America 4x100m final, as they successfully navigated the qualifiers on day two of the 128th Penn Relays at the Franklin Field in Philadelphia on Friday.

Leading the qualifiers was the Excelsior quartet of Ryeem Walker, Damor Miller, Malike Nugent and Lennon Green, which clocked a brisk 40.62 seconds to top their heat.

They will be joined by local rivals Kingston College (41.30s), St Jago (41.35s), St George’s College (41.42s), Calabar High (41.70s) and Jamaica College (41.73s), and Wolmer’s Boys (41.84s). The other two lanes in the medal event will be occupied by Washington DC-based Archbishop John Carroll (41.49s) and Virginia-based West Springfield (41.77s).

Meanwhile, the High School Boys International final, also scheduled for Saturday, will see six Jamaican schools going up against those from Trinidad and Tobago, St Vincent and the Grenadines and The Bahamas, respectively.

St Elizabeth Technical (STETHS) headlines that field, after they posted the fastest qualifying time of 42.26s, followed by Cornwall College (42.53s) and the Bahamian school Queens College (42.61s). St Benedict’s, of out the twin island republic, and Munro College, both clocked 42.83s, while St Vincent Grammar (43.11s), Petersfield (43.14s), St Catherine (43.26s) and Vere Technical (43.55s), are the other qualifiers.

Jamaican track & field powerhouses Jamaica College and Kingston College both secured spots in the final of the High School Boys 4x800m on day two of the 128th Penn Relays at the Franklin Field in Philadelphia on Friday.

JC’s quartet of Nellie Amberton, Samuel Creary, Rasheed Pryce and Kemarrio Bygrave combined to qualify fastest with a time of 7:45.38.

KC (Schevorn Wardlow, Nahashon Ruto, Brian Kiprop, Jaquan Coke) ran 7:53.86 to finish second in their heat and advance as the eighth fastest school overall.

Caribbean athletes showcased their prowess in the field on the opening day of the 128th edition of the Penn Relays at Franklin Field in Philadelphia on Thursday. Chief among them were the Jamaicans who enjoyed podium places in the high jump and triple jump events with the Bahamas taking gold in the javelin.

Shaniqua Williams and Danielle Noble, both of Wolmer’s Girls, secured a 1-2 finish in the keenly contested high school girls high jump. Williams’ winning mark of 1.73m was also cleared by Noble and Alysa Carrigan.

However, she won on the basis of a cleaner record during the rounds.

Williams said it was cold and her muscles were lazy but she knew what she had to do to win.

“Despite that I came out here and did what I had to do which was focus on my technique,” she said. “The weather was very cold and I am not used to this kind of weather so I had to take a long time to warm up.”

The Jamaicans were not alone in their dominance as Taysha Stubbs who attends Queens College in the Bahamas showcased her incredible skill and strength in winning the high school girls javelin with an outstanding throw of 47.17m.

Stubbs was several metres better than her main rivals in Sophia Scott of Omaha Burke, who took second place with a throw of 44.79m. In a close third place was Eliana Schneider who produced a best mark of 44.78m.

Jamaicans Marla-Kay Lampart and Kimeka Smith were second and third, respectively in the high school girls shot put that was won by Jessica Oji of Livingston with an impressive throw of 14.01m.

Lampart of Claredon College threw 13.64m for second place while Smith mustered a throw of 13.46m for third place.

Jamaica’s girls won the top four places in the high school girls triple jump competition.

Jade-Ann Dawkins of St Jago finished atop the podium with a distance of 13.01m. Jadea Robinson of Immaculate Conception was in second position with her jump of 12.70m just ahead of Celine Riddle of Holmwood Technical (12.69m).

Richelle Stanley of St Elizabeth Technical (12.55m) was fourth.

Nahjahda Seymoure of Excelsior High threw an impressive 48.08m to finish in second position in the high school girls discus competition that was won by Layla Giordano of NV Old Tappan who hurled the implement out to a winning mark of 51.17m.

Able Mills of St Catherine High threw 48.01m for third place.

Mills’ teammate Rohanna Sudlow jumped 5.83m to finish in third place in the high school girls long jump.







Hydel High, Wolmer’s Girls, St. Jago High, Edwin Allen High, Holmwood Technical and St. Mary High all secured spots in the Championship of America High School Girls 4x100m final on day one of the 2024 Penn Relays at franklin Field in Philadelphia.

Hydel’s team of Alliah Baker, Shania Myers, Shemonique Hazle and Juwonna Whitehorne combined to run 45.99 to win heat 13 and advance with the fastest time overall.

Holmwood Technical (Regina Bailey, Kiara Meikle, Sadeena Holder, Monique Proudlove) combined to run 46.38 and advance as winners of the ninth heat ahead of St. Mary High (Akeeliah Barnes, Kaliesha Bell, Shagay Sheppy, Tianna Rhoomes) who also made it through with 46.46.

St. Jago High (Rae-Annia Williams, Kryshell Hoolong, Seanagaye Leslie, Tamara Bailey) with 46.55, Edwin Allen (Trezeguet Taylor, Theianna-Lee Terrelonge, Jounee Armstrong, Shanique Cassanova) with 46.59 and Wolmer’s Girls (Mikayla Gardner, Tianna Marshall, Natrece East, Abigayle Wolfe) with 46.72 will also be in Friday’s final.

Hydel are defending champions in the event.

As the battles of high schools at the 128th staging of the Penn Relays got underway at Franklin Field in Philadelphia on Thursday, Edwin Allen High, Alphansus Davis High and Holmwood Technical have advanced to the finals of the 4x800m relays.

The team of Rickeisha Simms, Monqie Stewart, Horecia Love and Tonian Allen clocked a time of 9:04.67 to win their heat and advance as one of the 12 fastest teams heading into the final. Purdue Academy were the runners up in the heat with a time of 9:09.66.

Third in the heat were IMG Academy that were timed in 9:12.13.

Meanwhile, Alphansus Davis High (Tabbrel Williams, Alikay Reynolds, Allecia Johnson, Carlene Temple) finished third in their heat in 9:06.25, a time that also saw them advance to the finals.

Their heat was won by Union Athletic who clocked 9:02.27, the fastest time heading into the finals. Second was Rumson Fair-Haven in 9:04.48.

Holmwood Technical (Terrica Clarke, Cindy Rose, Jovi Rose, Florence Nafamba) just managed to make it with their time of 9:18.65, which saw them finish second in their heat behind winners Guilderland (9:18.25).


Aaron Robison, the Meet Director of the Penn Relays, is brimming with excitement ahead of the Championship of America 4x400m relays for High School Boys, set to unfold at Franklin Field over the next three days. The 128th staging of the prestigious meet begins on Thursday, April 25 and concludes on Saturday, April 27.

The meet director since 2021, Robison predicts a spectacular display of athletic talent, particularly focusing on the highly anticipated showdown in the high school boys' 4x400m relay on the final day of the meet.

"The high-school boys 4x400m is going to be unbelievable!" exclaimed Robison. "Five teams have run 3:10 or faster, four of those are Jamaican, and then you've got Bullis High School with Quincy Wilson on the anchor; I'm telling you, that story is going to write itself."

Robison highlighted Wilson from Bullis High School, whose outstanding performance at the Florida Relays with a time of 45.19 seconds has created a buzz leading up to the Penn Relays. Wilson's impressive anchor leg last year, clocking a 45.06 split, is a testament to his exceptional talent and determination.

"He is one of those kids that has this fire," Robison remarked. "If he takes the baton as the anchor and he is in third or fourth, we're going to see something special as all four or five of those teams come through. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see three or four teams run 3:05. It's going to be crazy."

Reflecting on the historical dominance of Jamaican high schools in this event, Robison acknowledged the formidable challenge facing USA high schools. The last USA high school to win the 4x400m Championship of America was Long Beach Poly back in 2007. The last 16 years have seen Jamaican schools dominate the event, and that dominance could extend into a 17th year.

Despite this, Bullis High School, boasting a recent time of 3:11.87, is poised to challenge the Jamaican powerhouses. Robison expressed optimism about Wilson's potential impact on the relay's outcome, particularly against strong competitors from schools like Kingston College (3:07.65) and Jamaica College (3:08.79), known for their impressive 4x400m relay performances.

“If he gets a baton in his hand with people to chase, who knows what he can run…whether it’s JC or even Hydel that has run 3:10, with kids that have also run 45-point, so we’re going to see something special.

"We just pray for good weather and good health," Robison concluded.

The prestigious Penn Relays, set to take place at Franklin Field in Philadelphia from April 25-27, 2024, will pay tribute to the late journalist, author, and track and field analyst Hubert Lawrence by presenting him posthumously with the esteemed Jesse Abramson Award. Lawrence, who passed away suddenly at the age of 63 on February 23, 2024, had been a significant figure in track and field journalism for more than three decades, covering the Penn Relays from 1995 to 2023.

The Jesse Abramson Award recognizes an active member of the media who has consistently demonstrated a devotion to the Penn Relays.

Aaron Robison, the Meet Director of the Penn Relays since 2021, when he was appointed Associate Director at the University of Pennsylvania, expressed enthusiasm for honouring Lawrence with the Abramson Award this year, acknowledging Lawrence's profound impact on the sport. He highlighted the significance of this tribute, noting that Lawrence will be only the third recipient from Jamaica to receive the award.

Jamaica Observer writer Paul Reid was the first-ever Jamaican recipient in 2010 while broadcast journalist Ed Barnes received the award in 2018.

"We're very excited to be able to honour him with the Abramson award this year," said Robison. "With his untimely passing, we just felt that this was an extremely appropriate time to be able to do something like this for someone that has had such a huge impact on the world of track and field within Jamaica, and then also here at the Penn Relays. And last week, I was touching base with Irwin Clare of Team Jamaica Bickle, and he made the recommendation and we thought, what a perfect tribute, and what a perfect opportunity to honour Mr Lawrence."

Robison emphasized Lawrence's universal respect within the track and field community, noting the positive feedback from athletes and coaches alike. "In the media world, it's almost like there's two ends of the spectrum here. There's the really well respected, all the athletes, all the coaches, all the media really likes the person or nobody likes the person. Hubert is absolutely on the end of everyone has just incredible things to say about him," Robison remarked. "What is an incredible tribute for a journalist is when the athletes that they cover have only beautiful things to say about them. That tells you all you need to know about the person."

The Abramson Award will be presented twice during the Penn Relays weekend. The first presentation will occur during the acknowledgement ceremony before the television broadcast window on Saturday afternoon at 1:25 p.m. in front of the whole crowd. The second presentation will take place during the officials' reception after the meet at approximately 6:30 p.m.

Robison reflected on Lawrence's impact on the Penn Relays and the wider track and field community, underscoring his professionalism and rapport with athletes. "To be able to have that class and that dignity, to be respected by those that you're reporting on, that's a real, real skill and an incredible tribute to him," Robison concluded.

The Penn Relays' decision to honour Hubert Lawrence with the Abramson Award underscores Lawrence's enduring legacy and profound influence on the sport of track and field, both in Jamaica and on the international stage. His contributions will be celebrated and remembered during this year's relay festival, ensuring that his impact continues to resonate within the track and field community.

The 128th staging of the Penn Relays will be special.

Sixty years after Jamaican teams first competed at the prestigious relay carnival in Philadelphia, the black, green and gold will again take the spotlight at the 2024 staging from April 25-27 at Franklin Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Team Jamaica Bickle, celebrating 30 years, will execute a Reggae Pop-Up vibe on the final day (April 27) and will for the first time, have a DJ, Road International and live performance from Christopher Martin, a former TBJ ambassador.

Martin who won the 2005 Digicel Rising Stars Contest and who has since gone up to establish himself as one of Jamaica's biggest acts over the last two decades will be the main act in a 20-minute set, never before experienced at the Penn Relays.

The award-winning Road International led by DJ Roy will provide the initial vibe for a massive anchor by Martin.

Irwine Clare Snr, head of Team Jamaica thanks the collaborative effort of VP Records, The University of Pennsylvania, the Consulate of New York, Hypa Active Sounds and Jamaican Dave Productions for making this trailblazing event a reality.

The three-day relay carnival will feature top high school, university and Olympic Development teams from the USA, Canada, Jamaica and the Caribbean.

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