Henderson’s Tony Russell reacts after crossing the finish line to win the High School Boys’ Distance Medley Championship of America at the Penn
Henderson's Tony Russell reacts after crossing the finish line to win the High School Boys' Distance Medley Championship of America at the Penn Relays, Friday. (Times Staff / JULIA WILKINSON) (Julia Wilkinson)

It was a record-setting day for the West Chester Henderson boys track team.

The Warriors finished first in the Penn Relays Championship of America Distance Medley Relay at Franklin Field on Friday.

Eric Stratman, Steve Thompson, Kevin Moy and Tony Russell clocked in with a blistering time of 10:03.77 and set a state record in the process.

"For this class, it was the only thing missing in their resume of making them a great team,' said Henderson head coach Kevin Kelly. "It was a huge win for those guys.

"The win was more important. The state record was the whipped cream on top of the cake.'

Henderson and Cardinal O'Hara were the two main forces in the race, and they went neck-and-neck for much of the way.

Cardinal O’Hara’s Jim Belfatto trails just behind West Chester Henderon’s Tony Russell during the last leg of the High School Boys’
Cardinal O'Hara's Jim Belfatto trails just behind West Chester Henderon's Tony Russell during the last leg of the High School Boys' Distance Medley Championship of America at the Penn Relays, Friday. (Times Staff / JULIA WILKINSON) (Julia Wilkinson)

But Russell took charge and anchored Henderson to the victory. O'Hara ended up third (10:11.17), while Northport (N.Y.) took second (10:10.86).

"Tony went out and the O'Hara kid went with him,' said Kelly. "Tony blew him away in the final quarter.'

In the girls Championship of America 4x800 final, Great Valley's Crosby Spiess, Anna Willig, Tabitha Wismer and Elise Claffey finished 10th in 9:16.41.

Malvern Prep's Billy McDevitt, Colin Wills, Brendan Stec and Dan Ferraiolo finished second in their heat of the boys small-school 4x800 relay (7:58.23). It was the third-best time of the two heats.

Downingtown East was seventh in its heat of the boys large-school 4x800. Tommy Fitzgerald, Adam Carcella, Keelan O'Reilly and Billy Caldwell clocked in at 7:58.54.


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In the boys small-school 4x100 heats, West Chester Rustin's David Miles, Terry Loper, Matt Ricci and Mike Romenelli placed 21st (43.39).Unionville's Jared Fortunato, Elan Nash, Brian Cortese and Francis Peabody were 43rd (43.97).In the boys large-school 4x100 heats, Coatesville's Mike Burton, Jay Stocker, Dorian Pennington and Jordan Jackson were 16th in 42.85.Conestoga's James Carter, Alex Silverstein, Dimitri Robin and Eric Cook were 35th (43.55).

West Chester Henderson’s Tony Russell is rushed by teammates after crossing the finish line to place first in the High School Boys’ Distance
West Chester Henderson's Tony Russell is rushed by teammates after crossing the finish line to place first in the High School Boys' Distance Medley Championship of America at the Penn Relays, Friday. (Times Staff / JULIA WILKINSON ) (Julia Wilkinson)

Downingtown East's Kameron Hammond-Green, Dan Chisena, Jeremy Jennings, and J'Von Jennings finished 52nd (43.87).

In the mile run championship, Malvern Prep's Jaxson Hoey placed eighth in 4:19.31.

Coatesville's Darrik Muroski placed 15th (155-5) in the high school boys discus.