In what was her final outing at the event, Sanya Richards-Ross anchored the USA team to victory in the women’s 4x400m on the final day of action at the Penn Relays in Philadelphia on Saturday (30).
On the first leg for the USA team, Natasha Hastings clocked a 51.3 split to give her team an immediate advantage. That was a lead extended by DeeDee Trotter, who was timed at 51.4 on the second leg. Next up was Phyllis Francis, who ran 51.42 to give the USA team an unassailable lead for Richard-Ross’s victory lap on the anchor leg.
“Penn Relays is always special for me,” said Richards-Ross. “Today, the crowd was amazing. My teammates gave me a big lead and I felt like I was running a victory lap. I’m just a runner, but to see the impact my career has had on a lot of young people, it meant a lot to me.”
Richards-Ross, 31, had confirmed at a pre-meet press conference that 2016 will be the last season of her decorated career which – including relays – has seen her win five Olympic medals and seven World Championships medals.
On Saturday the crowd gave her warm cheers when her name was announced at Franklin Field before the race. “Lots of young girls came up to me and asked me not to retire,” she said with tears beginning to fill her eyes. “I don’t want to be emotional because every race will be a last race for me. I love being out here doing what I love.”
Flashback..Penn Relays 2012 with SRR