Voorhees College Track and Field Team competes in the Penn Relays

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Voorhees College Track and Field Team competes in the Penn Relays

May 22, 2017

Voorhees College Track and Field team recently traveled to the University of Pennsylvania to participate in the Penn Relays.  The athletes competed in the long jump and triple jump championship competitions.

Penn Relays is the largest track and field competition, outside of the Olympics, where college and university athletes compete with professional athletes from all over the world in a televised event. Voorhees was one of four schools from South Carolina that competed and the only HBCU from South Carolina. The other schools were, Clemson University, University of South Carolina, and the College of Charleston.

This was the first time that Voorhees College participated in the Penn Relays and freshmen Stephen Dishmond and Dontavious Patrick made their marks during the event. They qualified for the relays after competing against Albany State University, where Dishmond scored (25’- 5”) in the long jump and Patrick scored (24’- 1”) in the long jump as well as (47’- 4 ½”) in the triple jump.

During the Penn Relays, Dishmond finished tenth out of fifteen in the championship division of the long jump competition. Patrick finished eleventh out of seventy-four in the college division of the triple jump championship.

Dishmond said the overall experience and work put in to qualify for the relays made it all worth it. “The experience allowed me to identify what I need to work on next year such as my height and maintaining my speed when coming down the runway,” Dishmond said.

“The event was overwhelming in a good way because I was not used to being around professional athletes such as Merlene Thompson, Wallace Spearman, Vashti Cunningham, and English Gardner and such a large diverse group of athletes,” Dishmond said.

“I look to compete in the Outdoor National Championship against the same type of athletes from the Penn Relays and come out at as an All American like my teammate,” Dishmond said.

Patrick missed the finals by only an inch and half, but he was able to compete and find out what he could do. “The Penn Relays were a blessing and the opportunity; to compete as a freshman was an even brighter victory because I still have three more years to improve my skills and continue doing what I love which is running,” Patrick said.

“When the Outdoor National Championship comes up in a few weeks, I want to win the triple and long jump competitions. I compete because I want to win and that is what I intend to do in a few weeks,” Patrick said.

Jeffery Hughes has been the head coach for the track and field team at Voorhees for two years and says he is extremely grateful for the help of alumni and the Division of Institutional Advancement and Development. “This was the first time a Voorhees student has ever competed in the Penn Relays. The fact they had the opportunity and experience to compete with the best and brightest in the world speaks volumes. It puts Voorhees in a positive light and reach new heights,” Hughes said.

Patrick was named All American for the triple jump competition for the Indoor National Championship at East Tennessee State back in March. Dishmond and Patrick will compete in The Outdoor National Championship in Gulf Shores, Ala. from May 23-28.

For more information, contact Megan Freeman, director of communications, at 803-780-1191 or at mfreeman@voorhees.edu.