4/17-Leach, Central Catholic and O\'Hara provide glimpse of Penn @ the Father Judge Relays

It\'s informally billed as the \"Pre-Penn Relays\" and once again it lived up to that promise, with performances by the top teams and individuals as they ready themselves for the big carnival next week. One of the favorites in the 400h is last year\'s top American, and a runner who recently rose to a new level, Nicole Leach of West Catholic. Her 52.19 indoor (#2 all-time) and 53.58 outdoor opening salvo at last week\'s Arcadia Invitational, bode well for her 400 Hurdles challenge Thursday morning. She was the top American at last year\'s Penn Relays in 59.00, and Saturday, ran a 59.45 with a push through 200 meters by teammate Latavia Thomas, who was 2nd in 63.75. The top relays were also in top form. Allentown Central Catholic has their all-american anchor in Frances Koons, but they have a lot of other talent, as evidenced by a 9:30.83 4x800 win (Sheila McFadden 2:25.7, Maureen Meagher 2:23.5, Meghan Burns 2:25.9, Frances Koons 2:14.9), and an equally impressive 12:18.61 DMR win (Marcie Sobrinski 3:50.7, Sheila McFadden 1:04.8, Meghan Burns 2:22.7, Frances Koons 4:59.9). The Cardinal O\'Hara boys are one of the top seeds in the Penn DMR, and are also entered in the 4x800, and tuned up with a PA #1 7:55.74 3200 Relay. Central was less than five seconds back. And the Gratz girls posted the best 4x100 of the season in PA, going 48.41 to improve on their own mark.