PENN RELAYS Lambie's anchor sparks Stanford to 6,000 relay win
She was 40 meters behind Villanova when she got the baton.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Arianna Lambie never worried that Stanford was in second place and about 40 meters behind the lead when she grabbed the baton for the last leg of the 6,000-meter relay.
She just relied on her natural ability and the confidence that she's rallied like this before.
Lambie ran her split time in 4 minutes, 19.12 seconds to lead Stanford past Villanova with a winning time of 17:38.16 for its second straight 6,000 title Friday at the Penn Relays.
Stanford trailed Villanova, which finished second in 17:42.13, when Lambie got the baton and took off for a fantastic finish. Last year at the event, she opened up a 50-meter gap on the last lap to earn the win.
"I knew my team had put me in a good position," Lambie said. "I knew based on last year that I had the ability to track someone down. I just went out there and tried to do it patiently and in control and it worked."
Villanova made a surprising swap to its lineup, bumping usual anchor Marina Muncan to the third spot and having Colleen Taylor run the final leg instead. Taylor's split time was about 8 seconds slower than Lambie's, costing the Wildcats the win.
Taylor refused to second-guess coach Gina Procaccio.
"The rest of my team did a really great job of putting it out there. I just wish I could have maintained it for them," Taylor said. "I found out this morning. It kind of threw me off a little bit, but I was just going to go out there and try my hardest. She's the coach, she's been doing this long enough so that she knows what she's doing."
Stanford assistant coach Dena Evans said her team didn't change strategy because of the lineup switch.
"I thought that was good for us," Evans said. "Marina has such a lethal kick."
Duke, which won the distance medley on Thursday, was third in 18:06.78.
Michigan wins easily
Michigan got a strong anchor performance from Nick Willis to turn a close race into something of a blowout in the men's distance medley. Michigan's 9:22.57 beat defending champ Arkansas, which finished second in 9:28.79. Cornell was third at 9:33.32.
The Michigan-Arkansas showdown was a rematch of the NCAA Indoor track and field championships in March, in which the Razorbacks lost their first-place distance medley finish on a disqualification because their anchor ran out of the lane down the stretch.
There was no debate on this one. Willis led by just a few strides at the bell, then pulled away effortlessly down the homestretch to run his split time in 3:55.1, exactly 5 seconds faster than the time of Arkansas' Said Ahmed.
Willis, who joked that he was willing to trade the gold watch given to winners for some Pistons-76ers playoff tickets for Friday night, said Ahmed slowed down at the end when he knew he couldn't catch up.
"He knows I have a good kick myself," Willis said. "I don't think he completely died because he was tired."
Sweeps sprint medley
Texas Tech swept the sprint medley championships, with the women winning in 3:47.50 and the men in 3:15.08.
Also, Brian Chaput won his third straight javelin throw. After taking the last two titles for Penn, Chaput won the Olympic Development this year with a throw of 261 feet, 3 inches.
While the high school and college events are the heart of what the Penn Relays are all about, today's "USA vs. the World" event will draw the headlines.