Kemarrio Bygrave’s Thrilling Last-Lap Surge for Jamaica College in the 4 x 800 at Penn Relays 2024 was ‘One for the Ages’

In a spectacular finish ‘for the ages’, Jamaica College became the eighth team in history to win the High School Boys 4 x 800 Championship of America at the Penn Relays three times over.  This year’s winning quartet was comprised of Nellie Ambriton, Kemarrio Bygrave, Rasheed Pryce, and Samuel Creary—who collectively took the title with a time of 7:42.37.

Jamaica College’s winning quartet after their triumph in the 4 x 800 meter relay final – (Franklin Field – Philadephia, Pennsylvania)

As it happened, Kemarrio Bygrave brought the Franklin Field stadium house down after pulling off an unforgettable anchor leg that was both expertly-timed and executed in dramatic fashion to clinch Jamaica College’s breathtaking victory in the 4 x 800 meter relay final.

Kemarrio Bygrave crosses the finish line triumphantly in the 4 x 800 meter relay final – (Franklin Field – Philadephia, Pennsylvania)
Kemarrio Bygrave with his teammates (Rasheed Pryce, far left and Samuel Creary after their triumph in the 4 x 800 meter relay final – (Franklin Field – Philadephia, Pennsylvania)

For those who do not know, Kemarrio is a well-decorated Jamaican junior athlete who is the reigning 2024 Boys’ Class 1 Champ (in Jamaica) and Grenada Carifta Games 2024 Under-20 Champion.

Kemarrio Bygrave after his triumph in the 4 x 800 meter relay final – (Franklin Field – Philadephia, Pennsylvania)
Kemarrio Bygrave after his triumph in the 4 x 800 meter relay final – (Franklin Field – Philadephia, Pennsylvania)
Kemarrio Bygrave after his triumph in the 4 x 800 meter relay final – (Franklin Field – Philadephia, Pennsylvania)
Kemarrio Bygrave after his triumph in the 4 x 800 meter relay final – (Franklin Field – Philadephia, Pennsylvania)

When Bygrave got his hands on the baton, his Jamaica College team was in third place.  Kemarrio then launched his comeback while strategically eyeing the pair of teams that were ahead of him.  He steadily tracked them down one-by-one, first passing St John’s College of the District of Columbia with just over 100 meters distance remaining.

Jamaica College competes in the 4 x 800 meter relay final – (Franklin Field – Philadephia, Pennsylvania)
Jamaica College competes in the 4 x 800 meter relay final – (Franklin Field – Philadephia, Pennsylvania)
Jamaica College competes in the 4 x 800 meter relay final – (Franklin Field – Philadephia, Pennsylvania)

In the final stretch, the jam-packed stands at UPenn’s Franklin Field rose to their feet as Kemarrio zeroed in on his last target with a meager 20 meters remaining in the race—which was the front-running Christian Brothers team of Tennessee.  As if he could hear Bygrave’s footsteps, Christian Brothers’ anchor leg runner, Kaleb Smith, began to wobble and ended up tripping over himself and falling to the ground as Kemarrio Bygrave overtook him in stunning fashion to cross the finish line in first place for Jamaica College.  Rounding out the field of teams after Jamaica College’s top finish in the 4 x 800 meter relay final was:  

  • 2nd Place – John’s College (DC) (Paul Robinson, Karil Arnold, Finley Tobin, Keenan Frisby) – 7:44.66
  • 3rd Place – Central Bucks West (PA) (Richard Newell, Nathan Terry, Ben Fuhrmeister, Nate Fehrman) – 7:45.99
  • 4th Place – Christian Brothers (TN) (Chaz Jones, Joe Edwards, Noah Mullenix, Kaleb Smith) – 7:47.30
  • 5th Place – Council Rock North (PA) (Lucas Poliseno, Jayden Neels, Andrew Young, Joe Crowne) – 7:47.38 
Kemarrio Bygrave overtaking Kaleb Smith spectacularly in the 4 x 800 meter relay final – (Franklin Field – Philadephia, Pennsylvania)
Kemarrio Bygrave approaching the finish line triumphantly in the 4 x 800 meter relay – (Franklin Field – Philadephia, Pennsylvania)

Bygrave was then piled on by his super-excited Jamaica College teammates before dashing over and standing with his arms spread wide in front of the stands filled with Jamaicans who gave him a raucous applause.  What a Penn Relays 2024 moment for Bygrave, his teammates, and Jamaica College!

Kemarrio Bygrave after crossing the finish line victoriously in the 4 x 800 meter relay and mobbed by his Jamaica College teammates – (Franklin Field – Philadephia, Pennsylvania)
 
Kemarrio Bygrave with his teammates after their victory in the 4 x 800 meter relay final – (Franklin Field – Philadephia, Pennsylvania)
Jamaica College’s Nellie Ambriton and Rasheed Pryce after their triumph in the 4 x 800 meter relay final – (Franklin Field – Philadephia, Pennsylvania)
Kemarrio Bygrave with his teammates after their in triumph the 4 x 800 meter relay final – (Franklin Field – Philadephia, Pennsylvania)
From left to right:  Nellie Ambriton, Samuel Creary, Kemarrio Bygrave, and Rasheed Pryce after their in triumph the 4 x 800 meter relay final – (Franklin Field – Philadephia, Pennsylvania)

Photos by Nick Ford

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