Dix anchors US over Jamaica at Penn Relays
Walter Dix of the US competes in Doha on May 11, 2012 - by Karim Jaafar
Dix, a 100m and 200m bronze medalist at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and 100-200 runner-up at the 2011 world championships, brought the Americans home in 38.57 seconds to edge Jamaica by .01 of a second.
"Every time I come to the Penn Relays I never ran the anchor leg," Dix said.
"So being able to run the anchor leg today and pulling the win out for my team was something special. It was definitely a close race in the end, but I knew right away that I won the race for Team USA.
"For a race to come down to the wire the way this did is what you live for as an athlete. You prepare for moments like this. A win like this is huge for us. It brought us closer together as a team as well as showed what we're capable of doing."
The US lineup included Charles Silmon, 32-year-old Justin Gatlin, Rakieen Salaam and Dix while the Jamaicans countered with Jason Livermore, Michael Frater, Rasheed Dwyer and Bailey.
Gatlin, the 2004 Olympic 100m champion and 2005 world champion, was excited about edging the Jamaicans as well.
"It really feels good to get this win," Gatlin said. "We knew from the beginning that when we came here we wanted to make a statement.
"Charles Slimon got bumped on the first leg, but he composed himself and gave us the momentum we needed to win. What we did today was special and the beginning of something great for the upcoming Olympics."
Gatlin would be 34 at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
Jamaica won the women's 4x100 relay for the second year in a row, with Carrie Russell, Kerron Stewart, Anneisha McLaughlin, Trisha-Ann Hawthorne taking the crown in 42.81 with the United States second in 43.15 and Trinidad and Tobago third, another .38 of a second back.
The Bahamas won the men's 4x400 relay in 3:00.78 with the US squad second in 3:03.31 and Brazil third in 3:03.32. A botched final exchange helped end the Americans' eight-meet Penn Relays win streak in the event.
The American lineup of Keshia Kirtz, Monica Hargrove, DeeDee Trotter and Jessica Beard won the women's 4x400 relay in 3:25.62 with Nigeria second in 3:27.16, edging Jamaica by .16 of a second.
Leonel Manzano passed Collis Birmingham on the final lap of the concluding 1,600m leg to give the United States a victory in the men's Distance Medley Relay in 9:28.27, downing the Aussies by 2.47 seconds with Ireland third in 9:42.83.
Ajee Wilson ran a 1:59.60 on her 800m anchor leg to edge Natalya Goule in the last 50 meters to give the United States a victory in the women's sprint medley in 3:37.94 with Jamaica, which led most of the race, second, .47 back, and the Caribbean All-Stars third and last in 3:46.95.